One of Mordialloc’s most famous commercial properties – a boat building workshop occupied since the 1930s by late Melbourne legend Jack Pompei OAM – has been listed for sale as an ”executor’s auction” with vacant possession.
The collection of neighbouring warehouses overlooking Mordialloc Creek, known until recently as Pompei’s Boat Building Works or “Pompei’s Boatshed”, are expected to sell for more than $3 million and make way for an apartment complex.
The Main Road site faces a statue and bridge named after Jack Pompei – a local celebrity said to have rescued hundreds of distressed people from Port Phillip Bay despite not knowing how to swim. Also an angler, Jack became the custodian of the Mordialloc Creek – once joking the waterway was so clear, fish (said to have included an abundance of bream, flathead, whiting and snapper) would develop tears in their eyes when boats moored.
According to the City of Kingston, more than 80,000 people would converge at the Mordialloc beach and creek for weekend picnics 80 years ago.
This month’s listing comes after a high profile lease dispute over a neighbouring patch of Crown-owned waterfront land, known as Pompei’s Landing, which the council leased exclusively to Jack for his business, in recognition of his contribution to the community.
Following Jack’s death in 2008, council allowed the lease to continue (at the low “peppercorn” rent of $100 per year) until 2012 when it proposed providing access to other groups including the Mordialloc Angling and Boat Club.
When Jack’s son Leon refused to sign a revised lease in April last year, council moved to reclaim the land.
Pompei’s Landing also made headlines last August when two docked vessels, worth more than $100,000 combined, were destroyed in an arson attack which took the Melbourne Fire Brigade 40 minutes to control.
Leon Pompei told The Age that one of the vessels belonged to him and the other was owned by a customer.
Teska Carson’s George Takis and Michael Taylor are marketing the ex-Pompei’s Boat Building Works site, about 25 kilometres south of the CBD.
The property is held in a company name which the family of Jack Pompei controlled after his death.
Covering 937 square metres between 557-561 Main Road, and with nearly 60 metres of street frontage, the property includes a section of land Jack acquired from state government department VicTrack.