Karen Roebuck’s Richmond Development


Running Melbourne-based domestic building company Kadabra Group with her business partner, Karen has recently put this Heritage redevelopment on the market in Richmond, Victoria. Having seen the potential in the site early on, Karen created an impressive family home in the sought after inner suburb of Richmond. 

In the roles of Director and Business Operations Manager, Karen oversees every development, and purchased the approx. 632m2 Mary Street allotment in 2013 with the intent to subdivide and develop. Karen is a BuildHer and DevelopHer that adds another depth of experience to our BuildHer community, which we love! 

The house was in very poor condition with no maintenance for a very long time. We restored the 4 front rooms but have basically rebuilt the entire house to comply with todays building codes.

Working as the project manager for this Development, Karen tells us that developing for profit is both a lifestyle and business choice, each working hand in hand to allow her a flexible lifestyle and a creative outlet. Karen works on these in addition to working on client Building Projects for Kadabra Group.

Aside from the original house, Kadabra has subdivided and constructed 5 two-storey residential apartments next door, complete with large basement carpark and coming to market shortly after the renovated home.


Having a strong connection with the house and way that it would appeal to the future owner Karen design the special moments throughout the home were designed to maximise livability is a sought after suburb where often land size and homes are small. Karen’s primary vision for the home was to integrate the contemporary with the old, creating a modern family home punctuated with charming original nuances.

The home has gorgeous views overlooking the park across the road and a roof top garden to entertain, with a generously sized double garage! 


The project spanned seven years from purchase to completion with a collection of challenges along the way, including a number of battles with VCAT – yet what is most forefront in Karen’s mind is the effects of Covid in Victoria, slowing down the site team at a pivotal point.

As many of us have experienced on our own projects, Covid slowed progress, limiting the number of trades and our own access to site; but you can’t keep a good project down!


The result is a charming multi-storey three-bedroom home complete with three new bathrooms, an open plan first floor living space, and an enviable rooftop terrace with views over Richmond to the CBD.

A wide hallway combines original lofty ceilings with chic timber floors, peeling off to three carpeted double bedrooms complete with chic timber look ceiling height built-in robes; and a walk-in robe and private ensuite for the master.

Bathroom and bedroom cabinetry are uniform, while upstairs, the kitchen is sleek in monochrome, with treetop outlooks and direct access to that rooftop Alfresco.

Now completed and on the market, Karen’s favourite feature of the home is the front of the original house. The listing for this property is via Biggin&Scott and you can view it HERE. All photos are from the Biggin&Scott listing as well.

Updated with timeless Jarrah floors, it’s a façade both unassuming and true to its origin, with the name Arcady still featuring in leadlight over the front door.

Completing this project has meant seven years of hard work for Karen and her business partner. They have encounted many road blocks and challenges with this project, but have overcome them with grace.

Keeping an eye on the finish line and staying focused to what was truly important for the home.

These were things like fighting for the garage and roof top garden. Not to mention building and finishing  with the Stage 3 & 4 pandemic restrictions here in Victoria.

Standing at the pointy end of 2020, they are simply pleased to actually have this large project finally completed!


For Kadabra, there’ always something on the go, with current projects including a Victorian terrace and the finishing touches to the apartments.

For now, it will be about selling both the home and the luxury apartments. After the development has sold, Karen will focus on client jobs as she searches high and low for Kadabra’s next perfect project.

After this huge accomplishment, we can’t wait to see what she’s got instore next!


Having come into the Building Industry after raising her family she truly hit the ground running. She started up her Building business and is developing. 

Karen joined us as a BuildHer in late 2019, but it didn’t take too long into 2020 for her to become one of our DevelopHers. With her extensive building knowledge and background, she’s a marvellous addition to our community, and even with her own building company, Karen still recognised the value of joining BuildHer Collective. Having access to mentors and fellow BuildHers for encouragement and support is something that money really can’t buy.

Karen well done on completing this marathon of a project. So many years in the making and you’ve done it – we’re all so pleased for you and here’s a great result.

Find out more about Kadabrah Group HERE and you can follow Karen and Kadabra Group on instagram @kadabra_group.


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