Warrnambool real estate agency Harris & Wood is diving into the property market itself, purchasing the historic Ambleside building on Koroit Street.
Harris & Wood director Matthew Wood described the move as a necessary but exciting expansion as the burgeoning six-year-old business continues to grow.
"We wanted a premises that enabled us to add to our services to the Warrnambool community," he said.
But it was also a matter of finding the right property at the right time.
"We love the location and the building itself."
The heritage-protected stone villa contains five private offices, a large boardroom and a swimming pool.
The property hasn't changed hands for almost 30 years, selling in 1994 for $310,000. It was listed in February with a buyer inquiry range of $1.1 to $1.2 million. Penny Adamson of Charles Stewart & Co managed the sale and while she wouldn't divulge the purchase price, she said the vendor "was very happy with the outcome".
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Set on a 1000-square metre block, Ambleside was built in 1884 by Patrick McNamara, an Irish doctor who had moved to Warrnambool in 1881. It was occupied by a succession of doctors for nearly 90 years before being substantially renovated in the 1980s and converted into a commercial premises in the early 1990s.
Mr Wood said the plan was to take possession in November and undertake a few essential renovations before moving in.
"We plan to give it a facelift that's sympathetic to the heritage of the property. There are a few functional improvements and repairs we are keen to make so the building suits our purposes," he said.
"We're excited about getting in there later this year, early next year."
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