When Kylie Minogue was struck down with
breast cancer we warned about all the terrible things that seem to
happen to people who live in Monomeath Avenue, Canterbury. Frank
Cicutto and Russell Jones were sacked from NAB and Amcor respectively,
Andrew Peacock never fulfilled his dream, Stan Wallis come a cropper at
AMP and former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon ran into trouble with the
taxman and saw his marriage fall apart.

Well it now appears
we’ve discovered a famous Melbourne boulevard with even more drama
unfolding: Clarendon St, East Melbourne, which overlooks the
magnificent Fitzroy Gardens and is a quick walk to the CBD and the MCG.

There
are only two regular houses on the whole street and they are home to
the Steve Vizard Foundation, which is rumoured to be of interest to the
ATO. Big talking promoter Glenn Wheatley used to live on Clarendon St
and he was raided by the ATO last week.

HIH was very much a
Sydney collapse, but one of the directors, George Sturesteps, lived in
Melbourne and he conducted a firesale of his luxury apartment on
Clarendon St the day after the Royal Commission was called. George
fetched an estimated $2.3 million after his $700,000 a year gig at HIH
disappeared, although he didn’t hold any shares when the liquidator was
called in.

The Anglican Church owns the magnificent Bishopscourt
on Clarendon St which everyone from Jeff Kennett to Lindsay Fox argue
would make a perfect prime ministerial residence for Peter Costello.
But given the emerging curse of Clarendon St, we doubt Cossie will ever
make it to the top.

Then you have all the development drama
presently unfolding on Clarendon St. The well-to-do East Melbourne
Group has taken Thakral to the Supreme Court to try to stop the
redevelopment of the Hilton Hotel. Check out last week’s judgment here, although Thakral’s nightmare will probably continue as an appeal appears likely.

Wealthy
pollster Gary Morgan is leading the charge against Thakral although one
of the biggest losers is Orica chairman and former ANZ CEO Don Mercer,
who will lose his view of the MCG and see millions wiped off the value
of his property if the proposed apartment tower goes ahead.

Then
you have the two hospitals on Clarendon St which have both been
abandoned. The Freemasons announced last week they are selling to pay
off debt and the Mercy Hospital for Women has moved to Heidelberg,
sparking a stampede of no fewer than 18 developers who have registered
to buy what will be Melbourne’s hottest development site.

The Catholic Church is demanding an $8 million security deposit from bidders who are tipped by The AFR
to pay up to $80 million for a site that will no doubt be bitterly
opposed by the feral NIMBYs of the East Melbourne Group. The
development has the potential for about 220 apartments, assuming anyone
fancies risking the curse of Clarendon St and potentially living next
door to the prime minister – if Victoria ever produces another one.

Peter Fray

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