$18.5-Million Warehouse Conversion
Billionaire philanthropist and art collector Judith Neilson is preparing to make her next design statement with plans filed for an $18.5-million warehouse conversion to create a contemporary private residence.
The proposal is touted as an opportunity to create a future exemplar of “world class adaptive re-use” of an existing commercial building.
“This builds on the applicant Judith Neilson’s track record in delivering high-quality projects, that have received both local and international awards and recognition,” the DA lodged with the City of Sydney Council says.
They include her designer home Indigo Slam, performance space-gallery Phoenix Central Park, private art storage and curation facility Dangrove, and the Judith Neilson Institute of Journalism and Ideas.
Neilson, a former graphic designer, is the ex-wife of billionaire investment manager Kerr Neilson—dubbed “Australia’s Warren Buffet”—and patron of the arts, architecture and journalism
Her non-profit White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney’s inner-city Chippendale houses one of the world’s most significant collections of Chinese contemporary art.
During the past decade, Neilson has amassed an extensive real estate portfolio—a sizeable chunk of it in the former working-class suburb, where she has invested $100-million-plus and owns more property than the surrounding three universities.
Under the recently filed plan, a federation-style former warehouse in nearby Ultimo would be converted into a four-level, five-bedroom home with an 880sq m gross floor area—more than three times larger than the average new house built in Australia.
The existing building occupies the entire 364sq m site at 66 Bay Street and, therefore, parking space is to be provided through the installation of a car lift.
Built in the early 1900s, it is not identified as nor does it adjoin any heritage properties, but is within a heritage conservation area (HCA). After a major fire in the mid-1980s it was refitted and subsequently has been used for office and retail space.