Perth-based billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest already owns a crashpad in Sydney but has upgraded his local accommodation options by buying a modernist waterfront residence for more than $16 million in the rich-list heartland of Point Piper.
It was a bullish price to secure the home of hotelier Ben and Lucy May and just days before it was set to hit the market ahead of a scheduled December 11 auction.
The purchase this week by one of Australia’s most generous philanthropists ends more than a year of property inspections, rumoured to have included the Quay Grand penthouse in the CBD of the late property tycoon Bernard Lewis and the Woolloomooloo apartment of Russell Crowe when it was briefly for sale.
The Mays didn’t own the Point Piper property long. It was bought in 2016 for $11.85 million from Jean Newman, wife of the late Victor Newman whose family owned the property since it was built in 1958.
The Mays, who own the Manly Wharf Hotel and Mrs Sippy Double Bay, are no strangers to landmark real estate deals. They set a Paddington suburb high in 2015 when they bought the former Windsor Castle hotel as their home and cemented that record the following year when they sold it for the same price to Goldman Sachs executive director David Nolan and his wife Anita.
Their Wunulla Road house is billed in the marketing as designed by the modernist architect Hugh Buhrich with four bedrooms and a private jetty, boatshed and harbourside swimming pool.
It was set to hit the market through Kim Jones, of Snowden Jones, and Bill Malouf, of LJ Hooker Double Bay, with a $15.5 million guide before it was promptly sold by Jones.
Jones, the daughter of the late real estate doyenne Di Jones, declined to comment, but sources say it is expected to be a Sydney base for the Fortescue Metals chairman.
Forrest, who was ranked Australia’s eighth richest person in this year’s Financial Review Rich List worth $6.1 billion, owns a penthouse in the Quay Grand he bought in 2006 for $5.98 million, next door to the Lewis family apartment.
The Rich family sell Bellevue Hill’s Dawn
In Bellevue Hill, the Federation Arts and Crafts-style mansion, Dawn, owned by the Rich family has sold for almost $11 million a week after it was passed in at auction on a vendor bid of $10 million.
The exact sale price was undisclosed by Michael Finger and Cae Thomas, of Ray White Double Bay.
The home of Gayl Rich, mother of businessman Jodee Rich, has called it home since the 1980s when it was purchased by her late husband Steven Rich, who created the Traveland agency.