23 Apr 2022 | 3 mins

Rupert Murdoch’s nephew hoping for $24m for Melbourne mansion - AFR

Rupert Murdoch’s nephew hoping for $24m for Melbourne mansion - AFR

Namarong, a renowned Armadale mansion owned by Melbourne theatre director Michael Kantor – nephew of media baron Rupert Murdoch – and his wife, Silvia Kantor, has been listed for sale with price expectations of between $22 million and $24 million.

The six-bedroom Victorian-era Italianate residence set on 3370 square metres in Armadale’s leafy Hampden Road includes a tennis court, indoor swimming pool, library, cellar and manicured gardens full of exotic and rare trees.


Namarong has been extensively renovated by the Kantors.

It was completed in 1868 for a Melbourne shipping merchant who wanted a home that was on high ground, so he could watch over the movements of his ships in and out of Port Phillip Bay.

More recent owners of Namarong include former Toll Holdings boss and Rich Lister Paul Little, who bought it from a Catholic religious order in 1986 and then sold it for $3.4 million in 2000 to art dealer Rod Menzies.

Mr Menzies sold Namarong to the Kantors in 2009 for a heavily discounted $9 million (he originally wanted $12 million). At the time the buyer was incorrectly identified as Ian Murdoch, who was then the Kantors’ financial adviser.

Michael Kantor, whose mother Anne is Mr Murdoch’s sister, has forged a lengthy career in Melbourne’s contemporary theatre scene, including as artistic director of the Malthouse Theatre from 2005 to 2010.


Leading design firm Kennedy Nolan were engaged for the transformational design

Silvia Kantor is a lawyer and translator.

The Kantors spent more than two years on extensive renovations of Namarong, including to the house and grounds, hiring Melbourne design firm Kennedy Nolan for the interior works.

Michael Gibson, Robert Fletcher and Ken Jacobs of Forbes Global Properties have been appointed to sell Namarong via expressions of interest.

Mr Gibson said a lot of “new money” was flooding into the top end of Melbourne’s housing market.

“New wealth created from the technology sector has come to the fore in the Melbourne prestige housing market,” Mr Gibson told The Australian Financial Review.

This was highlighted in the $38.5 million sale in March of a four-bedroom Toorak home to Ed Craven, the 26-year-old co-founder of one of the world’s biggest online cryptocurrency casinos, Stake.com.

Armadale borders Toorak and is known for its period mansions and tree-lined streets. It is also home to a number of top private schools and an upmarket retail strip.


Mr Gibson said there would be fewer than half a dozen properties in Armadale priced above $20 million. “Namarong is a significant Melbourne property on a beautiful street in Armadale,” he said.

Prestige sales in Armadale this year include an 1865-built period home with a grass tennis court on Kooyong Road, bought for $10 million by developer and fund manager Charlie Buxton.

In March last year, investment banking power couple Robin Bishop and Jess Walpole sold their period home on Sutherland Road, Armadale, for about $8.4 million to Gurner lawyer Kate Cookes.

Also last year, a Melbourne family bought a two-level penthouse off-the-plan in Armadale for $15 million.