Monday, November 29, 2010

Santa is coming to Balmain!!

Merry Christmas from Santa and everyone at SLRE!!

'Tis the season to be jolly, and here at Sarah Lorden Real Estate, we are celebrating the festive season with a visit from Santa this Saturday 4th December and Saturday 11th December at Loyalty Square (just outside Woolworths).
Santa will be there from 2 - 4pm and will be taking photos with all the good kids in Balmain (and a few bads ones as well!)

Come celebrate Christmas with Santa and his SLRE helpers!!

Photos with Santa:
When: Saturday 4th December between 2-4PM
Saturday 11th December between 2-4PM
Where: Loyalty Square (out the front of Woolworths)

Balmain Fire Station

Question: What building is situated on the highest point of the Balmain pennisula?
Answer: The Balmain Fire Station. In 1894, the current fire station was built in this strategic position because the elevation has "...the great advantage of down-hill runs for [horse powered] fire appliances when called into service, and of commanding a distant view."

The original Balmain fire station was a couple of sheds in Booth Street in 1875. It was run by a volunteer force who maintained the horses and fire equipment. In 1901, the volunteer force was disbanded, replaced with a full time force. These fire fighters were better supplied with Balmain's first steam powered fire engine and specialised fire helmets used for effectively fighting ship fires in Balmain's many docks.

Located across the road from the Balmain Town Hall, the Balmain Fire Station is still in use today, keeping a devoted watch over the locals. While only a small station, it is well equipped and supported by another in Rozelle.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Balmain has always had an affiliation with the sea and the working class. It’s perfect ports were once described as “…a good landing for boats in every situation where the water touches” (Sydney Gazette 29 July ,1837). It comes as no surprise then that the peninsular was utilized as a major hub for shipping in Sydney. Mort’s Dock is probably to most famous dock in Balmain. It was built by Thomas Sutcliffe Mort, an entrepreneur in not only land development but land sale.
By 1850, Thomas Mort was known as Sydney’s leading auctioneer of land and wool. His expertise in area planning recognized the need for a dry dock in Balmain and he attracted workers by offering them incentives to stay in Balmain, promising on completion, blocks of land in the area. As a result, people flocked to the suburb with businesses to support the hundreds of dock workers. By 1855, when Mort’s Dock opened, land value in the area had risen from 5 shillings to 6 pounds per foot!
By 1887, 80% of the population around the dry dock was owned and settled by the working class. Thomas Mort himself became very wealthy from subdividing the land and selling it off in parts to new settlers. His vision in the dry dock did much to personify Balmain’s “working class” persona that the local residents still hold today.
Thomas Mort was not a resident of Balmain, despite the dock and a street being named in his honour. He lived between his homes in Bodalla in Syndey’s South and his Gothic mansion “Greenoaks” in Darling Point. On his death, a statue was dedicated to him by his workers and erected in Sydney’s Macquarie Place where it still stands.
Mort’s legacy of a working class suburb lived on long after the dock closed, when the land was broken up by the Government in 1986 and now houses 211 Housing Commision units and parks.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Most Expensive House in the World

Have you ever wondered what the worlds most expensive house looks like?

Welcome to the Antilia Tower in Mumbai, India. Built with the idea of extravagant opulence in mind, the ceilings of this 27 storey home are more than twice normal height, soaring it to the size of a 60 storey building while the tower itself contains some amazing features such as a 6 level parking garage for 160 cars, three helipads, 9 elevators, a 50 seat theatre, a grand ballroom and a permanent staff of 600 people.

The proud owner of the Antilia Tower is Mukesh Ambani, Forbes Magazine's 4th richest man in the world, who has boasted that the home is a green home with Babylonian style Hanging Gardens on every level. Critics of the Tower have said that it promotes unsustainable living and extravagance, especially as its purpose is to house only Ambani, his wife and his three children! Interesting to note that each child has their own Health Club within the property! The Antilia Tower has taken 7 years to build and has been estimated between $1.8 Billion and $2 billion dollars in value, making it the most expensive residential home in the world by a long way.

Built mostly from glass and steel, the Antilia Tower soars above the Mumbai skyline over looking the surrounding slum neighbourhoods further polarising the divide between the rich and poor in India's economic Renaissance.