17 O'Brien St, Bondi Beach, sold for $12.8 million. The guide had been $10 million.
17 O'Brien St, Bondi Beach, sold for $12.8 million. The guide had been $10 million.

Investor pays $12.8m for kosher butcher

PROMINENT eastern suburbs investor Vaughan Blank has paid $12.8 million - millions above reserve - for Sydney's first kosher butcher's shop in Bondi Beach.

Richardson and Wrench Bondi Junction's Andre Frack in conjunction with Metro Commercial had a packed room on Tuesday at the Commercial Auction Centre in the city for the old Hadassa Kosher Butchery at 17 O'Brien St.

There looked to be seven bidders for the butcher's shop - set up by Holocaust survivors - that also had the seven apartments above on the title and had a $10 million price guide.

 

Prominent eastern suburbs investor Vaughan Blank.
Prominent eastern suburbs investor Vaughan Blank.

 

The rooftop at 17 O'Brien St, Bondi Beach.
The rooftop at 17 O'Brien St, Bondi Beach.

 

Bidding had been so slow at the start that it liked like it might even get passed in.

Auctioneer Jessie Davidson from Auctionworks accepted a lowly $7.5 million offer to get it going, with the casually dressed Mr Blank there from the start.

Most of the bids were in $100,000 increments.

But when the bidding stalled, there was a vendor bid at $9 million and Mr Davidson went back to Mr Blank who said: "I don't bid against myself."

In the end, it came down to Mr Blank and another bidder that Mr Frack had on the phone.

The car park at 17 O'Brien St, Bondi Beach.
The car park at 17 O'Brien St, Bondi Beach.

Mr Blank looked to be getting agitated as the dual of $50,000 bids went on: Mr Frack would shout out offers in $50,000 increments and Mr Blank simply wink and nod back his $50,000 counter offer.

Little surprise though that Mr Blank - who has an extensive property portfolio in the east and particularly Bondi - emerged victorious.

It was a similar rapid-fire bidding performance to December 2017, when he paid $33.25 million - the highest price achieved at auction for a residential property in Australia - for Eynesbury, a block of Art Deco flats at 22 Albert St, Edgecliff.

Mr Blank bought Eynesbury, 22 Albert St, Edgecliff, for $33.25 million in December, 2017.
Mr Blank bought Eynesbury, 22 Albert St, Edgecliff, for $33.25 million in December, 2017.

Mr Blank also owns all but one of the eight apartments at the Notts Ave, Bondi Beach block Maxwell Court Block.

He snapped up Roseanne Beck's top-floor flat with ocean views for $1,675,000 in 2012 - less than the $1.7 million guide at the auction.

Mr Blank had bought the rest in a $9.3 million deal with the liquidator of the assets of developer Gary Baker and his Hermes chief wife, Karin Upton Baker in late 2010.

The couple had bought the flats one by one in an $11.18 million spending spree between 2002 and 2008.

Now only lawyer Phil Davenport - who inherited the third-floor apartment his mother had bought for $33,000 in 1975 - is holding out.

He told me in 2012 that he would consider an offer of $10 million for his apartment. He said: "If I had to move, well, maybe $10 million might get me something equivalent. But there really is nothing equivalent."

Originally published as Vaughan Blank pays $12.8m for kosher butcher

One of the apartments above the shop at 17 O'Brien St, Bondi Beach.
One of the apartments above the shop at 17 O'Brien St, Bondi Beach.
Eynesbury has incredible harbour views.
Eynesbury has incredible harbour views.

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