Almost 30 years after former prime minister Bob Hawke swapped The Lodge for a waterfront house in Northbridge, he is believed to have sold it for more than $14 million.
The off-market sale comes as he and his wife Blanche d’Alpuget prepare to downsize to a pad in the CBD that they bought off-the-plan in the One30 development.
The Labor Party legend bought the Northbridge property in 1991 for $1.23 million, just six months before he lost the party leadership to Paul Keating.
A local buyer from the Northbridge area is believed to have bought it after it was shown on the quiet with $15 million hopes.
The sale price remains undisclosed and Hawke and d’Alpuget declined to comment on Wednesday, but a source said the result was between $14 million and $15 million.
Australia’s longest serving Labor Party prime minister turned 89 last December, and the downsizing plans come as his health proves increasingly frail given his advanced age.
He took possession of the 960-square-metre property in July 1991 just a month after he defeated Keating in Keating’s first challenge for the prime ministership.
Hawke and his then-wife, the late Hazel Hawke, had planned to eventually retire to the waterfront property after a three-bedroom house on site was demolished and rebuilt as a far more contemporary four-level residence.
But those retirement plans were brought forward six months later when Hawke lost the Labor leadership to Keating in a Labor Party caucus ballot in December 1991.
Construction of a new four-level residence was approved the following year, during which time the Hawkes lived at the now-defunct Ritz Carlton Hotel in Double Bay.
The four-level residence on the steep, north-facing site overlooking Sugarloaf Bay was completed in late 1993 and now comes complete with an internal lift, a rooftop putting green and some of the suburb’s best waterfront facilities, including a private jetty, pontoon, four poles and a boathouse.
The Hawkes divorced in 1995 after he left her for writer and his biographer d’Alpuget, whom he married the following year. Records show the couple took joint ownership of the property in 1999.
Sources say Hawke and d’Alpuget have bought an apartment in the One30 Hyde Park development on Elizabeth Street, which is due for completion later this month.
The apartment’s purchase price remains unknown, but one source close to the development said it would have been about $3 million. Settlement will confirm that price.
The 38-storey tower was developed by Hong Kong-listed developer Aoyuan Property Group in a joint venture with Ecove, the developer behind the disastrous Opal Tower building at Olympic Park.
At more than $14 million, the Hawke-d’Alpuget house sale puts it in the top three sales in Northbridge.
The suburb high was set at $21 million in 2017 when heiress to the Primo Smallgoods fortune Kristie Ward bought the waterfront home of Robert and Kelly Salteri, of the Transfield infrastructure giant.
In 2016 the home of Justin Reizes, former head of equities at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, sold for $15.25 million to Jianwen Huang, of China.
The sale comes just two weeks before the release of d’Alpuget’s latest book, The Lions’ Torment, the third in the Birth of the Plantagenets series and which her agent described as “Game of Thrones meets Hilary Mantel”.