04 July 2014
For Sale: The Most Expensive Apartment in Melbourne
Only a handful of Australians can afford this apartment, says the agent selling it.
A $20 million apartment that sat empty near the top of Eureka Tower for eight years will be the most expensive sold in Melbourne, agents say.
The huge 676-square-metre, full-floor penthouse has 360-degree views over the city and Port Phillip Bay. Body corporate fees are about $60,000 a year, plus another $10,000 for utilities – not that the buyer is likely to mind the cost.
Agent RT Edgar predicts the new owner of level 82 will be adding to a collection of luxury properties.
Gerald Betts of RT Edgar said only a handful of Australians could afford the home, so it would be marketed around the world.
“The fittings and furnishings which they’ve used around the property are the latest in everything and state of the art”, he said.
Mr Betts said Eureka Tower architect Nonda Katsalidis chose the apartment for himself because it sat above the services floor, which meant the design of its interior would not be restricted by the position of plumbing and electricity points.
Each of the top floors under the level 88 observation deck contained only one penthouse apartment and came with a price tag of $7 million when the tower developed by Daniel Grollo and investor Tab Fried was completed in 2006.
Colleen and Elias Jreissati - a self-made millionaire who arrived in Australia from Lebanon as a teenager and founded Bensons Property Group and the Yarra Valley’s Levantine Hill winery – bought the penthouse and spared no expense fitting it out and furnishing it over two years.
Mr Jreissati put his Port Melbourne penthouse on the market last year but decided against moving when it failed to sell.
RP Data retail property expert Robert Larocca said in the past year 39 apartments in Southbank, Melbourne, East Melbourne and Docklands had sold for more than $2 million, and 181 had sold for more than $1 million.
He said a decade ago luxury properties were almost always found in established suburbs but now those looking to buy at the top end could also consider the inner city.
“It’s like a Toorak in the sky, it’s a small market, but so, too, is Toorak,” he said.
At level 82, the black granite kitchen is fitted with sparkling water on tap. A hidden door opens onto a butler’s pantry and second kitchen, so catering staff can remain out of sight of guests seated at the custom-made 20-seat marble dining table, which was assembled from four pieces in the apartment.
The temperature, lighting and blinds in each room of the apartment can be controlled using built-in iPads, or remotely using a smartphone.
Off the entertaining area, matching male and female powder rooms are tiled in black and white respectively and a temperature-controlled cellar is large enough to hold nearly 1400 bottles of wine.
Each of the five bedrooms is paired with a marble-tiled ensuite and the main bedroom features twin walk-in wardrobes and a large spa bath, set on dark timber floors at a pointy end of the building overlooking the Yarra River.
The penthouse is furnished and adorned with original artwork, also for sale with the property, which also comes with eight car spaces.
Other tenants in Eureka’s exclusive top floors include the tower’s original developers Benni Aroni and Tab Fried. Education entrepreneur Anthony Podesta also calls one floor home.