Achitect and interior designer Paul McCosker is moving on after making his dream a reality - restoring a 19th-century Corrimal mansion to its former glory.
Mr McCosker and wife Dee bought the heritage-listed property at 14 Jones Place in August 2002 and have spent close to $1 million over the past decade, transforming it from a dilapidated building to a grand estate.
The home has now been placed on the market, with tenders closing on February 28, as the McCoskers and their son Jack plan to move interstate to be closer to family.
Bulli-raised Mr McCosker was a teenager when he first saw the imposing late-Victorian Italianate features of the house known as Wilgedene from the train.
He left Wollongong in 1976 and didn't return to live until he bought the house, which had fallen into a state of disrepair and was two years away from being condemned.
"It was an overgrown mess and nothing like I'd imagined, but I bought it because I was in so deep emotionally I had to keep going," Mr McCosker said.
The restoration included rebuilding the verandas in the same construction technique as was originally used.
Wilgedene was built around 1889 as a residence for the manager of the South Bulli Mine, William Wilson, who also owned the Bellambi Hotel and a number of cottages and shops in Brompton Road.
According to Wollongong City Library online records, the building is of a rare design and is a significant landmark in the northern Illawarra.
"The residence is of uncommon style and size in the area and has a strong association with the coal mining industry," the library website said.
Listed with agent Craig Stott, of Belle Property Wollongong, the home is set on a 2093 square metre land parcel which includes established leafy gardens. A magnolia to the north of the house can be seen in photos dating back to 1905.
Mr Stott said the four-bedroom home's features included wide wrap-around balconies and private alfresco spaces. There are several generous formal and casual living spaces, a billiard room and study plus a central tower with a balcony with mountain and ocean views.
There are also antique marble fireplaces, a gourmet kitchen and garage with mezzanine storage.