Unusual Catholic property up for grabs

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Crypt
Selling agent Tim O’Mara outside the rare crypt offering in Matraville’s Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok

One Sydney Catholic is looking to sell a semi-detached property in Sydney where the views are to die for.

The sandstone mausoleum in the eastern suburbs sleeps eight, has views across Botany Bay, and there are no problems with parking or noisy neighbours.

Owner Enzo Sgambellone, the founder of the Cut Price Deli supermarket chain, bought the property in the 1970s and it’s one of the oldest structures in the Matraville’s Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park.

Five members of his family are interred in the left half, including his parents, and he’s decided to sell the right half, which is empty and which none of the remaining family wants or needs to use.

Tim O’Mara, managing director of auction house O’Maras, says it is a most “unusual sale”.

“I’ve been doing this for 40 years and this is only the second mausoleum I’ve had to sell,” he said.

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The inside of the empty half of the mausoleum which is for sale in Sydney’s east. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok

He said the site is currently on offer for sale via an expression of interest campaign and is an unique opportunity.

While there’s no official price guide, a 10-person vault in Botany Cemetery sold for $562,500, while a 16-person mausoleum in Rookwood Cemetery cost $567,735.

Mausoleums are most popular among the Catholic community – especially Italians, Lebanese and Croatians.

With a 2017 NSW government report predicting that Sydney’s cemeteries are due to be at full capacity by 2051, they have been suggested as a solution to Sydney’s growing burial space crisis, since they accommodate more people using less space than traditional burials in the ground.

According to a projection based on 2015 figures in the Metropolitan Sydney Cemetery Capacity Report some inner Sydney cemeteries could be exhausted earlier than that, by 2020, while some others may be full by 2026.