News Limited: The Block 2021: Nicole Jacobs sells Bronte Court, Hampton house to show

The following article was published in the Herald Sun on 30 Oct 2020 and an amended version subsequently on Real Author: Jayitri Smiles.

Ref: Bayside City Council unpublished heritage citation from the cancelled 2008 heritage study, requested by FOI. Statement of Significance  History / Analysis.

Nicole Jacobs sold the Neil Clerehan designed house at 8 Bronte Court, Hampton to The Block.

The Block insider Nicole Jacobs has made a mint by selling her historic “dream home” to the hit renovation show, amid outcry from neighbours.

The renowned buyer’s advocate reeled in a whopping $3.025m by offloading her newly renovated Bronte Court home to a company owned by the Nine Network, Micjoy Pty Ltd, this week.

CoreLogic records show Ms Jacobs — who’s a regular on the reality show — has more than doubled her money since paying $1.59m for the property in 2017.

She also convinced four of her neighbours along the tiny cul-de-sac to sign lucrative multimillion-dollar deals.

But other residents are upset that half of the homes along their tiny yard are being shut down for a major TV production, with letters to Bayside City Council expressing concern over months of TV crews and associated public traffic.

Others worry about what will happen to the house Mrs Jacobs sells: a 1950s design by famous Australian architect Neil Clerehan who has already been nominated for heritage protection

A Bronte Court resident, who did not want to be named, said the builders of The Block had spoken to neighbors about demolishing Nicole’s house for the show

“It’s a shame that this becomes the backdrop for a reality TV show focused on profit and selling products,” he said.

It is possible that (Mrs Jacobs’) house is of National Heritage Significance It is a very famous house and pictures of its interiors even appear in Victorian art galleries.

Jamie Paterson, a member of Beaumaris Modern, said the house would likely be considered heritage next year, after being nominated in canceled Bayside City Council studies in 2008 and 2018.

A historic photo of the Neil Clerehan design. Picture: State Library Victoria
8 Bronte Court prior to it's recent renovation

It seems strange to even consider using a house that has just been renovated to such a high standard, said Mr Paterson

The Block co-creator Julian Cress confirmed to the Herald Sun that Hampton Homes will host the show’s next season in 2021

But he said Ms Jacobs’ home had ‘no heritage value’ and that it would be up to next year’s nominees to decide how the property was changed.

It’s one thing to confirm where The Block is next year, but I’m not going to comment on what the competition is going to do with the houses, as that will take away the surprise, Mr Cress said.

Anyone who is worried about heritage should probably think that if someone else had bought this house it would likely be bulldozed.

He said production has always created good relationships with neighbors as they minimize disruption and clean up every day.

Ms Jacobs told the Herald Sun that she decided to sell after being approached by Nine through her architect Julian Brenchley, who also worked for The Block

But then I knocked on some neighbors’ doors to see if others wanted to come on board. Once I did that I called back to say it could work.

While residents received letters of expression of interest from Nicole Jacobs Property on behalf of Nine, she said she received no commission on any four sales.

The facade is so charming and I don’t see a competitor wanting to get rid of that.

The real estate expert, who has purchased 13 Block properties for clients since 2003, called the property a ‘dream home’ on Instagram after completing a lavish renovation late last year

And she said it was a privilege to restore an original by Neil Clerehan as she showcased the brilliant landscaping, open entertaining areas and all new kitchen in an Open Houses Australia episode.

Bayside City Council chief executive Mick Cummins said he hosted the block at Bayside for the second year in a row

We will work with The Block team to ensure that all buildings comply with council planning and building regulations, as well as to maintain traffic management plans to minimize impacts on residents, said Mr Cummins