01 Sep 2021

Lamb House, Brisbane's heritage-listed, riverside mansion, sold to Racing Queensland's Steve and Jane Wilson

Brisbane racing and corporate identities Steve and Jane Wilson have been revealed as the new owners of Brisbane's multi-million-dollar, heritage-listed Lamb House.

Savills real estate agent Robert Dunne confirmed the grand home had been sold on Friday but would not say how much for.

The dilapidated, 119-year-old Kangaroo Point mansion was placed on the market after its former owner, Joy Lamb, failed to pay more than $300,000 in council rates.

The Wilson couple beat several bidders, including international tenders and prominent Brisbane property developer Kevin Seymour, to secure the 3,146 square metre property. 

Mr Wilson, a stockbroker and the chair of Racing Queensland, last week told the ABC he was "passionate about the role of fine buildings, parks, environments and places of historical significance — both for our First Nation people and subsequent immigrants".

It is understood the couple will spend several million dollars restoring the crumbling landmark building, which has been unoccupied for years.

The Public Trustee has been handling the sale of the six-bedroom, cliff-top house.

Former owner Ms Lamb said she only became aware of the deal when her sister phoned her on Saturday morning.

She told the ABC she did not accept the outcome.

"I'm shocked to the core. I just do not believe it," Ms Lamb said.

The riverside house, listed on the Queensland Heritage Register, has fallen into disrepair, with parts of the ceiling caved in and rubbish and graffiti left behind by squatters.

The sale comes after the Brisbane City Council placed a permanent protection order on the historic home to stop it from being demolished or subdivided by developers. 

Restoring the property to its 'former glory'

Managing director of Australian Heritage Specialists, Benjamin Gall, advised potential buyers in the lead-up to the sale of the property.

He said the sale was a "great outcome".

"We're pleased to see the property has been sold," he said.

"As much as we respect Joy Lamb's family history with the place, it was clear the current situation couldn't continue in that condition.

"The property had substantially deteriorated and needs urgent work to bring it back to its former glory."

Mr Gall said $15 million sounded like an accurate cost for a full-scale restoration of the property.

He said with "sensitive redevelopment", the property would need a lot of contemporary work "to bring it up to the 21st century", including the installation of air-conditioning, wi-fi and electrical upgrades. 

Mr Gall described the turn-of-the-century property as having significant state value.

"The grand nature and the detailing of this place are very exquisite," he said.

"There are not a lot of Brisbane homes with that detail — you're starting to certainly get into the upper echelons of finely detailed property."

'Absolute magic'

President of community group Brisbane Residents United, Elizabeth Handley, said she was pleased with the outcome.

"To see it restored in the way that it should be would be absolute magic for the people of Brisbane," Ms Handley said.

"Particularly if it can remain as visible as it is now so we can all enjoy that house even from the outside.

"It's incredibly important for Brisbane that we maintain a site that is original.

"The fact that it's returning to a former home, which is what it was originally, in fact the building is called Home — it's a lovely thing."

Ms Lamb said she expected to speak with the Public Trustee about the matter next week.

Steve and Jane Wilson have been contacted for comment.

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-05/lamb-house-sold-to-steve-wilson-racing-queensland/100193124

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