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The landmark Armadale estate known as Namarong has been listed for sale by theatre director Michael Kantor, Rupert Murdoch’s nephew, and his wife Silvia Kantor.
With a price guide of $22 million to $24 million, the Hampden Road pile is set on an oversized block of more than 3370 square metres and has a history of well-heeled owners.
It last traded for $9 million in 2008, sold by art dealer Rod Menzies, who also made headlines when he sold Stonington mansion in Malvern in 2018 for $52.5 million, a Victorian record that still stands.
Menzies bought the home for $3.425 million in 2000 from logistics boss Paul Little, who with his investment banker wife Jane Hansen bought Coonac mansion in Toorak for $14.5 million in 2002.
Namarong was built in 1868 for a shipping merchant who wanted a home set high on a hill so he could watch his ships moving in and out of Port Phillip Bay. The Victorian-era Italianate mansion was later owned by the Catholic Church.
The Kantor family completed a two-year renovation by architects Kennedy Nolan.
Mr Kantor is chair of Melbourne Fringe and a former artistic director of Malthouse Theatre.
The home features expansive gardens with rare trees, a tennis court, swimming enclosure and a gated forecourt in a style evoking the Luxembourg Gardens.
Agents on the listing are Forbes Global Properties’ Michael Gibson, Robert Fletcher and Ken Jacobs.
“It is all done and ready to move into,” Gibson said.
“Often you buy an old Italianate Victorian and you have got to spend millions and millions of dollars.”
He said the top end of Melbourne’s prestige market is still as strong as it has been over the last one to two years, and expects stock levels to reduce a little.
“Buyer demand from the expat market and from people wanting to live in a trophy home is not diminished,” he said.
Before COVID-19 there had been only a handful of Melbourne sales above $20 million, but a flurry of deals were struck last year as cashed-up buyers no longer tolerated any shortcomings in their accommodation after spending so much time at home.
Standouts included Chemist Warehouse boss Sam Gance’s $43 million purchase on Lansell Road and music promoter Michael Coppel’s sale on Hopetoun Road for above $30 million. Cryptocurrency casino co-founder Ed Craven recently paid $38.5 million for property developer William Deague’s Toorak home.