Persistence pays off in Nelson St, Woollahra heritage sale

When Sam Towndrow and Clint Ballard listed Larissa, 27 Nelson St, Woollahra in early spring 2018, they knew it was going to be a campaign unlike most others. The heritage-listed building was in use as a childcare centre, with the front facade facing away from the street.  The potential was clear, however they knew it would take time to find a buyer who would understand just how special a property it was.

“From the first time I saw it, I thought it was amazing and I knew it was a challenge I wanted to take on, a really different property in a blue ribbon location.” Sam commented on the seven-bedroom, four-bathroom house, “Clint and I were committed to delivering our vendor the result they wanted to achieve and I’m thrilled that the property has been sold to people who really appreciate its potential.”

The vendor of the building was also unusual, the Benevolent Society, who had owned it for over forty years. “This was an extraordinary property, it just needed the right strategy to give us the time to connect it to the right buyers.” Clint commented, saying it followed his experience of selling heritage homes in the East. The property was built in the late 1800s in the Victorian Regency style on 950sqm, placing it on the Woollahra Local heritage register and predating the houses around it.

With its R3 zoning allowing for business use, a commercial buyer was another possibility, however the restriction with heritage made this a less likely outcome. Clint and Sam determined that they could suggest a DA subdividing the large property into two, which would provide a similar financial result for the vendor and be at a price point more attractive to buyers in the market.

However, while the DA was in process, Mark Lowe suggested the property to a family who had just sold their own fully restored heritage home in Sydney’s east. Once they’d sold their own property, it seemed like a clear fit that Larissa could be of interest.

“In the end, it took us a bit longer than we thought but we’re thrilled that our strategy and innovative thinking on this one paid off,” Sam observed about the $8.5 million sale, finalised in November 2019.

“It’s a real testament to our Ballard teamwork that Sam, Mark and I collaborated to achieve an excellent price for our client,” Clint reflected on the sale. “Overall, a great result.”