$1.1m for ‘worst property in 30 years’

The derelict house on Coppin St in Richmond sold for $1.1 million.
The derelict house on Coppin St in Richmond sold for $1.1 million.

An agent’s warnings about the derelict state of a former brothel in Richmond weren’t enough to deter buyers, with the property selling for more than $1.1 million at auction.

The two-storey commercially-zoned building at 234 Coppin St, which operated as Club 234 as recently as a few years ago, was rendered almost uninhabitable after the brothel closed down and squatters moved in.

But one buyer not only saw life in the building, but plans to salvage it, renovate it and then occupy it after beating off two other bidders to buy the property for $1.102 million.

Price expectations for the two-storey building were initially just $900,000-plus, despite it selling with an adjacent block of land for $2.3 million five years ago.

The property is listed as having three bedrooms and two bathrooms, but its configuration as a brothel meant the layout was altered and each room was fitted with a shower.

But many of those rooms were labelled as unliveable by agents, who baulked at showing prospective buyers into some parts of the property due to safety concerns.

Richmond brothel house sold derelict Coppin St

The derelict house on Coppin St in Richmond sold for $1.1 million.

Selling agent Anton Wongtrakun, from Dingle Partners, says the building’s state didn’t deter the eventual buyer, who intends to be an owner-occupier.

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“We believe there’ll be some commercial usage, we don’t really know exactly at this stage what the usage will be, but we believe they’re going to refurbish the building for their own use,”

“(It will be) a very significant job, a challenging one no doubt as well and probably an expensive one, too.”

“But it’s in an incredibly good location there, so I think long term if they do what they say they’re going to do and improve the building and retain it … I think they’ll have a fantastic long term investment there.”

Wongtrakun had earlier described the property as being in arguably the worst condition he had seen in 30 years.

“We actually had people the other day come to look at it, they walked in the front door and they didn’t even want to go past the front room,” he said prior to the auction.

Attention now turns to the adjacent block of land, which is expected to be released onto the market in the coming days and will go to auction in March.

The land has a permit for a four-storey or potentially a five-storey residential building, with Wongtrakun expecting interest from smaller developers and a price of $800,000-plus.