Philip Mason to discard his Darlo property

Philip Mason to discard his Darlo property
Jonathan ChancellorDecember 8, 2020

A versatile three-level Darlinghurst building – which could suit retail, office, restaurant, artistic or residential uses – has been listed for sale.

The 900-square-metre Crown Street property with historic façade comes with parking for nine vehicles.

It is being sold with vacant possession, having been most recently tenanted and renovated by the contemporary office design company Zenith Interiors. It was Australian Playboy’s headquarters from 1982 to about 1990. The owner and vendor is Philip Mason, who was the publisher of Australian Playboy for 16 years.

It has been listed for October 11 auction through Cushman & Wakefield agents Tony Anderson and Lindsay Sturrock.

It sits between Liverpool and Stanley Streets.

“The high ceilings and timber beams help shape a creative and flexible warehouse space which also benefits from excellent natural light,” Anderson says.

It is expected to attract strong interest from owner occupiers, residential converters and investors. There is access from Palmer Street.

Cushman & Wakefield was presumably appointed to the listing given the company’s sale last year of the 500-square-metre Luxe Studios property around the corner, at 279-283 Liverpool Street, for $4.93 million.

 As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald magazine industry guru David Dale, it was in 1979 when Kerry Packer, flushed with the success of his new women's monthly Cleo, secured the rights to the US magazine Playboy, which had been founded in the 1950s by Hugh Hefner.

Hefner, who was interested in forming partnerships to produce overseas editions, did a deal with Packer, who had sent his lawyer Malcolm Turnbull to work on the deal in America.

The first issue of Australian Playboy in February 1979 sold nearly 200,000 copies.

Some three years later, Packer gave up the licence to produce Australian Playboy and it was taken over by a small shop called Mason Stewart Publishing, best known until then for the surfing mag Tracks and the rock magazine RAM.

Sales had settled at about 140,000 a month, with rival Penthouse becoming more explicit under American publisher Bob Guccione’s edict.

By 1996, Australian Playboy's circulation had fallen to 36,000 and in 1997 Mason's company was taken over by the British publisher EMAP, with Mason becoming its non-executive chairman of EMAP Australia.

Australian Playboy ceased publication in 2000.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

Editor's Picks

Six Degrees and Beulah lead the way for next era of sustainable homes and design
Abadeen & PERIFA to bring Woolloomooloo Wharf-inspired waterfront precinct to Putney
Coronation tops out Mason & Main, Merrylands second stage
From rooftop running tracks to piano bars: Melbourne's best apartments with significant resident amenities
‘Reverse sea changers’ return to city life as West End penthouse fetches $5.25 million