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Former ABC presenter Quentin Dempster has for more than a decade been one of Millers Point’s highest profile locals, buying into the newly gentrified neighbourhood long before the influx of rich listers and billionaires of recent years.
But not for much longer. The former 7.30 Report and Stateline presenter and his wife Elizabeth have set a December 17 auction through McGrath’s Andrew Stewart and Richard Shalhoub.
The 1875-built house is one of three in a row known as Winsbury Terrace.
When the couple bought the grand Victorian Italianate terrace – one of three that make up the 1875-built row Winsbury Terrace – it was not only vacant and dilapidated, but was on a government-owned leasehold with a hefty conservation management plan attached.
The $1.5 million purchase price of 2010 came with a $175,000 conservation management bond that was just the start of the costs of a major restoration project led by heritage architect Geoff Larkin.
Quentin Dempster is the former presenter of the ABC’s ‘7.30 Report’.Credit:Wolter Peeters
“It was a big project,” Dempster said of the three-level, four-bedroom residence topped with a widow’s walk and accompanying 360-degree views.
Like the house, Millers Point has changed dramatically in the past decade. “When we came here there was still a lot of public housing around and we made a lot of friends,” said Dempster.
The state government’s sell-off of public housing from 2014 to 2019 was akin to adding steroids to the gentrification of the area, and introduced a whole new class of homeowner, like billionaire Kerr Neilson, coal tycoon Chris Ellis and aged-care mogul Dr Shane Moran.
“It was fraught there for many years, but the significant thing was the heritage of Millers Point and The Rocks given to Sydney and Australia by [Green Bans movement leader] Jack Mundey was preserved,” Dempster said. “And we wanted to make a contribution to enhance that.
“If you come into this area, please share our commitment to the heritage legacy of Millers Point and The Rocks. It’s a great area, and it’s of immense value to Sydney and Australia.”
Buyers will need more than just an appreciation for its heritage. The guide is $6 million to $6.6 million.
The couple is planning to spend more time developing an olive grove and a small vineyard at their landmark retreat in Tasmania, The Winged House, which they commissioned architect Richard Goodwin to design and build in 2008.
The two-bedroom apartment is the largest of its kind in the Bates Smart-designed tower.
Blanche d’Alpuget sold her Hyde Park “city retreat” this week, but with gag orders over the sale price. It has been left to independent sources to suggest she copped a loss on the designer two-bedder.
The widow of former prime minister Bob Hawke exchanged on the One30 Hyde Park tower apartment in 2015 for $3.63 million, but only settled on it in March 2019, two months before the Labor Party legend died.
Blanche d’Alpuget has sold her apartment in the One30 tower.Credit:Tim Bauer
Having paid a $189,000 stamp duty on the purchase, d’Alpuget would need a minimum $3.8 million to cover her losses, which is short the apartment’s rumoured $3.7 million result.
Given this year’s falling apartment values the timing wasn’t the best, in hindsight. It was first listed in July with a $4.3 million to $4.5 million guide that was later revised to $4.2 million when the listing was handed to Boutique Property’s Tolga Ozer.
The author and Hawke’s official biographer is headed to the building next door where she more recently bought digs for about $4.6 million.
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