Sundorne, Bellevue Hill

Sir Peter Abeles’ former Bellevue Hill mansion now fetches $18 million

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Update: Bellevue Hill’s Sundorne estate set for wrecking ball to make way for designer homes

Lucy Macken Domain Prestige Reporter May 28, 2018


The grand English manor-style property Sundorne in Bellevue Hill that was sold by Cranbrook School late last year for $18 million is set to meet the wrecking ball amid plans to replace it with three luxury residences.

  • Woollahra Council has approved the three-way subdivision of the original 2550-square-metre estate, and property developer Eduard Litver wasted no time lodging plans last week for three designer homes by Bruce Stafford Architects.
  • Read more at Domain.com.au

 

1920s Bellevue Hill trophy home Sundorne
1920s Bellevue Hill trophy home Sundorne

Update: Cranbrook School sells Bellevue Hill house Sundorne for $18 million to developer Eduard Litver


Cranbrook School has sold the 1920s Bellevue Hill trophy home Sundorne for more than $18 million.

  • The 2549-square-metre estate across the road from the exclusive private school was bought by wealthy eastern suburbs property developer Eduard Litver.

The English Manor-style residence was sold to the school under the hammer in 2013 for $15.5 million by the estate of the late arts philanthropist Claire Dan to be part of the school’s expansion plans.

  • The Sundorne residence was planned to make up part of the school’s expansion plans when bought four years ago. Photo: Supplied
  • However, those plans were abandoned earlier this year and it was returned to the market in September with a guide of $18 million-plus with Elliott Placks, of Ray White Double Bay, and Bill Malouf, of LJ Hooker Double Bay.

Neither agent would comment when asked about the buyer’s identity or sale price, except to confirm the property has sold.

  • Independent sources say Mr Litver was one of at least two buyers circling the property in recent weeks, and the exchange was finally approved by the school’s board late on Wednesday.

 

Sundorne, 23 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill NSW
Sundorne, 23 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill NSW

 

Update: Cranbrook returns Bellevue Hill’s Sundorne manor to the trophy shelf


LUCY MACKEN DOMAIN PRESTIGE REPORTER SEP 22, 2017
It was a dark and stormy May night in 2013 when the Bellevue Hill mansion Sundorne went under the hammer for $15,501,000, thanks to the raised hand of Network Seven’s commercial director Bruce McWilliam on behalf of Cranbrook School’s then-president Helen Nugent.

  • The 1920s-built English Manor (Interwar Old English)-style residence with swimming pool, tennis court and an impressive 2549-square-metre block, of the late arts philanthropist Claire Dan was meant to be part of the exclusive private school’s great expansion plans. But not any more.
  • Buyers can expect to pay more than $18 million for the property that was the centre of so much competition when it last hit the market, heralding a distinct shift in the prestige market that was, finally, shaking off the last of the GFC hangover.
  • Read more: Cranbrook returns Bellevue Hill’s Sundorne manor to the trophy shelf
Sundorne, 23 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill NSW, for sale again
Sundorne, 23 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill NSW, for sale again

Previously: 23 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill bought by Cranbrook School


By Jonathan Chancellor, Wednesday, 22 May 2013

23 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill bought by Cranbrook School
23 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill bought by Cranbrook School

 


The former Bellevue Hill matrimonial homeof the late transport tycoon Sir Peter Abeles was sold for $15,501,000 when offered at its invitation only onsite auction tonight.

  • Listed with $11 million-plus hopes, the property presented a rare opportunity as it last sold 45 years ago. The underbidders let it go after their $15.5 million offer.
  • Sundorne, the six-bedroom Victoria Road mansion was home to Sir Peter and his first wife, the arts patron and founder of the Sydney International Piano Competition, Claire Dan during the period when Sir Peter was cementing his place in Australia’s corporate life.[1]
  • The two-storey English Manor-style interiors are still filled with the furniture and fittings installed by Peter and Claire
  • Video Tour:

 

external image abeles3two.jpg external image abeles1two.jpg

SUNDORNE, built in 1925 for about pound stg. 3250 and sold to transport magnate Peter Abeles and his first wife Claire Dan for about pound stg. 60,000 in 1958, sits in splendid isolation at the end of a long drive on 2549 square metres overlooking Sydney Harbour from atop Bellevue Hill.

