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Malcolm Webster, man behind clothing brands Marcs and David Lawrence, set to sell $6 million in property as stores close

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As the doors are closed on 13 Marcs and David Lawrence stores this week, the man behind the high-profile fashion labels, Malcolm Webster, is set to sell $6 million of his Sydney real estate.

First to go for the London-based fashion industry veteran is his Paddington property, which this week was slipped onto the internet with a March 4 auction through Daniel Gillespie, of Belle Property Bondi Junction.

Bought by Webster almost 20 years ago for $368,000, the 1870-era worker’s cottage has been renovated in recent years, doubling as both Webster’s Sydney base and an occasional rental on Airbnb.

Malcolm Webster is selling his Paddington home away from London.

Gillespie declined to comment on details, but sources say the two-bedder is expected to tip $1.5 million.

That leaves the grand Darling Point terrace that Webster and his wife Eileen bought in 2003 for $3,365,000, and which is expected to hit the market in coming weeks for about $4.5 million, again through Gillespie.

Webster, who co-founded Jigsaw in the 1970s, bought the label David Lawrence in 2000 and added Marcs in 2006 when he bought it from high-end retailer Oroton.

In recent years Webster has been scaling back his n property interests, selling the historic Merrilla property near Goulburn for $6.06 million to London agribusinessman Anthony Crichton-Brown in 2015, and that same year offloading a commercial property in Waterloo for $29.5 million.

M Webster Holdings, with its 52 stores, 11 outlets and more than 140 concession stores in and New Zealand, was placed into voluntary administration earlier this month with debts of almost $30 million.

The administrator Rodgers Reidy announced on Thursday the closure of 13 Marcs and David Lawrence stores, putting at least 20 staff out of work and leaving another 50 with uncertain futures.

The first store closures are expected next week and include four David Lawrence stores and one Marcs outlet in Victoria and one Marcs shop in Sydney.

David Lawrence and Marcs closures are just two of the latest high-profile fashion brands to go into administration, and were followed by Herringbone and Rhodes & Beckett within days. Children’s label Pumpkin Patch announced it was being shut down late last year.

Lachlan Harris is selling the heritage-listed Glebe waterfront, The Retreat.

Surprise turn

Regular Q&A panellist and former press secretary to Kevin Rudd Lachlan Harris has done an abrupt U-turn on his ownership of the historic Glebe waterfront property, The Retreat.

Six months after he took possession of the sandstone Georgian property, the co-founder of One Big Switch has put it back up for grabs with a $4.9 million asking price through BresicWhitney’s Ivan Bresic, which will at least cover his purchase price, but not the estimated $280,000 stamp duty.

And here were we expecting to see Harris buy one of the state-government owned heritage houses in Millers Point after he had been so regularly spotted on the house hunting trail there before his Glebe buy.

Elizabeth Gaines is selling her Koichi Takada-designed home in North Curl Curl.

Gaines seeks $4.9 million

Elizabeth Gaines was appointed chief bean counter of Perth-based iron ore mining giant Fortescue Metals Group a few weeks ago and this week set a March 11 auction for the North Curl Curl residence she bought from supermodel Jennifer Hawkins in 2014.

Gaines and her partner Kevin Manuel paid $4.1 million for the Koichi Takada-designed residence, and three years later Belle Property’s Brendan Pomponio is asking $4.9 million.

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