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  • Writer's pictureJon Ruwolt

Heritage Darnlee Saved by Sale

Darnlee, at 33 Lansell Road, Toorak VIC is heritage listed.

Darnlee, a grand Toorak mansion listed for sale with a price guide of $20 million to $22 million sold within the quoted range to a local buyer in April, earlier this year 2023.

Seven parties made offers for the residence at 33 Lansell Road, undeterred by its need for renovations that could cost another $5 million or more.

  • The Federation Queen Anne style heritage home known as Darnlee dates to about 1895 and is set on an oversized block of 3582 square metres.

Its period features include a conical tower, decorative ceilings, a domed skylight and original lead lighting and fireplaces.

  • It is now configured as a nursing home featuring 47 bedrooms with ensuites and a commercial kitchen but sold with vacant possession by aged care provider BlueCross.

  • The residence was used as a nursing home.

  • Selling agents on the deal were RT Edgar Toorak’s Antoinette Nido and Jeremy Fox.

  • Period details include the decorative ceilings and domed skylight.

  • Ms Nido said the property had been very well preserved, but would need at least $5 million in renovations to reinstate it as a home.

She declined to comment on the identity of the buyer but confirmed the sale was within the quoted price guide.

  • “It is a beautiful property and it is in an amazing location, and it is surrounded by some of the best real estate that you will get in Melbourne,” Nido said.

  • The home is ready for renovation.

  • Seven parties made offers for Darnlee in its expressions of interest campaign, and their budgets ranged between $20 million and $35 million, Nido said, adding it was an indication of the strength of the top end of the Toorak property market.

  • “The demand for Toorak homes is exceptionally strong. This was heritage and needed a lot of work.”

Darnlee is a magnificent mansion is well maintained and an excellent example of Melbourne’s Federation Queen Ann style of architecture.

  • Rich in original features including a conical tower, terra cotta roof tiles, high decorative ceilings, a central domed skylight, and stunning original lead lighting and fireplaces throughout.

  • The front porch with timber columns, introduces a grand hallway and a series of elegant principal rooms.

  • A formal living room, two separate dining rooms, reception area, office and several bedrooms with en-suites.


Marc Pallisco now reports that Darnlee was sold to former Melbourne Lord Mayor Gary Singer and his husband, Geoffrey Smith for a little under $20 million.

  • They have purchased the house for their auction house, Smith and Singer.

  • In an application being reviewed by Council, they say to expect no more than eight visitors per day, for the business of selling works.

  • Any events will have no more than 60 clients or couples.

  • Some spaces will be used for offices, others for display areas, event spaces and store rooms.

Simon Greenwood Architects have been appointed to redesign the mansion.

Mr Smith and Mr Singer also own both St. Kilda's historic Eildon mansion (above), and 12 Collins St. in Melbourne CBD.


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