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Piety and prayer loom large in the Exclusive Brethren community, but for the church’s leading family property also makes a big impression.
Luxury property at that, judging by the $9.5 million paid this week for a resort-style estate in Dural by Gareth Hales, the son of the church’s global leader Bruce D. Hales.
The two-hectare property comes with resort-style facilities including a pool, tennis court and golf range.Credit:Domain
Sources say the two-hectare estate set behind a gated entry with all the resort mod-cons – think tennis court, heated swimming pool, fire pit and a golf driving range with flags at 80 and 150 metres – is set to be a weekender for the Eastwood-based Hales.
The five-bedroom residence with C-Bus home management system, security cameras, home theatre, billiard room and bar was initially listed in June with a $9 million guide, but was revised to $8 million shortly before it was scheduled to go to auction through DiJones’s Karen D’Angola.
However, a local source says it was snapped up a day before the planned auction, and the mystery buyer was kept a tightly guarded secret until it settled to Hales this week with no finance required.
The Hales family paid $9.5 million for the property with no finance required.Credit:Domain
Gareth Hales sold the office design firm Unispace last year for $300 million.Credit:
Hales, head of global specialist sourcing and supply company Sante Group, looks to be cashed-up for the purchase. Last year he and his brother Charles sold their office design firm Unispace for $300 million to investment firm PAG Asia Capital.
The fundamentalist church – rebranded the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church a decade ago – features a controversial doctrine of separation whereby members are discouraged from forming friendships with outsiders, and encouraged to keep business dealings with “worldy” non-Brethren people to a minimum or risk excommunication.
Voting is also discouraged, although the church’s leaders are politically well-connected and have a history of donating to the Liberal Party.
The Hales family have a well-documented penchant for high-end real estate. Gareth Hales owns a mansion in Eastwood next door to the home of family patriarch Hales senior, which was built on a double block purchased in two parts in 2009 and 2010 for more than $3 million.
Gareth Hales’s newly purchased weekender comes with a fully fitted bar in the billiards room.Credit:Domain
In July, brother Dean Hales smashed the Epping house price record when he bought a 1980s mansion on acreage for $7.5 million, again with no mortgage required.
Epping’s previous high of $4 million in 2016 was set by Hales senior’s brother Stephen Hales when he bought the heritage mansion Blairgowrie, topped in 2019 by the $5.75 million purchase up the road by Cameron Hales.
Filmmaker Martin Brown is hoping to make good the last auction day of the year on December 17 when his Forest Lodge home of the past 30 years is scheduled to go under the hammer.
Martin Brown has owned the Foss Street house in Forest Lodge since 1990.
Brown purchased the Foss Street house in 1990 for $100,000, a couple of years before he made his name in a slew of Baz Luhrmann hit movies, initially as art director on Strictly Ballroom, and later as co-producer of Romeo+Juliet and producer on Moulin Rouge.
Martin Brown was nominated for an Academy Award for producing the 2001 hit Moulin Rouge.Credit:Rick Stevens
Records show the original weatherboard cottage was owned by actor Agnes Keogh in the 1940s, and renovated and extended by Brown’s master builder father soon after Brown purchased it.
Given plans to move to Randwick, Martin has listed the three-bedroom ‘empty nest’ with a $1.6 million guide through BresicWhitney’s Chris Nunn, who also sold the terrace across the road of author Anna Funder and her architect husband Craig Allchin earlier this year for $4.45 million.
Brown’s movie making career has morphed into an academic sphere in recent years.
He is now more often found at Sydney University lecturing in the medical science faculty in story telling and communication skills for medical professionals.
Apartment sales in Elizabeth Bay’s Billyard Ave, a luxury boutique development by P-3 Living’s Philippe Remond and North East Corp’s Peter Walsh, were off and running this week – securing its first sale of more than $20 million.
An artist’s impression of the Billyard Ave development at Elizabeth Bay, where the first of nine apartments on offer sold this week for more than $20 million.Credit:
The SJB-designed sub-penthouse was sold to a local couple, represented by rugby league player-turned-buyers’-agent Craig Wing, although the exact result was undisclosed by Richardson & Wrench’s Jason Boon and 1st City’s Brad Caldwell-Eyles.
It would have set a suburb high, if not for the recent $22.5 million sale of the late Kerry Packer’s one-time retreat atop Toft Monks to Bob and Margaret Rose. Leave it to the Billyard Ave penthouse to claim the suburb’s top apartment price when it sells, given its $32.5 million asking price.
Acclaimed playwright David Williamson and his wife Kristin have put their home on Queensland’s Sunshine Beach up for sale for $15 million to $16.5 million, handing the plum listing to their son, actor-turned-selling agent Rory Williamson.
The beachfront home of David Williamson is set on Queensland’s Sunshine Beach.Credit:Domain
There are downsizing plans in the mix for the Williamsons, who records show bought a duplex back from the beach last year for $1.06 million, and a house in Tewantin, near Noosa, for $932,000.
The Williamsons’ beachfront home is a near neighbour to a beachfront shack that was purchased by Gina Rinehart in March for $9.75 million from Therese Rein, the recruitment entrepreneur married to one Kevin Rudd.
The Williamsons have owned their Sunshine Beach house, Aeolus, since 1998, paying $1.9 million for the architect John Mainwaring-designed residence with a pool, one of 10 houses in a luxury complex known as the Beach House estate.
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