Luxury $125m Project to Create Geelong’s Top Waterfront Homes

A $125m project to build 53 residences and reimagine a historic mansion is on track to create Geelong’s most expensive waterfront real estate. See what’s about to take shape at Rippleside.

A $125m project to build 53 residences and reimagine a historic mansion and former Catholic convent as a private home is on track to create Geelong’s most expensive waterfront real estate.
Stella Maris is a permit-approved luxury waterfront development on the Corio Bay foreshore at Rippleside.

The developer is Monno, the new iteration of national property developer CostaFox, a partnership between managing director Geno Hubay and Geelong-based chairman and CostaFox co-founder Robert Costa. The project will be launched on Wednesday.

The firm acquired the 1.2ha property, once the Sisters of Mercy’s Stella Maris (Star of the Sea) convent, from MacKillop Family Services for $11.3m in 2021.

Construction is expected to start in mid-2023, once the property is settled, and be completed by mid-2025.

Architect Rothelowman has designed the Stella Maris project with 50 apartments and three townhouses in four contemporary buildings centred around the 1848 Italianate St Helens mansion.

It will also offer a wellness centre with a lap pool, gym, sauna, steam room, while in the basement will be car wash and dog washing facilities.

Mr Hubay said the bulk of the apartments have “unobstructed gunbarrel views over Corio Bay back to the Geelong CBD”.

The project has one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments, starting from $595,000 for a one-bedroom home, with six penthouses of three and four-bedrooms ranging in price from $4m to $6m.

“This has always been about how do we capture as much light and as much space for the units and still make them homely for everyday living,” Mr Hubay said.

“There is always big open-plan living spaces with butler’s pantries and a bar and the like and a big master ensuite all with water views.

“All the waterfront residences are mostly the larger three and four-bedroom homes that have been designed all with a second living area. Every unit has a study so you can work from home.”

Monno has engaged Carr Architects to return the St Helens mansion as a freestanding house, that will be subdivided onto its own 3000sq m property.

A wing added in the 1930s or ’40s will be demolished and a two-storey contemporary addition will create an open-plan kitchen and living area and a first-floor main bedroom and ensuite.

The original rooms will be reserved for formal dining, formal lounge room and study.

Early plantings, such as Moreton Bay figs and Norfolk Island pines, will form part of the gardens on the 1.2ha site.

“It’s a beautiful enclave. It’s not just a waterfront development, it’s a lush garden development.

“I think Geelong and the wider Bellarine has never seen a project of this calibre.”

Mr Hubay said downsizers were expected to form the biggest demographic for the project.

“I think first and foremost it needs to be an astute buyer. It’s the sophisticated, contemporary everyday living,” he said.

McGrath, Geelong, is marketing the project.

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