Justin Hemmes, the billionaire founder of hospitality juggernaut Merivale Group and the heir to the House of Merivale family fortune (and a man who was once described by CNN as “Sydney’s ultimate playboy”), has made a killing out of owning and operating Sydney’s most exclusive and famous pubs and clubs.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that he’s made a huge profit selling one of his luxurious personal properties… Although the sheer scale of the windfall (as well as how much the original owner paid for the property 25 years ago) would surprise even the most desensitized property-minded Sydneysider.
Earlier this week, Hemmes successfully sold 32 Bona Crescent, Morning Bay – a waterfront retreat in the most exclusive part of Sydney’s Northern Beaches – for $5.5 million. Not bad, considering he bought the place only 5 years ago for $2.75 million.
The luxurious house had been sold to Hemmes by Laurence Eastwood, the acclaimed theatre production designer, realestate.com.au explains.
“[The Eastwoods] had paid $510,000 for the 1275sqm vacant building block in 1996, which saw Eastwood return to his architectural work. The home, with post-and-beam design, vast floating roof and large stainless steel box gutters that feed rainwater into a 50,000-litre tank, won Eastwood a number of awards.”
The property is a stunner, with an eye-catching open kitchen, boatshed-come-waterside office and acres of glass. That the property has its own private beach and jetty is just icing on the cake.
But the really sweet part (or sour, depending on your perspective) is how much profit everyone’s made. Even if it cost the Eastwoods over $1 million to build the property back in the 90s – which it wouldn’t have – they would have made a tidy little profit selling to Hemmes.
Sure, it’s nothing compared to the $2.25 million profit Hemmes made just five years later… But both sale prices are demonstrative of how much Sydney property values have risen over the last quarter-century, and especially in the last 5 years.
The rich get richer…