New Norfolk’s Ladies Cottage a smash hit with buyers
WHEN New Norfolk’s historic Ladies Cottage hit the market in 2015, it failed to find a buyer.
On its return to market this month, the story is completely different.
Historic property expert Dominic Romeo of Circa Heritage & Lifestyle has been overrun with interest from across Australia as the property generated 100-plus inquiries and a number of offers already.
“There are about a dozen ‘really keen’ people that are doing their homework and preparing offers,” he said.
“In 2015-2016, the property market was very different compared to what we have today.
“The ideas that people have for what it could be are really interesting.
“Right now it is a beautiful blank canvas, but people think it could be a large home, a home and a retail space, arts, hospitality or museum — you could virtually do anything with it.”
The property has been a smash hit online with a gigantic 16,500 views in only seven days on realestate.com.au. This made it Australia’s most-viewed property on the site.
Built in the 1860s, the Ladies Cottage — originally known as the Lachlan Park Asylum for Tasmanian Women — is situated within the historically significant convict-built Willow Court Complex.
It is one of the oldest asylum buildings in the world and it has links to Colonial architect John Lee Archer.
Mr Romeo said while he had been bombarded with inquiries, it was in line with what he was expecting.
“Historic buildings are so hard to come by,” he said.
“I often tell people, they might have to wait a year or two to find the one that they want.
“For the owner, he has had the property for quite a while and he feels like the time is right for someone to take it over and utilise the building.
“It is very tidy. He’s kept it clean and neat, and he has gutted the old toilets and kitchen, which will make things easier for the next owner.”
The Ladies Cottage was built in the Georgian architectural style in 1868 as a single-storey building. A second storey was added during further renovations in 1903.
Described as “structurally solid”, the building features high ceilings, marble, stone and timber fireplaces, multi-paned windows, architraves, timber flooring, long hallways and a deep three-sided veranda.
Entry is through a large vestibule and 27m x 4.5m hallway.
The ground floor features a series of rooms, including a drawing and dining room, sitting room, kitchen and numerous bedrooms.
A central staircase leads to further bedrooms — 38 rooms in total.
Mr Romeo said while the history of the building was not pretty, people respect the fact that it is a chapter in Tasmania’s past.
“Historically, it is very important,” he said.
“When they inquire, it is something that they want to know more about and often they have ideas about how they might preserve it. Just like Port Arthur, there is a story to tell.”
The Ladies Cottage at No.8 The Avenue, New Norfolk, is expected to fetch a price around $1m.