This Abbotsford apartment is nestled between two Melbourne landmarks: the Yarra River, and the skipping girl sign.
The unique five-bedroom residence spans the top two floors of a former nickel factory on Victoria Street, surrounded by reminders of the area’s industrial past. Outside, the building has retained its art deco exterior and historic flair, but the modern interiors of 1/655 Victoria Street reveal a warehouse conversion of epic proportions.
The current owners, Vince and Fiona, bought the property eight years ago, when it was an ‘old apartment in need of work’.
‘It was a quiet off-market sale which took many months to settle,’ Fiona says. ‘We consider ourselves very lucky to have been in the right place at the right time.’
The couple and their children then spent about a year living in the apartment during an transformative renovation, removing some of the ‘dated’ features and reworking the floorplan to accommodate their large family.
‘We really wanted to retain the staircase and curved wall,’ Fiona says. ‘Coming from a leafy eastern suburbs home, it was important to us to include a vertical garden, which flows inside to out on the lower terrace, with large sliding doors that open up the interior space.’
These changes have turned the home into a modern urban oasis, with sweeping views across the Yarra River from the balcony.
The original steel windows and high ceilings now feature sleek black finishes, moody feature walls, and an impressive rooftop where you can watch the sunset behind the heritage-protected Skipping Girl Vinegar sign — a much-beloved local icon, which was one of Australia’s first animated neon signs when first established on top of the neighbouring factory in 1936.
Fiona says they made the most of the expansive living areas over the years, with ‘lots of teenage parties’ and events. But now that their kids are adults, they ‘don’t use the space’ like they used to and have decided it’s time to sell.
‘We are rightsizing,’ she adds. ‘We’ll miss the the proximity to the city and public transport, the privilege of a private view of the river, and the light in the apartment that floods in throughout the morning and afternoon.’