Former TV presenter Simone Semmens seeks to offload the Yarra riverfront block at her grand $11 million Edzell, Toorak acquisition

Former TV presenter Simone Semmens seeks to offload the Yarra riverfront block at her grand $11 million Edzell, Toorak acquisition
Former TV presenter Simone Semmens seeks to offload the Yarra riverfront block at her grand $11 million Edzell, Toorak acquisition

The former television news presenter-turned-spin doctor Simone Semmens has paid $11 million to buy the historic 1890s Toorak riverfront Edzell and has quickly moved to sell off the waterfront block.

Semmens has listed an 1,800-square-metre vacant block through RT Edgar agent David Colbran with $9 million hopes.

"It's Toorak's most amazing vacant riverfront land," the marketing suggests.

The grand St Georges Road mansion has been set on its elevated 6,045-square-metre four-block holding with city skyline views over Richmond.

The heritage-protected Elizabethan Revival house was sold by architect Michael Spivakovsky, who’d inherited it from his parents. Spivakovsky's father was the acclaimed pianist Jascha.

Dame Nellie Melba performed private concerts within the 30-plus room mansion in its heyday when it was located on 70 acres (28 hectares) with 1917 Walter Butler-designed gardens. It was built for the former lord mayor James Stewart shortly before his year in office.

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The landmark 1891 Reed Smart & Tappin-designed Queen Anne home, with 1895 ballroom extension, was marketed last year with plans for possible subdivision, including a MGS Architecture-designed five-bedroom riverfront abode with copper roof, the radicalterrace website noted.

Last traded in 1934 in a 25-lot subdivision to the Spivakovsky family, Edzell was converted into two maisonettes in 1935.

Edzell was offered for sale as six internal apartments when marketed last year through Jellis Craig agent Richard James and Jennifer Gillies.

Semmens did much the same thing at Rosecraddock, the Caulfield North mansion with its subdivided housing lots, after paying $7.8 million in 2007.

Glen Eira City Council approved six blocks of about 700 square metres within the curtilage of the 150-year-old Italianate mansion set on its then 8857-square-metre holding.

Semmens, an avid buyer and seller of pricey property, with Rosecraddock listed last year with $15 million hopes, also made headlines in 2004 when she paid $7.5 million for the historic Noorah property in Portsea.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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