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A new contender for the title of “most expensive house in Australia” is set to take shape on the Point Piper waterfront as millennial entrepreneurs Alexandra and Gabriel Jakob have amassed three properties in a row and have plans to build their forever home.
The mega-mansion is proposed to spread across three titles, two of which were once slated to be developed into a block of luxury apartments by a syndicate led by Ron Medich until the global financial crisis and issues with Woollahra Council brought the plan undone and triggered a series of incidents culminating in Medich going to the “big house” for murder.
The Jakob family’s $99.5 million site acquisition in Point Piper includes a three-level house with a curved facade (far left), Bruce McWilliam’s recently sold house (centre) and a block of rubble (far right).Credit:Domain
The neighbours will need to contain their excitement to see what architect Bruce Stafford has in store for the Jakob family home given the DA is yet to be lodged, but a well-placed source says they can expect five to six storeys featuring walls of glass to take in Harbour Bridge views and a swimming pool across the lion’s share of its 70 metres of harbour frontage.
What will set this house apart from every other mega mansions is that it will include what is hoped to be the largest private gym in the country. Set across five levels with separate zones for weights, cardio equipment, a boxing ring, spa, sauna, a health centre with cryotherapy facilities, and a room Gabriel dedicated to his wife known as the “love room”. A rooftop tennis court has not been ruled out.
Gabriel Jakob, the private, 41-year-old head of technology and childcare-focused venture capital firm Hyper Capital, declined to comment on the family’s grand plans for the site.
Seven’s Bruce McWilliam sold his Point Piper house for $32.5 million through agent Brad Pillinger.Credit:Peter Rae
Council plans show Stafford is already familiar with the site. Before the Jakobs bought the neighbouring two properties, Stafford redesigned their current home – purchased three years ago for $40 million from former Westpac director Steve Harker – to include an extra level with a parents’ retreat and Japanese garden that won approval from the Land and Environment Court last December.
Jakob added a vacant block of land a week ago for $27 million, and the keystone piece to the site settled into Jakob’s name on Friday for $32.5 million for the house sold by Seven commercial director Bruce McWilliam.
Amassing the site has not come cheap. The land alone cost $99.5 million and had stamp duty of $6.77 million.
“Once completed, and based on a description of what is planned, this will rate as one of the best houses in the world given no other country can boast its iconic view to the Opera House and Harbour Bridge,” says Highland Double Bay’s Bill Malouf, who was involved in the sale of all three properties.
Rivalling it for the top spot are the home of Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond a few doors away for which an offer of about $110 million was knocked back in 2017, and the beachfront acreage Fairwater, for which tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes paid $100 million in 2018.
Even Melbourne is hoping to muscle in on Sydney’s ridiculous displays of wealth after 27-year-old crypto king Ed Craven paid more than $80 million for a knock-down rebuild in Toorak last month.
And as homeowners across the country calculate the burden of this week’s fifth interest rate rise in as many months, in the parallel universe known as Point Piper there are no such concerns given the Jakobs purchased all three sites with cash.
Senator Andrew Bragg has split from his wife Melanie.Credit:Peter Braig.
All that looks to be standing in the way of Jakob’s grand plans for the almost 2500 square metres is the matter of an easement intersecting two of the properties that offers waterfront access to the Wolseley Road home of Macquarie’s top-earner Nick O’Kane. Given O’Kane paid $40 million for his designer digs just last year, that easement won’t be cheap.
Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg looks to be swapping life at one end of Paddington for another, buying a four-bedroom Victorian terrace for $3.15 million.
Bragg, who ran the marriage equality campaign for the Coalition government in 2017, was elected to federal parliament in 2019, just two months after he bought his larger, five-bedroom terrace near Centennial Park for $4.675 million.
Former wife Melanie looks to be keeping the family home, prompting Bragg to buy his new digs near Five Ways through Ray White Woollahra’s Randall Kemp.
Fund manager Magellan’s founder and former star picker Hamish Douglass is continuing his sell-off of the family property assets, listing his Whale Beach weekender with a $14 million guide.
The Alex Popov-designed residence known as The Hutt at Whale Beach is listed for $14 million.
This is the architect Alex Popov-designed residence known as The Hutt that was purchased in the name of Douglass’s sister, jewellery designer Sybella Morris for $10.25 million in 2020.
At the time the local values were yet to soar in the post-pandemic boom, but at least the sale ended what had been a two-year sales campaign. LJ Hooker’s David Edwards and BJ Edwards are no doubt planning on a shorter campaign this time around.
Douglass’s selling frenzy comes just months after he made headlines by resigning from Magellan to take up advising James Packer on how best to invest his $3.3 billion from the sale of Crown Resorts.
