Lancelot Hill Antiques, the landmark of Bowral, is a hit with potential buyers ahead of auction

Bowral’s historic landmark and tourist attraction, Lancelot Hill Antiques, is proving to be hot property, with 15 contracts issued and several bids received ahead of the February 24 auction.

With such interest in the business opportunity, agents have gone so far as to dub it “Australia’s hottest property”.

Going under the hammer for the first time in 60 years, the property has been owned and operated by an antique dealer since 1962, but its ties date back as far as the 1800s.

The remaining antiques are included in the sale, including 170-year-old Cobb & Co doors and a framed cricket bat mounted with a Weet-Bix card signed by Don Bradman, who grew up in the picturesque Southern Highlands town.

Agents at CIPS Real Estate and sellers at Central Real Capital have been bowled over by the interest in the benchmark, which has a recently released price guide of $5.25-5.75 million.

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The property is made up of two adjoining and combined buildings, part of which has been renovated. (Provided / CIPS Immobilier)

“The market has gone crazy. We thought there would be an investigation – but not to this level. Agents are all in,” says seller David Stone, CEO of Central Real Capital.

Located on the main High Street, Stone says interest has mainly come from potential buyers with existing retail businesses looking to snag a slice of Bowral history and a place in the thriving community.

This includes local Bowral and former fashion mogul Collette Dinnigan.

“There’s quite a mix, but more often than not, people who are interested have some type of business operation and primarily retail,” Stone says.

“I know Collette Dinnigan has reviewed it and we’ve had a well-known seafood distributor review it – it bodes well for any retail business. This prominent position and how iconic the building is , if you had a retail business there, it would be pretty good.”

Dinnigan now runs an Airbnb in the area, which was a passionate 18-month renovation project she started after returning from Italy to Australia during the pandemic. The designer also recently submitted plans to upgrade her Darling Point home in Sydney’s east.

Listing agents went through more than 30 groups, with CIPS Real Estate’s Marlene Lynam “shocked and amazed” by the response.

“I have never seen so much interest in a property in the Southern Highlands in my life. This reaction is amazing…I think at this point I could show people through the property blindfolded, I’ve already taken so many parts through it,” she says.

Fifteen contracts have been issued (compared to nine last week) and Stone says it has received a few offers – but the auction is still ongoing.

Bowral Lancelot Hill Antiques landmark a hit with potential buyers historic southern upland sale
The lucky buyer will inherit many amazing antiques. (Provided / CIPS Immobilier)
Bowral Lancelot Hill Antiques landmark a hit with potential buyers historic southern upland sale
Most notably, a signed cricket bat from Sir Donald Bradman. (Provided / CIPS Immobilier)

“We’ve had a few pre-auction offers and from our perspective we have enough interest for a really hot auction,” he says.

“There have been a number of people who have not only lived once, but have had second and third inspections and taken their architects. We want to see how it goes on the day of the auction , unless we are knocked down by a figure of over six million.”

The magnificent commercial property still features the grand wooden front doors of its past as a Cobb & Co Coach coaching inn, occupied by travellers, blacksmiths and horses. Cobb & Co was a successful coaching business established in the mid 1800s, with routes across Australia.

Two adjoining buildings have been combined into a plot of 815 m². The south building has recently been renovated and rewired and the north building, although rewired, has not been renovated.

The property will be auctioned on site in Bowral on February 24. For the complete list, click here.

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