Inside the luxury mansions of the Gold Coast
CALL them aspirational, garish, stunning or ridiculous, the luxury mansions of the Gold Coast are certainly jaw-dropping.
Perched proudly along the sand, reflected grandly in glittering riverfronts or nestled on sprawling leafy Hinterland estates, these super-homes have dimensions more akin to shopping centres. But who owns them? What's their story? Let's have a viewing.
26-34 Knightsbridge Pde East, Sovereign Islands. Listed for $36 million, last sold for $5.3 million
Not everyone can say they feel low-balled by a $32 million offer, but that's the price tag rejected by mega-mansion owner Riccardo Rizzi for this veritable castle in January.
He now has it listed for offers around $36 million. The six-bedroom, seven-bathroom, 12-car-garage home was designed "with the intention to build a modern day 100-year-old Chateau creating the feel of a Mediterranean European Estate".
It has a grand hall, Turkish bathhouse and wellness suite with natural mother-of-pearl wall mosaics. There's also a gymnasium, spa, chiller pool, steam room, sauna, wine cellar, scullery, basement parking for 12 cars, and a 25m pool fronting the Broadwater.
The Perth father of four put his hand up at a 2013 auction and paid $5.3 million for the then-unfinished giant spanning four lots in Knightsbridge Pde.
"The Queensland market's hot, it's booming," Mr Rizzi, a Perth-based civil engineer, told The Sunday Mail after the property was passed in.
"I do realise that $32 million is an enormous amount of money but that's only from a Queensland perspective."
The $36 million he's chasing now is actually a discount compared to the $45 million it was marketed for last year, and the $US30 million it was advertised for in 2019.
The mansion was passed in at $28 million in October.
"The Castle" 55 Knightsbridge Pde West, Sovereign Islands. Last sold for $5.325 million in 2012
If you're not taking your out-of-town visitors for a mansion tour of the Sovereign Islands - are you even a Gold Coaster? On an island of distinctive homes it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd - but this distinctive property certainly does, with its one-of-a-kind medieval facade.
It occupies one of the best locations at the elite enclave with a point position, 52m of water frontage and panoramic views.
It is owned by John Corbett, who bought it at auction for $5.325 million in 2012.
Mr Corbett tried to offload it at auction the following year, but it was passed in at the vendor bid of $7 million. It was marketed again for $11 million in 2015, but again did not sell.
The original owner and builder was Ron Litherland who wanted the house to reflect "formality and quality" through rich, ornate furnishings, features and fixtures including African mahogany and hand painted cornices.
Since buying the Castle, Mr Corbett has modernised the interior. In addition to three levels of living spaces the house has a rooftop terrace, basement parking for 14 cars, a home theatre, a library, a bar and study as well as numerous other rooms.
46-54 Curtis Rd, North Tamborine. Last sold for $5.5 million in 2016
This is one of those mansions that looks like it cost a lot more to build than what it was eventually sold for.
It was offloaded by since-divorced rich lister Christina and Tony Quinn, who built the VIP Petfoods empire before selling it for $410 million and buying Darrell Lea confectionery.
Mr Quinn, who also owns Game Over at Helensvale and various motorsport businesses, went on to sell Darrell Lea for $200 million.
The Quinns bought the Tamborine property from receivers for $1.25 million in 2011 when it was in an unfinished state and spent millions creating a palatial estate.
The opulent white home at Curtis Rd, complete with chapel and caretaker's residence, sits on a private 2ha site and has an indoor pool, theatre, music room, marble pillars and floors, gold trimmings in a formal dining room, and a tennis court.
Company records indicate the property is home to Alicia Atkinson, a former executive of embattled listed Gold Coast franchisor Retail Food Group.
Ms Atkinson, together with RFG's former managing director Tony Alford, were hauled before a joint parliamentary inquiry into franchising after revelations of poor treatment of franchisees.
"Sails" 2585 Gracemere Cct Nth, Hope Island. Last sold for $11.1 million in 2016.
The owner of this northern GC edifice, Sheng Li, bought it from internet porn businessman Dean Shannon, who'd picked it up two years earlier for $10.45 million.
