A house investor who forked out $145K for an empty shell a bit over 20 years ago is $1m better off after transformation.
A house investor who forked out $145K for an empty shell a bit over 20 years ago is $1m better off after transformation.

‘Empty old box’ becomes million-dollar payday

An investor who bought an "empty old box" inside a former warehouse for $145,000 back in 1998 has turned the unusual purchase into a million-dollar payday.

After spending a further $150,000 to transform 18/93 Oxford St, Collingwood, into a two-bedroom apartment, they kept the property as an investment for more than 20 years.

Until Tuesday night, when they sold it for $1.17 million in a competitive midweek auction.

Jellis Craig partner Simon Shrimpton said the home had surpassed all expectations.

After an $800,000 opening bid it quickly exceeded its $850,000 reserve as nine bidders drove it to a sale $320,000 later.

A stainless-steel splashback and wide benches hearken back to the home’s factory past.
A stainless-steel splashback and wide benches hearken back to the home’s factory past.

"I certainly didn't think in a million years it was going to run as it did," Mr Shrimpton said.

"I thought I was about to knock it down at $900,000, and then again at $1 million, but after a $1000 rise it just erupted."

Charming warehouse-style windows provide natural light and plenty of character to the home.
Charming warehouse-style windows provide natural light and plenty of character to the home.

It marks a significant windfall for the owner, who bought it as an empty shell 22 years ago.

"It was an empty old box, with some lovely period windows facing west," he said.

A mix of white-collar singles and couples competed for the property, and he said he believed it would be the successful buyers' first home.

The main bedroom is spacious and cosy, despite once being an empty shell in a factory.
The main bedroom is spacious and cosy, despite once being an empty shell in a factory.

"It's become very evident with the low supply of quality older-style apartments in the market, there is a purchaser demand far greater than we had expected," Mr Shrimpton said.

"There are some very strong segments in the market place at the moment, and this is one."

Brick walls and highset windows add to the warehouse vibe at the home.
Brick walls and highset windows add to the warehouse vibe at the home.

He added that "while a single sale doesn't realign the market", the result was a positive sign that hammer time could still deliver results.

"We converted it to auction once restrictions were eased," Mr Shrimpton said.

Originally published as 'Empty old box' becomes million-dollar payday


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