  • With Abeles in residence, Sundorne was the scene of many a lively party with regular guests including Bob Hawke and Robert Askin dropping in for a game of poker.
  • Renovated in the 1960s but not touched since, it’s a perfect example of what was then the height of fashionable interior design — from its lacquered ceilings by Marion Hall Best, a smoking room and maids’ wing to the retro Formica kitchen with breakfast nook, Bakelite telephone and double Frigidaire ovens.
external image 2010392334_3_FS.jpg

The two-storey home has interior furniture and fittings installed by Peter and Claire (pictured below). With ashtrays on every table, and wood-panelled walls it solicited comparisons with the 1960s-styled series Mad Men.

  • Reece Coleman, director of BHR Estate Agents, said four clients wanted to restore the home while one international client wanted to demolish it, saying “the house is worthless, the land is priceless”.
  • Zoning prevents development such as apartments or townhouses, but it could be divided into two blocks.
  • The land was originally part of the Cranbrook estate — now home to an elite private school for boys — which was subdivided in 1917 into two lots. One was purchased by Edward Percy Simpson, a solicitor with legal firm Minter Simpson (now Minter Ellison), who employed architect CA Millyard to build Sundorne as a wedding present for his son, Edward Telford Simpson.
  • As part of the Abeles divorce settlement in about 1970, Dan — founder of the Sydney International Piano Competition in 1977 — was given life tenancy. She died last October.
  • Proceeds from the auction will go to the Abeles estate.

With its five bedrooms, four bathrooms, triple garage, swimming pool, sauna, tennis court and views from almost every window, the mansion and its contents reflect its owners’ Hungarian background. A labyrinth of interconnecting small rooms, panelled walls and dark furniture give it a distinctly European feel. Paintings by Hungarian-born artist Judy Cassab, a close friend of Dan’s, feature throughout, and along with all the contents — including a lamp figured after Hawke — will be auctioned by Andrew Shapiro on June 22.[2]

external image 455991-sundorne.jpg external image abeles4.jpg
Sir Peter Abeles' first wife, the arts patron Claire Dan . Ms Dan retaining a life tenancy of the home
Sir Peter Abeles’ first wife, the arts patron Claire Dan . Ms Dan retaining a life tenancy of the home

 

  • One can almost image Sir Peter playing poker with his regular guests who included the Premier, Sir Robert Askin.
  • The inspectees can even spot a lamp stand fashioned in the likeness of former ACTU boss and Prime Minister Bob Hawke that stands close to the large leather writing desk in the library that overlooks the water.

Sir Peter bought Sundorne from the well-connected establishment Simpson lawyer family in 1958 through his company P.A. Holdings Pty Ltd for about £60,000.

  • The 2550sq m site has a full-size flood-lit tennis court and in-ground pool with district and harbour views reaching from the city skyline and bridge to Manly in the north.
  • After a long battle with cancer Sir Peter, who relocated to Vaucluse in 1970 paying $450,000 for Villa Igiea, died in June 1999 aged 75.
  • As Sir Peter lay unconscious just hours before his death, Bob Hawke paid a visit to the Vaucluse home to bid his friend of 30 years a final farewell.

“One of Sydney’s grandest estates on approx 2,549sqm of blue ribbon land with iconic views, tennis court, pool and self-contained staff quarters”


“One of Sydney’s grand estates set upon approx. 2,549sqm in a prestigious location, ‘Sundorne’ a stately English Manor, offers unrivalled potential. A substantial private holding with two street frontages, this grand residence commands sweeping 270 degree views featuring Sydney Harbour, the CBD, Opera House, Bridge and across to Manly.”

History

The property at 23 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill was part of the Cranbrook estate. Following subdivision of the Cranbrook property in 1917 it became Lot 2 of the subdivision offered for sale as the Cranbrook Subdivision on 1 December 1917. (The house Cranbrook was built for Robert Tooth in 1859. It was used as the State governor’s residence from 1902 until the governor returned to Government House and the property was subdivided).

