Ballina mansion will attract buyers of 'high net worth'
Given his usual patch, real estate agent Damien Smith has seen plenty of stunning homes in his time.
But few things could compare to the grandeur and the prestige attached to the history of Fenwick House in East Ballina.
Mr Smith, of Ray White Byron Bay, said there has been no price guide advertised for the 135-year-old property, set to go to auction in February.
But those hoping to nab this piece of Ballina's history will need to have some cash behind them.
"I think we're probably looking for people with high net worth, to be honest," Mr Smith said.
"A lot of high net worth individuals are buying trophy homes … or a place near the ocean."
He said the potential buyer could also be a group of people with plans for the site.
While the space means there's a wealth of options, the building's heritage listing means the right owner will be someone who wants to love this building as it currently stands.
Certainly, he's expecting the sale price to be a world away from the $530,000 it went for at its last sale in 1993.
The same family has owned the 3 Brighton St property since then.
"The same family has owned the property for 28 years," Mr Smith said.
"It's been a holiday home for them."
Mr Smith said strong interest in the property had likely been influenced by Fenwick House's historic value and its waterfront location.
"It sits there looking at the beach," he said.
"It's right on the water at Shaws Bay."
The property is B1 zoned so could remain a residence or be transformed into a business once more, he said.
For those walking into the building, Mr Smith said the "vastness" of the space, including 4m high ceilings, was striking.
Fenwick House has previously been home to the North Coast Boys College and is adjacent to Shaws Bay Hotel.
According to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, this building is "the only example of residential Victorian Italianate architecture in the Ballina Shire".