Sails, a 2709sq m seven-bedroom, 10-bathroom home had been on the market at $12.5 million for more than 2000 days before Mr Shannon's purchase.
Mr Shannon bought it from former Fraser Island barge and resort owners Sid Melksham and Angela Burger, who bought it from receiver for $9.75 million in 2008.
Receivers held the property after Gary Chuck, a man who built it and tried to sell it for $25 million, got into financial strife.
Sails, which is situated on a 5371sq m site bought for $2.5 million in 2004, sits on a point and has a generous 176m water frontage.
"RIVERPOINT" 1-3 LA SCALA COURT, ISLE OF CAPRI. LAST SOLD FOR $11.75M IN JUNE 2020
One of the most recognised mansions on the Gold Coast's riverfront, the Bali-styled property is home to the founder of streetwear retailer and barber Culture Kings.
Simon and Tah-nee Beard bought the tropical home in June last year.
It previously sold in 2013 by mortgagee Suncorp following a Supreme Court dispute.
Broadbeach lawyer John Ramsden and his wife Melissa nabbed it for a $4 million bargain in 2013.
Riverpoint, which spans three levels, has seven living areas, a theatre, rumpus room, bar, cool room, gymnasium, tennis court and 10-car basement garage.
The house has a private sandy beach, resort-style pool and lush gardens.
15 Southern Cross Drive, Cronin Island. Last sold for $12.45 million in June 2020
Once home to Billabong International CEO Matthew Perrin, this was one of the Gold Coast's most controversial homes, located at the centre of a high-profile court case.
The sale last June set a record for the elite Surfers Paradise riverfront enclave Cronin Island.
The price is more than double the $6.1 million seller Terry Gavan, head of EMACS Electrical, paid in 2012.
The property was by bought by a buyer from Sydney, Bowei Yang, who intended using it as a permanent home.
When Mr Gavan purchased 15 Southern Cross Drive, it ended a wrangle between the Commonwealth Bank and Nicole Perrin, the ex-wife of the later-jailed, since-released Mr Perrin.
The bank sought to seize the property in a bid to recover a $13.5 million debt owed by Mr Perrin after he filed for bankruptcy in 2009.
Ms Perrin won in court, arguing that her then-husband had forged her name on loan documents.
The Cronin Island house, across two lots, includes seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a 2000-bottle temperature-controlled wine cellar, and garaging for 12 cars.
297-299 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters. Sold in January 2021 for $12.5 million
Entrepreneurs Billy and Jackie Cross celebrated a $12.5 million sale price for their stunning riverfront mansion in January, selling it to Anne and Neil Statham after 150 days on the market.
Pastoralist Mr Statham, aged 87 and founder of farmshed company Ranbuild, has tragically since passed away.
The Crosses built their Monaco St home on a 2531 sqm holding bought for $3.561 million in 2009.
For their money, the buyers got a 1560 sqm mansion with a gymnasium, steam and massage rooms, 2000-bottle wine cellar, outdoor teppanyaki kitchen, five-car garage, and tennis court.
The buyers also scored a mancave with bar, wine fridges, and seven TV sets.
"Villa Cantarocco" 249-255 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters. Sold in August 2020 for $12.5 million
The $12.5 million sale of Villa Cantarocco, at 249 Monaco St, was made to a company associated with Malcolm Watkins, a founding director of finance and mortgage broking group AFG.
The five-bedroom home boasts 43 metres of prime river frontage as well as a 17m swimming pool, pontoon, jetty and a six-car garage.
The two-level 1300 sqm mansion, which sits on a four-title 3296 sqm site, was regarded as the city's largest house when it was built in the 1970s.
Fitch Retail Investments head David Fitch and wife Rachel, had owned Villa Cantarocco since 2016.
The couple bought Villa Cantarocco for $11 million and put it on the market at $14 million.
The home was built in the 1970s and later enlarged by Queensland Wire Products founder George Stratigos.
Mr Stratigos, who built a helicopter pad on the property, died in 1995 when his Bell Ranger crashed in Northern NSW.
The home has been substantially upgraded at various times since then.
Owners since Mr Stratigos died have been shoe merchant John Hutchins, The Modern Group home improvements group founders Ron and Tina Bayley, property executive Duncan McInnes, and New Zealand fishing industry identity Demetrius Focas.
