The morning that 26 Knightsbridge Parade East, Sovereign Islands went up for auction, Perth civil engineer Ric Rizzi awoke and thought to himself the bidding would likely start at $12 million.
It was 2013 and the landmark Gold Coast waterfront property, which had fallen into mortgagee hands halfway through being built, had reportedly already cost its local owners $21.44 million.
Designed by the Brunei royal family architect Bayden Goddard, the brief had been to create a chateau that looked 100 years old and suited the European coast or Long Island, New York. The house was majestically sprawled over four blocks of land that cost $9.44 million in 2005, and had an initial construction cost of $12 million before its owners were evicted with only half the house completed.
Mr Rizzi turned up at the auction expecting to snag a bargain but even he was completely shocked when the hammer fell at $5.3 million, with him the final bidder.
“It was bizarre. When the realisation came that there were no other bidders, that was a sensational feeling. I looked at the top of the entrance hall that stands 14.5 metres above the ground and it was almost like a sign from heaven that it was meant to be,” he said.
“In what world do you actually buy a house like this for significantly less than the land value? It was a total leap of faith; I didn’t think about what it would cost to finish, whether it was a good or bad decision and normally I’m an ultra conservative civil engineer.
“To take on a project was left field for me at the time but the whole thing just happened in milliseconds so I took it as a sign from God it was meant to be.”
Shortly after buying the mansion, Mr Rizzi was able to purchase the adjoining lot next door for $1.19 million and amalgamated all five blocks on to one massive title, giving the property a whopping 106 metres of north-facing water frontage.
He then spent 12 months compiling all of the documentation – building licences and approvals – and re-instating the consultants and builder who had originally worked on the house.
Once that was in place, finishing the house took a whopping five years to complete.
“One of the carpenters spent five years of his life working on this house. The tiler laid more than an acre of tiles during that time. It was an absolute labour of love,” Mr Rizzi said.
“The house was never really a project to make money. It came to me in the most bizarre way and I’ve always viewed it as being a sign of the success in my life, versus just a trophy.”
While Mr Rizzi may not have set out to make money, it will come to him anyway. The house is once again up for sale, albeit this time finished, and with a jaw-dropping price tag to match its palatial size – it’s listed for $US30 million (about $AUD 44 million).
Marketing agent Alex Phillis of Alex Phillis Real Estate said the property was listed for sale in US dollars because it was likely the buyer would come from overseas.
“Buyers from Singapore and the Middle East work in US dollars, so we’re just making it easy for them,” he said.
“I’m already fielding inquiries from overseas – this is a house that will go viral.”
But he wasn’t ruling out a local buyer, pointing out there were plenty of wealthy people in Australia who had eyeballs on it.
“This house is phenomenal on a national scale. Certainly, this is the most incredible house on the Gold Coast but I don’t think there’s anything like this in Australia, based on the construction alone,” he said.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s in an absolute league of its own. It’d be worth $100 million easy if it was on the Sydney harbour.”
Some of the house’s incredible features include seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, custom copper doors, a Turkish bathhouse, eight-metre high ceilings, a 30-metre swimming pool and imported French oak flooring.
The 14.5-metre high entrance lobby features Australia’s only four-metre tall, bronze, imported Italian statue of King Neptune, which took carpenters two days just to unpack it. If you’ve got a few cars, there’s a 568-square-metre waterproofed sprayed concrete basement with 12 car parks, wine cellar and a workshop.
“To give you an idea of how big this house is, we needed a drone to video the inside of the house,” Mr Phillis said.
“The east and west corridors are 80 metres long. The corridors are that high and that wide, the scale of it is just incredible.”
Mr Rizzi said he had lived in the house and loved it but with all four of his adult children now back living in Perth, he wanted to move back to the west coast to be closer to them.
“What it came down to, at the end of the day, was it was just too small for me,” he laughed.
“Seriously though, Scott Tyne [the original owner] was a visionary. I fulfilled the way I believe Mr Tyne would have wanted it and I hope the person who secures it truly appreciates what it actually is.
“I don’t think this house will ever be duplicated in Australia again because it means giving up five years of your life. The true value is not in the bricks and mortar, it’s the five years of a person’s life.