Hamish Douglass sold the family’s long-held home in Double Bay earlier this year.Credit:
Earlier this year Douglass and Morris also sold off their long-held family home in Double Bay for more than $25 million to Real Housewives of Sydney reality television star Krissy Marsh.
But it doesn’t look like Douglass will be budging from his Neutral Bay trophy home, St Ronans. Records show the historic mansion – notably designed by government architect Walter Liberty Vernon in the 1880s – that Douglass and former wife Alex bought in 2001 has been transferred to his sole ownership on a property settlement of $5.8 million.
Also up for sale in the glamorous holiday locale is the Palm Beach holiday home of the prominent rich list Conley family for $10 million, again through the Edwards team at LJ Hooker.
The P&O-style house at Palm Beach last traded in 2009 for $3.55 million.
Stephanie Conley-Buhre is the daughter of the late aviation pioneer John Conley.Credit:
The classic P&O-style residence is owned by the family’s Broken Hill Investments company, which was established by the late aviation pioneer and philanthropist John Conley and is now controlled by his widow Judy and their daughters Annie Conley and Stephanie Conley-Buhre.
It was purchased in 2009 for $3.55 million, but has clearly scored a renovation since then, no doubt with a hand from serial renovator and food blogger Conley-Buhre.
Conley-Buhre has developed quite the reputation for her high-end house flips, of which her most recent was a Bellevue Hill mansion she bought in 2018 for $17.1 million and sold a year ago for $30 million to Annabelle Shamir, the 30-year-old wife of dealmaker Adam Blumenthal.
The three-bedroom apartment overlooks the track at Randwick Racecourse.
Jockey Hugh Bowman recently completed a major redesign of his South Coogee home, which no doubt makes now a good time to pay a bit of it off by off-loading his Randwick investment pad.
Hugh Bowman ranks among the world’s top jockeys.Credit:Jenny Evans
1st City Double Bay’s Julian Hasemer has a guide of $1.4 million for the three-bedroom spread that overlooks Randwick Racecourse and the track where he rode the legendary thoroughbred Winx to her final race victory in 2019.
Bowman, ranked among the world’s top jockeys, has long had an attachment to the aptly named Phar Lap Gardens apartment complex, buying his first home there in 2000 and selling that to up-grade to this three-bedroom pad in 2005 for $575,000.
Veteran property developers Bob and Margaret Rose have listed their long-held Darling Point apartment for $15 million to $16 million following their purchase of Kerry Packer’s former penthouse retreat in Elizabeth Bay’s Toft Monks.
The three-bedroom apartment of Bob and Margaret Rose is up for $15 million to $16 million.
The three-bedroom spread is one of three in the Darling Point triplex that was built by the Rose family and designed by architect Dennis Rabinowitz about a decade ago as a sort of family block.
It is listed it with Christie’s Ken Jacobs and Pillinger’s Brad Pillinger, both of whom sold the Roses the $22.5 million Elizabeth Bay penthouse of Julie Trethowan, who was Packer’s long-time confidant until he died in 2005.
Margaret Rose, AM, is swapping Darling Point for the former Packer retreat in Elizabeth Bay.Credit:
The Roses have already sold their other two apartments in the triplex. The first in 2014 for $9.98 million to ad agency executive Robin Chen and businessman Ying Huang, and the garden apartment in January for $21.5 million to lawyer Sam Makhoul and his wife Katrina.
Makhoul, the author, motivational speaker and head of MSA National law firm, is also hatching downsizing plans, at least in terms of size, from his Terrey Hills equestrian estate bought nine years ago for $5.35 million.
The Makhoul’s newly acquired harbour views will hopefully compensate what they are leaving behind: namely their homestead-style residence with guest cottage, pool, tennis court, meditation garden, sauna, gym, horse stables and arena.
The Terrey Hills equestrian estate of Sam and Katrina Makhoul is on offer for more than $19 million.
Christie’s Darren Curtis and Sydney Country Living’s Shayne Hutton are asking more than $19 million, well in excess of the $12 million local record set early this year when rugby league legend Brad Fittler sold to Telstra chairman John Mullen.
Construction boss Pierre Jacob and his wife Doreen look to be trading up from their Inner West home, having bought a house in Rose Bay for $11.5 million with no finance required.
Jacob and his brother Joseph Jacob head up Prolet Constructions, which was recently implicated in an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into claims Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas had accepted perks from developers in return for favourable planning decisions.
Jacob’s purchase of the five-bedroom Californian bungalow on 860 square metres comes 15 months after it last traded for $7.1 million, with the only apparent improvement since being a recently approved DA for a new MAP Architects-designed residence on the block at a cost of $1.38 million.
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