23 Feb 2024 | 4 mins
Film Spotlight: Timeless Appeal In A Renowned Melbourne Location - Forbes
14 May 2022
A member of one of Australia’s most notable families is listing one of Melbourne’s most notable homes.
Theater director Michael Kantor—nephew to media-mogul Rupert Murdoch—along with his wife, Silvia, are putting their Italianate mansion, known as Namarong, on the market with a price expectation of between AUD 22 million and 24 million—about US $15.4 million to $16.8 million.
Completed in 1868 for a wealthy shipping merchant who selected the home’s hillside position in order to watch the comings and goings of his ships in Port Phillip Bay, the landmark estate was at one time owned by the Catholic Church.
The six-bedroom home was then purchased by former managing director of Toll Holdings, Paul Little, who eventually sold it to art dealer Rod Menzies for AUD 3.425 million (about US $2.4 million) in 2000.
Finally, the 3,370-square-meter property came under the ownership of the Kantors, who paid AUD 9 million (US $6.3 million) back in 2008. During their 14-year tenure, the Kantors implemented sweeping updates, including a two-year estate renovation led by the Victorian-based design firm Kennedy Nolan.
Located in the prestige inner suburb of Armadale, the Victorian-era estate is fronted by a gated, sprawling forecourt.
The home’s palatial exterior, with ornate corbels and cornices, a gently-sloped roof and an ivy-coated facade, preserves the traditional elegance.
Inside, modern touches bring this 19th-century mansion into the present including minimalist black metal-framed windows, a vibrant orange carpeted stairway and sleek cabinetry.
Classical elements, however, remain prominent throughout, such as elaborate molding, interior columns and an array of French doors.
Covering two stories, the floor-plan features multiple living spaces, a library and a cellar as well as an intimate reading nook, courtyard and a theater.
Exterior highlights include a rounded terrace overlooking the estate’s manicured grounds, a swimming pool and an impressive tennis court.
The high price expectation attached to the Armadale listing points to a recent increase in “new money” purchases in Melbourne’s luxury housing market, said Michael Gibson of Private Properties Global, who along with Robert Fletcher and Ken Jacobs, hold the listing.
“New wealth created from the technology sector has come to the fore in the Melbourne prestige housing market,” Gibson recently told The Australian Financial Review.
While sales above AUD 20 million (US $14 million) were a rarity just two years ago in Melbourne, a number of big-ticket deals closed last year, including an AUD 43 million (US $30 million) Toorak trophy home purchased by Chemist Warehouse owner Sam Gance.