Heritage home to be converted into Night Owl

An inner-Brisbane heritage property which sold for $1.66 million will soon become a Night Owl convenience store.

Carroll House at 184 Main Street in Kangaroo Point, opposite the Story Bridge Hotel, was sold under the hammer last month.

Originally built in 1878, the masonry building operated as a general store, a butcher and grocer until 1930.

Over time Carroll House and the three adjoining terraces were converted into professional offices, with Ray White Real Estate the most recent tenant.

It was named Carroll House in the 1980s after then-owner Tom Carroll.

Company KPT Land Pty Ltd, which owns the Night Owl chain, beat four other bidders for the property marketed by Hunter Higgins and Jock Murray of Colliers International.

“It is very unique – not only in the fact that it is a heritage property but also because it’s a freestanding building,” Mr Murray said.

“Rarely are freestanding buildings of this nature and character offered for sale.”

The buyer intends to open a Night Owl on the ground floor and offices upstairs.

“Consequently this property will soon see history repeat itself, with the shop essentially going back to its original use of a general store,” Mr Murray said.

Brisbane’s heritage suffered in the early ’80s, as economic growth saw some of the city’s historic buildings bulldozed to make way for soaring office towers.

However, there are now more than 2000 properties on the state and council heritage registers across the city.

The heritage-listed, pre-war properties, including small workers’ cottages, have become some of Brisbane’s multimillion-dollar homes.

Stephen Sheaffe of the National Trust of Queensland said the character of these properties often captivated their owners willing to serve as temporary caretakers of a piece of history.

“Heritage homes are still very attractive,” he said. “There’s still a lot of glory attached to heritage homes.

“They’re houses of permanence … and you’re passing through them in a sense.”

He said the restoration of heritage homes was a “labour of love”, although less buyers were deterred by the upkeep and development restrictions associated with the properties.

“It’s got to be in your bones,” he said.

Eskgrove House in East Brisbane sold in early December last year for $1.07 million.

The 160-year-old sandstone house was built for former Sydney bank manager Archibald Hepburn Hutchinson.

During the late 1800s, Eskgrove had several prominent tenants including Brisbane Portmaster George Poynter Heath, who went on to build more spacious lodgings at Hanworth House.

Hanworth – a sprawling 19-bedroom mansion built on Lytton Road in 1865 – was severely damaged by fire last year.

Owners Marisa and Phillip Vecchio bought the mansion for $2 million last September with the intention of converting it into a women’s boarding house.

The owners withdrew their application to refurbish the home in the wake of the fire.

In Brisbane’s CBD, MacArthur Chambers stands as a vestige to Brisbane’s war-time history.

Original the headquarters for the AMP Society, MacArthur Chambers were converted into luxury apartments in 2000.

During World War II, US General Douglas MacArthur used the building as his headquarters.

An apartment on the the same floor occupied by General MacArthur sold for $779,000 last August.

A 126 square metre, two-bedroom apartment in the building sold for $650,000 last September.

Two offices in Milton’s Cook Terraces on Coronation Drive each sold for close to $2 million in 2010.

The terraces were built in 1888 by Joseph Blain Cook as an investment property to rent out to wealthy tenants. Each of the six, two-storey brick terrace houses have two double chimneys and attics.

In an effort to further preserve the city’s history, Brisbane City Council recently expanded demolition protection to include houses built before 1911.

However, the state government’s heritage register puts tighter constraints on properties than the city council’s equivalent, which is more concerned with a building’s facade.

A property may be placed on the Queensland heritage register if it satisfies one or more of the following criteria:

  • the place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history;
  • the place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage;
  • the place has potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Queensland’s history;
  • the place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places;
  • the place is important because of its aesthetic significance;
  • the place is important in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period;
  • the place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons;
  • the place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.