2 Heron Ave, Mermaid Beach. Under contract for $25 million
With its 40m of direct frontage on uber-exclusive Mermaid Beach, this home doesn't even have to be big or luxurious to make an impression - but you best believe it is.
The four-bedroom, four-bathroom Hamptons-style manor is reportedly under contract for $25 million, but is not expected to settle this year. Back-up offer anyone?
When the deal was inked in 2020, it equalled the record for Queensland's most expensive property, matching the 2016 deal on the Albatross Ave mansion of former Billabong boss Scott Perrin.
Former AFL player and now property developer Tony Smith and his wife Simone bought the property for $12 million in 2014, when it was a well-worn block of 17 beige units.
Once settled, the sale will fall short of the Gold Coast's record property sale, which belongs to another site nearby at 33 Hedges Ave, also put together by Mr Smith and sold incomplete for $27 million.
"Tidemark" 45-51 Albatross Ave, Mermaid Beach. Sold for $25 million in 2016
If you look up "Gold Coast booms and busts" in the dictionary, you may well find a photo of Tidemark - the sprawling comfort compound at Albatross Ave, in ritzy Mermaid Beach.
The mansion dubbed "Australia's best beachfront home" was built for one of the men who floated Billabong International, Scott Perrin.
Mr Perrin famously turned down an unsolicited, unconditional offer of $52 million for the home, nine years before accepting less than half that amount - a still-hefty $25 million.
Tidemark has six ensuited bedrooms, outdoor barbecue and teppanyaki zone, 11-car garage and retractable roof.
Current owner, billionaire Melbourne toymaker Manny Stul, was reportedly shopping the property around the $45 million mark late last year.
Mr Stul, 70, was born in a German refugee camp to Polish parents, and made his fortune with the Shopkins international toy craze.
33 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach. Once sold for $27 million, last sold for $17 million in 2009
This dune-dwelling vision in glass and concrete broke the Gold Coast property record even before it was completed - sold in 2008 by BreakFree founder Tony Smith to later-failed internet whiz Daniel Tzvetkoff for a record $27 million.
With its 40m of absolute beach frontage, it barely needs the full-sized tennis court and white Italian mosaic pool to make an impression.
Mr Smith had created the site by assembling four lots at a cost of $27.3 million.
The GFC and the failure of the MFS group, which had bought accommodation chain BreakFree, saw him caught short and he lost control of the part-built mansion - which reports at the time said had a build cost of $31 million.
The former AFL star had a large interest in MFS and is believed to have lost $50 million in one day when the shares plummeted.
Drilling industry veteran Peter Mitchell and wife Deidre picked it up for $17 million in 2009 after selling their drilling business for $150 million.
They reportedly knocked back offers above $35 million for the beachfront beauty last year.
41-45 The Promenade, Isle of Capri. Sold for $27 million in October 2020
Businessman Bruce Coulson and his wife Carolyne cracked the Queensland record for a completed house with their $27 million mega sale on the Isle of Capri.
The brand new 2961sq m three-level home at 41-45 The Promenade was sold off-market to a Chinese buyer from Sydney.
"We never set out to sell the property," Mr Coulson said at the time.
"We were put in the position where we had to make a decision."
The residence occupies three blocks totalling 2961sq m at 41-45 The Promenade and boasts some of the best main river and skyline views in the city.
"Bellagio La Villa" in the Tallebudgera Valley. Listed for $50 million.
The 49ha property, is the home of Chinese-born Gold Coast billionaire Riyu Li, the man who initiated the glamour three-tower Jewel beachfront project.
Mr Li's home since 2014, the Bellagio has been compared to a grand European estate.
He had planned a major wellness and gardens project on the property, with a hotel and 108 units, but the project was vetoed last year by the city council.
No reason has been given for the decision to sell.
Mr Li bought the two-title Bellagio holding and adjoining land for $7.2 million in 2014 from Coral Homes founders Paul and Vicki Sweeney in the wake of their marriage break-up.
Bellagio La Villa reportedly cost more than $8 million and was built on land that cost $7 million in 2006.
Originally published as Inside the luxury mansions of the Gold Coast