DREAM HOMES

Downsize on the waterfront and upsize your life

SOLD – 52 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong

STORY: JANET BOND     PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED BY SELLING AGENT McGRATH GEELONG

There are few more beautiful spots in regional Victoria than the waterfront in Geelong. Sparkling clear waters, sailing yachts, an iconic promenade and a stretch of restaurants make it a blissful place to live for a lucky few.

Properties along the waterfront are tightly held, but on the rare occasion one hits the market it sells quickly and for well into the millions.

News that a property in the exclusive Eastern Beach Road location was up for sale for the first time, sparked intense interest.

Selling agent David Cortous of McGrath Geelong, said the response had been “unbelievable” with more than 50 groups attending the first open-for-inspection last weekend.

“I think this sale, will be the story of the year,” he said, unwilling to guess the eventual sale price, given the prized position and its unusual composition. The property presents as one building, but there are in fact two homes, both on separate titles.

The sale presents a golden opportunity for downsizers determined not to compromise their lifestyle, but enhance it.

The classic white brick property, with blue shutters and a veranda, is set on an elevated block directly opposite the bay and within walking distance of the Botanic Gardens. Its living and dining areas capture the water views through the large bay windows; and it’s easy to imagine early breakfasts and leisurely lunches soaking in the view.

It is indeed, the Goldilocks design – not too big and not too small. It’s also elegant, functional and ideal for entertaining guests.

Previous owners Marjory and Bob MacKinnon, were in their early sixties when they gutted and redesigned the property.  It became the perfect fit for that enviable stage of life where you can suit yourself – there’s no need for a large house and gardening demanding maintenance, or for lots of bedrooms or a rumpus room for the kids.

It is indeed, the Goldilocks design – not too big and not too small. It’s also elegant, functional and ideal for entertaining guests.

Beyond the light-filled living-dining areas, are two large bedrooms and two bathrooms. The main bedroom suite has an impressive run of built-in robes along one wall and picture windows on the other. It adjoins a luxurious ensuite that has a corner spa and double vanities.

The guest bedroom looks out to the garden and is serviced by the main bathroom. Both bathrooms feature a striking, blue-tinged natural-stone.

The central kitchen, surrounded by a high bench, looks over the meals area across to the bay. It will delight anyone who loves to cook, but doesn’t like being tucked away from the action – or the view.

In addition to its privileged location, 52 Eastern Beach Road holds clues to a grander past life. Its entry is marked by majestic stone gates and on its rear boundary sits Longville, a Victorian mansion with a glorious garden.

Duffs Jewellers patriarch Frank Duff Snr, purchased the 1880 mansion and surrounding estate in the late 1960s. He later subdivided and built two adjoining homes on the front block awarding them the prized waterfront position.

By the time of his death in 1982, Frank Duff Snr had devoted 54 years to building a family jewellery business. Today, Duffs Jewellers is a Geelong institution. Thousands of young couples have excitedly rushed off to Duffs to purchase their dream engagement ring; then returned to choose an anniversary ring, or a special something to mark an occasion for their child, or grandchild. Sparkling jewels, unique creations, special occasions, and a family of passionate jewellers – it’s a recipe that has sustained one of Geelong’s longest running family businesses.

Frank Snr’s daughter Marjory inherited the two Eastern Beach Road properties and along with her husband Bob MacKinnon, sold the larger of the two and set about redesigning the other. They spared no expense and created something unique among the strip of grand historic homes and modern apartments.

In readiness for its auction later this month, the couple’s daughter Megan Castran, a talented designer, has completed a wonderful makeover. Anything out-dated has been banished. In its place are freshly coated white walls, new carpets and light, minimalist styling that allows the stunning view to shine. The result is uplifting – even romantic.

Over the years, from their special spot on the bay, Marjory and Bob watched a humbled port recreated into a glittering jewel. Megan says they loved walking along the promenade, meeting friends at the yacht club, and wandering up the road to dine at a waterfront restaurant.

It was a wonderful life.

On February 27, this could become your life too.

SNAPSHOT

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ADDRESS: 52 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong, goes to auction on February 27 at 10am.
PRICE GUIDE:  SOLD
AGENCY: David Cortous on 0416 164 336; or conjunctional agent Paul Castran on 0418 313 038.

MELBOURNE

Travel time is approximately 60 minutes.

275 Great Ocean Road, Eastern View

52 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong

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