Selling: landmark Greenwich home owned by artist Melissa McElhone
A landmark Federation home in one of Greenwich’s most exclusive locations and owned by award-winning ceramic artist Melissa McElhone, has come to market for the first time in more than 15 years.
Built in 1910, and formerly known ‘Blythswood Estate’, the home at 1 Upper Serpentine Cres, also has access from George St and is a visual feast of period charm that has been extensively renovated over the years to add modern luxuries and more living space.
The 1041sqm property is due to go to auction on April 4, with a guide of $6.4 million, through James Bennett and Simon Harrison, of Belle Property Lane Cove.
Mr Bennett said this was a preliminary guide, given the fact that the property had not yet been opened for inspection.
They will be opening it for the first time this Saturday, from noon-12.30pm and then next Wednesday from 5.45-6.15pm.
“There isn’t anything like this in Greenwich so it’s been a very hard one to price given there is nothing to compare it to,” Mr Bennett said. “I am expecting plenty of interest.”
The home is set to challenge the George St sales record of $6.1 million, which was set in 2010 with the sale of No. 34. Greenwich’s overall house sale record sits at $8.525 million, set in 2015, with the sale of 1 Mitchell St.
Mr Bennett said he expected buyers from the local area and also the lower north shore would make up a large portion of the interest.
He said he was “very excited” about bringing such a landmark property to the market – a big call for an agent who regularly has a hand in the suburb’s top sales.
“It will be a pivotal moment in my career getting a house like this,” he said. “It’s the queen of Greenwich so representing it is a real honour.”
The property has picturesque water and district views that can be seen from the many outdoor living and dining areas, and the lush gardens provide plenty of privacy.
Features of the house include open plan living and dining flowing to the covered outdoor spaces, formal dining, stone kitchen with gas cooking, massive family room and billiard room that could also be used as a teen retreat or for guest accommodation.
The home is a short walk to Greenwich Point Reserve and the ferry wharf.
Ms McElhone and her husband have raised their three sons at the home since they bought it in 2003. During that time she has also been a prolific exhibitor of her work, including at the Sculpture by the Sea event, the Greenwich Village Art Trail and the Frances Keevil Gallery Double Bay.
Ms McElhone has won numerous awards, including a Northbridge Art Prize and Royal Easter Show Art Prize.
She told the North Shore Times it would be hard to leave their beloved home, but with their children now aged in their 20s and pursuing their own lives, the time had come to downsize.
She said they had undertaken massive renovations over the years to maintain the home, enhance its classic features, while adding more space and luxury features.
“It’s been a labour of love though – it’s a beautiful home, and it’s been fantastic for the boys,” she said.
“Our three sons have loved the access to the harbour, going swimming at jump rock, catching the ferry to school and playing tennis at the local court.”
Their dog, Yoko, is well known in the neighbourhood.
“We have great access to bushwalks and the ferry,” Ms McElhone said.
“I take Yoko for a walk along the waterfront and around the point every day. The access to the track and ferry is a staircase away. It is so peaceful you forget you are so close to the city.”
The property has also been a great entertainer – accommodating countless Christmas Day family gatherings and milestone birthday celebrations.
“It’s a great party house,” she said “The boys each had their 21st parties here and many more gatherings. It was great for visiting family, as I am originally from Perth so I wanted my parents to have their own space they could escape to.”
The couple can’t see themselves moving out of Greenwich, given their deep love for the close-knit community, Ms McElhone said. The easy access to the city was another bonus. she said.
“It’s a great village and community here – Paula at the IGA would be worried if she didn’t see me every day buying for my big-eating family,” she said.
“Everything we need is in the Greenwich Village – school, chemist and post office.”