St Georges Rd, Toorak: controversial vacant block of land for sale for $40 million

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The land that once housed this mansion is for sale with a $40 million price tag.

A controversial Toorak block that was once the site of a grand mansion is for sale with a whopping $40 million price tag.

Wealthy Chinese businessman Wang Hua and his then-wife Xiao “Kylie” Yan Bao knocked down a landmark mansion at 16 St Georges Rd despite public outcry in 2015.

Ms Bao has now listed the empty 4000sq m block they bought for $18.5 million in 2013. She’ll double her money if it sells near the $40-$44 million price guide.

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The property was demolished in 2015.

Stonnington council was unable to stop it being torn down.

Residents were devastated when the grand 1913 house Idylwilde was torn down after a heritage protection bid was rejected in 2014. It’s understood the vendors had plans to develop units and apartments at the site.

Then-planning minister Matthew Guy refused City of Stonnington’s request for interim heritage controls on the site and the council was forced to issue a demolition permit.

Toorak Village Residents Action Group president Eddie Young said at the time locals had been angered by the decision.

The mansion was grand inside and out.

The incredible block now sits empty.

“It’s sacrilege. You can’t imagine why people want to spoil something so good,” Mr Young said.

“We had protested, of course, about not only this house but others that we felt were part of the streetscape of Toorak.

“From a lawful point of view … it’s (the owner’s) place to do with it as they wish. But it’s not what 99.9 per cent of residents had wished for.”

The block is now being sold bare in an off-market deal through Kay & Burton. The agency’s South Yarra office said the vendors were extremely private and were selling for personal reasons.

The St Georges Rd home was described as “a rare and beautiful piece of Australian real estate” when it was last on the market.

“Set on one sprawling acre, this historic villa represents art nouveau styling at its finest,” the house description read.

Chinese buyers never developed the 4000sq m block after knocking down the house.

“Off the grand entrance hall are four enormous living areas — a sitting room, library, lounge and extravagant formal dining — all finished with intricate plasterwork and marble detailing.

“Behind the Gaggenau kitchen is the conservatory and four elegant bedrooms.”

Mr Wang and Ms Bao bought the mansion from the director of building company LU Simon, Peter Devitt, and his wife Jo. The couple had purchased the property for $4.4 million in 1997.

Ms Bao also owns the Heritage Golf and Country Club in Chirnside Park.

A neighbouring house at 18 St Georges Road sold for $38 million.

Ms Bao also owns the exclusive Heritage Golf and Country Club in Chirnside Park, which she took control of in a separation agreement with Mr Wang.

The Toorak block’s sale would be one of the most expensive sales in Victoria’s history.

Stonington Mansion in Malvern holds the state price record. It sold for $52.5 million.

The state’s house price record was smashed last year with the $52.5 million sale of Malvern’s historic Stonington Mansion.

A property next door to the Toorak land at 18 St Georges Rd held the record before this when it sold for $38 million in 2017, according to CoreLogic.

SUBURB PROFILE: Toorak

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