A Classic Renovation

Standing prominently on the corner of a popular Merewether street, facing the ocean, this grand residence has been a family home to four families (including the current owner) since it was built in 1910 by Frederick Ash, who at the time was the largest hardware retailer in Newcastle. His legacy is the Fred Ash building which stands on the side of Wheeler Place, Hunter Street, Newcastle. The second family to call the residence home was Mary and Richard Owens OAM, whose forebears established their first family business, from a small rural grocery store at Wollombi in 1876. Trained in pharmacy at The University of Sydney, Richard took over the small general-store chain in the 1960s, expanding it to a wholly owned family business operating 45 supermarkets known as Shoeys and employing more than 2,000 people. The company was later sold to Coles Myer in 1988. Richard and Mary purchased the residence in 1968 for a sum of $23,000 – a far cry from the multi million dollars it is worth today. Over the life of the residence, improvements were made by previous owners to facilitate family living and keep with the time without contravening the integrity of the style of the residence.