  • The allotment 2 of the Cranbrook Subdivision was purchased by Edward Percy Simpson, of St Mervyn’s Double Bay, who in March 1922 lodged a building application with Woollahra Council to erect a house and garage on the site (see BA99/22). The architect or builder for the project was recorded as CA Millyard and Council approved the application on 27 March 1922.[3]
  • Edward Percy Simpson, a solicitor with legal firm Minter Simpson (now Minter Ellison), employed architect CA Millyard to build Sundorne as a wedding present for his son, Edward Telford Simpson.[4]
  • The house at 23 Victoria Road was known as Sundorne and was first listed in the Woollahra rate books and Sands Directories in 1924. Edward Percy’s son Edward Telford Simpson was listed as occupant of the house in the Sands Directories in 1924, and was later the recorded rate payer in the Woollahra rate books (having purchased the property in July 1925 for £3,250.) It would appear that the land was purchased and a house erected by Edward Percy for the use of his son Edward Telford Simpson.
  • Edward Percy Simpson (1858-1931) was a solicitor and company director, who joined the company firm Minter Simpson & Co. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/simpson-edward-percy-8431 . Edward Telford Simpson (1899-1965) also a solicitor and company director and partner in the firm Minter Simpson (later Minter Ellison) http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/simpson-edward-telford-11695 .
  • In July 1958 the house was purchased by Peter Abeles, of TNT fame for approx. £60,000 and substantially renovated. In 1960 the swimming pool was added; followed by the change room and sauna in 1968 and the maids quarters in 1971.

– Held by the same family for 55 years, ‘Sundorne’ is a grand residence with enormous potential to renovate, redevelop, or subdivide (STCA)
https://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/picasaweb.googleusercontent.com/slideshow.swf

  • Nestled at the end of a long private drive on approx.. 2,549sqm, it is hidden from the world
  • Substantial street frontage of approx 28.955m to Victoria Road and 70.44m to Rose Bay Avenue
  • Driveway leads to large forecourt providing ample visitor parking and access to double carport and garage
  • Entrance foyer with imposing staircase and reception room leads to formal and casual living
  • Gracious formal living and dining room capture substantial northern harbour views
  • Sun-filled wraparound conservatory captures all day sun and overlooks pool and gardens
  • Substantial in-ground swimming pool, established gardens and full size floodlit tennis court
  • Large eat-in kitchen with adjoining breakfast room and walk in pantry
  • Accommodation comprises five bedrooms including master with ensuite and walk-in-robe
  • Upstairs are a further two bedrooms plus a library (or 4th bed) and a sunroom all with views
  • Full bathroom with separate WC; breakfast kitchenette
  • 5th bedroom with ensuite on ground floor has its own entry
  • Adjoining 1 bedroom self-contained guest / staff quarters with direct access to Victoria Road
  • Separate laundry; workshop and storage; sauna; additional guest WC; security alarm
  • Moments to Rose Bay Foreshore, Double Bay, Redleaf Pool and several elite schools
  • Easy access to the CBD, Eastern Distributor and airport
  • Rates : Council $1,417.40pq : Water $172.55pq

Cranbrook School buys back neighbouring estate for $15.51M

Sundorne
Sundorne

Some of the contents of the former home of Sir Peter Abeles and Claire Dan / Pic: Justin Lloyd Source: The Daily Telegraph
EXCLUSIVE eastern suburbs boys’ school Cranbrook has bought a renowned neighbouring estate in Bellevue Hill for $15.51 million.
The grand 1920s residence known as Sundorne is on a 2555sq m parcel of land and was originally part of the private school where fees average almost $30,000 a year.
The significant sale was held behind closed doors at an on-site invitation-only auction event and Macquarie Bank board member and president of Cranbrook, Helen Nugent, was among the last to leave the home late last night accompanied by a group of businessmen.
Transport magnate Sir Peter Abeles and his first wife, Claire Dan, bought Sundorne in 1958, but after their divorce in the 1960s, the grand mansion remained Dan’s home until she died last October.
Cranbrook School Head master Nicholas Sampson confirmed the purchase today.

