Local icon hits the market

The historic ‘Brooklyn on Fitzroy’ will go to auction on November 13, with early price estimates starting at $1.2 million. Photo: Grant Hardwick.

Property owners have been rushing to market amidst the current boom in prices across Regional NSW, with a number of historic local sites listed in recent weeks. On November 13, one of Tumut’s oldest and best-kept buildings will go up for sale, the historic ‘Brooklyn on Fitzroy’.

Price expectations for the property start at $1.2 million, riding high on the back of the strong regional property market.

Current owner Donna Booby, who purchased the property in 2015, said it’s sad to let the property go, but with several businesses and family commitments needing more time, she said it felt like the right time to pass the baton.

“My head tells me it’s time and my heart tells me something different, but I need to listen to my head,” said Mrs Booby.

With some ‘sublime, ridiculous’ suggestions about how much the property could be worth, Mrs Booby said an auction makes the most sense. Building on the recent success of Tumut properties which went to auction such as The Monarch (a three-bedroom home on Wynyard St which sold for over $900,000) and the former RTA building (which sold for $517,000 plus GST), Mrs Booby said she feels like Covid is encouraging city buyers to explore listings online and dream of country properties.

“The lack of availability has pushed prices up in Tumut,” she said, “The fact that my property is a one-off, iconic property [is in its favour], and it’s got so much potential. It could be an art gallery, it could be a restaurant, it could be a private home, it could be an AirBnB.”

Mrs Booby said that although the property has been attracting interest as a residence, she’s hopeful that the new owners will be investors who will use the building in a way that benefits the wider community.

“I want someone to come in that will love that place and make it amazing for this town,” she said, pointing to tourism and business opportunities which the historic building could support.

Built in 1876, the building has most recently been used for accommodation and functions, with sweeping views of the Tumut River and space for 12 vehicles onsite with a triple garage. 

The sale includes furniture and a commercial catering fit-out which can host up to 150 people.

Mark Magann of Tumut Valley Real Estate said the ‘for sale’ sign went up at 4pm on Tuesday last week, and by Wednesday lunchtime, he’d already had five phone calls about the property, with some genuine buyers seeking more information.

“It’s an absolutely unique property,” he said.

Mr Magann said the versatility and beauty of the building will attract “a fairly good crowd,” though he noted that most of the interested buyers are calling from out of the area.

Mrs Booby thanked the support of local videographer Grant Hardwick and photographer Robyn McRae for helping put together a marketing campaign for an online audience, saying their “enthusiasm and love” for the property was clear.

“Everyone has a soft spot for it,” she said. “Everyone has a wedding or something they’ve been to in it, and with Covid, people need a place to go to with character.”

The 500+ sqm building includes a wine bar, commercial kitchen, inside and outside function areas, four upstairs bedrooms with two bathrooms, a shared kitchenette and private sitting rooms. It’s positioned on a 1770m2 block, overlooking Bila Park and the Tumut River Flood Plains.

Located on the Snowy Mountains Highway (also listed as 10-12 Fitzroy St), it sits just 400 meters from Tumut’s CBD.

Inspections are by appointment only.