“And it probably cost me the cost of a Volkswagon Polo in paint sample pots. A lot has gone into this house. I want to see it loved and enjoyed.”
Main Beach trophy apartment relisted
The sprawling Main Beach, Queensland mega apartment located in the Ocean Isles complex has been listed with a $4.95 million price guide.
It’s down from its previous $5 million to $5.5 million guide.
Residence 3 is one just one of five in the 1,700 sqm beachfront complex.
The apartment at 3/3511 Main Beach Parade has been listed twice since 2018, initially seeking $6.25 million.
The four bedroom, three bathroom abode is spread across a single level.
The apartment features a 20 metre frontage, private pool, spa and BBQ space. It has direct beachfront access from the outdoor terrace.
Duncan Longmore and Michael Kollosche of Kollosche Prestige Agents are currently marketing the property.
This article is republished from www.propertyobserver.com.au under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
Ridong Group’s $160m Garden Resort in Limbo
Ridong Group’s $160 million garden resort on the Gold Coast should be built elsewhere according to council officers.
A decision on the application for the 50 hectare development in Tallebudgera is expected to be made next week with council officers raising many concerns at a preliminary meeting.
Hundreds of submissions were made against the development application and a public rally attracted more than 400 people in December.
Ridong, a Chinese development company based in Zhuhai and one of the original developers for Jewel resort in Surfers Paradise, put forth the application for the wellness retreat in September 2018.
Plans on the 50 hectare site at 49 Tallebudgera Connection Road included 162 villas, 98 hotel rooms, four restaurants, a wedding chapel, day spa with 32 treatment rooms, museum, gallery, gardens and private lake.
DBI architects were behind the design, which previous projects include $1.7 billion Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, the $1 billion Jewel and the $200 million Infinity in Brisbane.
Council officers raised a number of concerns at an Economy, Planning and Environment Committee meeting.
“The proposed development is considered to present potential economic benefits through employment opportunities and tourism related revenue,” stated in the agenda.
“However, officers do not consider that these benefits are site specific and could be provided in a more suitable location.
“Further, the applicant has not demonstrated a ‘need’ for the development to be located at the subject site.
“Officers acknowledge that the proposed development includes components which could provide a benefit to the city, however, do not believe that these benefits warrant the approval of this application as officers believe such a development could be provided in a more suitable location.”
A final determination on the plans will be made when it goes to a full council meeting on February 18.
This article is republished from theurbandeveloper.com under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
Gold Coast hotel sold to Thai group
The Thai-based Minor Hotel Group has acquired the Gold Tower on the Gold Coast in a deal brokered by CBRE Hotels agents Wayne Bunz and Hayley Manvell.
Minor Hotel Group has expanded its portfolio on the Gold Coast with the purchase of the Gold Tower.
The hotel owner and operator has acquired the management letting and caretaking rights and freehold of the management lot of the 22-storey property, which is located on the Gold Coast Highway.
It has subsequently rebranded the site under Minor International’s Oaks Hotels, Resorts & Suites brand, as the Oaks Gold Coast Hotel.
The sale means the 108-key hotel joins Oaks Calypso Plaza and Avani Broadbeach Gold Coast Residences as the other Minor Hotel Goup locations in the area.
CBRE Hotels agents Wayne Bunz and Hayley Manvell handled the transaction on behalf of a private Singaporean investment group.
Mr Bunz said the Gold Coast remained a premier holiday destination for domestic and international visitors, and is expected to record increased inbound visitation.
“Demand for quality hotel assets in leisure-orientated locations such as the Gold Coast have attracted strong interest from international investors,” he said.
“Australian hotels are seen as an absolute safe haven for international investors due to favourable investment conditions and record low interest rates, while the low Australian dollar offers substantial value and favours inbound tourism.”
The Oaks Gold Coast Hotel was recently refurbished and features meeting rooms, a swimming pool and views of the new Jewel development, as well as the Gold Coast’s beaches and hinterland.
Minor Hotels Chief Operating Officer Craig Hooley said the acquisition further enhanced the rapid expansion of the company within the region.
“Within close proximity of Cavill Avenue, Oaks Gold Coast Hotel is the ideal base for those wanting to stay near the action while enjoying the comfort, freedom and space of Oaks hospitality,” he said.
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