Queen of the Bay
“When it comes to harbour-front apartments, size does matter,” says Romany Brooks. “And this comes from an era when space wasn’t such a premium. Decades later, the apartment really stands out for that.”
She’s referring to her $6 million listing at 6/93 Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay, in the landmark “Kincoppal” building. “Look at all this,” she says. “Two acres of harbour-front gardens that you just don’t see today. It’s what makes these classic buildings so special. They won’t be repeated.”
You know she’s right. Exploring the magnificent surrounds, it’s hard not to be swept up in Rom’s enthusiasm. There wouldn’t be a design built today that would embrace the waterfront quite like this. It’s been wrapped in landscaped tropical gardens and hidden poolside spaces. A mix of exotic and native vegetation borders the water’s edge.
It was originally home to John Hughes, a grocer, property developer and Catholic benefactor who purchased land in Elizabeth Bay in 1869 and built an elegant house. In 1909 it became home to a Convent school.
When the site was developed into apartments in the 1980s, the original Hughes’ mansion stayed, as did the gatekeeper’s cottage, tramsheds, and established gardens.
The building has been home to a string of celebrities, most notably, David Bowie. The singer bought a luxury apartment here in 1983 and used it as his Sydney base at the height of his career.
“Of course he did,” says Rom. “It has that allure, and a grand magnetism that leaves an impression on you, no matter what world you’re from.
“Ocean views, sea breezes, somewhere to watch the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. These apartments are really tailored to that sophisticated sort of entertaining.”
Apartment 6 has intimate panoramas over Rushcutters Bay and across to Middle Harbour, with views from just about every room.
The house-like apartment retains lots of its original finishes, with the scope for your own redesign glaringly obvious. The indoor/outdoor floorplan is wrapped in outdoor terraces, with the 12m-wide living room a palatial highlight.
The bedrooms have private balconies, and are set in their own wing.
With a double garage, level lift and 24h security, it’s a private sanctuary that has lock-up-and-leave appeal.
But back to that size. 286sqm on title. There aren’t a lot of those in Sydney.
“It really is the queen of the bay,” says Rom.