Luxury house sales

Sir Peter Abeles’ former Bellevue Hill home ‘Sundorne’

Sir Peter Abeles
Sir Peter Abeles

Copy picture of Sir Peter Abeles. Picture: Sam Mooy
“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of 23 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill,” Mr Sampson said.
“The land was originally part of the Cranbrook estate and this investment offers the School the opportunity to revitalise the Senior School campus, and improve the School environment for present and future generations of Cranbrook students.”
Sundorne, which boasts a tennis court, servants’ quarters, swimming pool and panoramic views of the harbour, was sold as part of the Sir Abeles’ estate.
Placed on the market last month with price expectations of “more than $11 million” the 2555sq m estate was handled by Reece Coleman and Daniel Baran of BHR Estate Agents and Michael Pallier of Sotheby’s International Real Estate.

Sundorne
Sundorne

Some of the contents of the former home of Sir Peter Abeles and Claire Dan / Pic: Justin Lloyd
The huge $15.501 million price tag is the highest price paid for Sydney property at auction since La Manoir, a similar-sized estate just a few doors away sold at a private auction attended by Russell Crowe for $23 million in 2009.

Peter Abeles
Peter Abeles

Sir Peter Abeles pictured in 1986. Picture: Archive News Ltd
Sir Peter, a millionaire and one-time owner of Ansett and TNT, died in 1999. The Vaucluse house he lived in with his second wife Lady Kitty sold in 2001 for $12 million.

Background from Lucy Macken at Domain.com.au


The land was originally part of the Cranbrook estate before it was subdivided in 1917 to create the private school across the road. Sundorne was built in the 1920s at a cost of 3250 pounds sterling by solicitor Edward Percy Simpson as a wedding present for his son Edward Telford Simpson.

The Victoria Road residence has harbour views, a tennis court and a swimming pool.
The Victoria Road residence has harbour views, a tennis court and a swimming pool.

The Victoria Road residence has harbour views, a tennis court and a swimming pool. Photo: Supplied

  • The landmark property with a tennis court and swimming pool remained in the Simpson family until 1958 when the late transport magnate Peter Abeles and his first wife Claire Dan bought it for £60,000 in 1958.
  • After it was renovated in the 1960s it became best known for its lively and high-profile guests, including former prime minister Bob Hawke and former NSW premier Robert Askin.
  • Dan took Sundorne as part-settlement in the couple’s divorce settlement in 1970, and it still retained its retro finishes – a lacquered ceiling by Marion Hall Best and formica kitchen – when sold by her estate five years ago.
The Sundorne residence was planned to make up part of the school's expansion plans when bought four years ago.
The Sundorne residence was planned to make up part of the school’s expansion plans when bought four years ago.

The Sundorne residence was planned to make up part of the school’s expansion plans when bought four years ago. Photo: Supplied
Cranbrook was only the third owner of the property when it bought it at auction in 2013 for $15,501,000 from the estate of the late arts philanthropist Claire Dan.

  • Cranbrook School said it was originally purchased to provide relocation options during its $75 million redevelopment of a multipurpose building, aquatic centre and underground car park on the senior campus.
  • However, it was listed last year for $18 million with LJ Hooker Double Bay’s Bill Malouf and Ray White Double Bay’s Elliott Placks after it was deemed superfluous to the school’s requirements.
Before it was owned by Cranbrook it was held by the late arts philanthropist Claire Dan from 1958 until she died in 2012.
Before it was owned by Cranbrook it was held by the late arts philanthropist Claire Dan from 1958 until she died in 2012.

Before it was owned by Cranbrook it was held by the late arts philanthropist Claire Dan from 1958 until she died in 2012. Photo: Domain

  • The DA plans before council total more than $5.1 million in construction costs for the three residences.
  • The most expensive build of $1.9 million is for a three-bedroom house with a swimming pool, internal lift, study and basement garaging on the existing tennis court.
  • A larger six-bedroom residence is set to be built at a cost of $1.76 million on top of the existing Sundorne mansion with formal and informal living rooms, study, swimming pool, basement garaging and an internal lift. The third residence is slated to be built on the existing garage and carport area at a cost of $1.44 million.

 


  1. ^ http://www.propertyobserver.com.au/new-south-wales/tranport-tycoon-sir-peter-abeles-matrimonial-timewarp-listing-in-bellevue-hill/2013040860223
  2. ^ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/property/abeles-mansion-set-to-reap-11m/story-fn9656lz-1226630345903
  3. ^ http://www.23victoriaroad.com.au/
  4. ^ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/property/abeles-mansion-set-to-reap-11m/story-fn9656lz-1226630345903
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