BUYER: Lachlan Murdoch
LOCATION: Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, Sydney, Australia
PRICE: $23,000,000 AUS
SIZE: 6 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: 'Le Manior' – Grand Georgian estate – Approx 4097 sqm of land with panoramic views. Under instructions from the Government of the French Republic. Occupying one of Bellevue Hill's most breathtaking parcels of land, this magnificent residence commands panoramic views from Sydney Harbour to the Pacific Ocean.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: All the celebrity real estate watchers Down Under are vibrating with excitement over the news that multi-media scion Lachlan Murdoch and his Aussie model/actress wifey Sarah O'Hare have splashed out a whopping $23,000,000 for a mansion in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. That's $20,895,960 US at today's rates according to our bejewled abacus.
The mansion, called Le Manoir, was sold at auction by the French Government who used the Bellevue Hill estate as their consulate. The chunky, Georgian style mansion occupies a flag lot that listing information states spans 4,097 square meters. A few clicks and clacks on our conversion contraption reveals that is just a hair over an acre for all us old fashioned types still not working on the metric system.
Since listing information nor any of the many previous reports sent to us by a number of the children Down Under reveal the actual size of the house, we're going to say that based on the scale and and extensive mill work displayed in the studio apartment sized reception hall, it's gigantic. Listing information does, however, indicate that there are 6 bedooms and 5 bathrooms and a powder pooper for the guests. Additionally there are several living and sitting rooms, 2 studies, a commercial sized kitchen, large laundry facilities, multiple store rooms and fireplaces and some of the most bee-yoo-tee-ful wood floors Your Mama has seen in a long time.
The grounds look a bit ratty and tatty to Your Mama's eagle eyeballs, but according to listing information there is a long driveway leading to a large motor court and three car garage, there are terraced gardens, flat lawns, sunny terraces with views of Sydney Harbour and the Pacific Ocean, a swimming pool and a sunken grass tennis court.
Some reports say that Mister and Missus Murdoch outbid surly Oscar winning actor Russell Crowe and his wifey Danielle Spencer as well as Nicole Kidman and her man-mate Keith Urban. However, one of Your Mama's Aussie children tells us that Miz Kidman's name is tossed into the press with just about every high priced and high profile sale in Sydney so take that information with a grain of salt.
This not the first time Mister Murdoch and Crowe's real estate lives have intersected. Mister Murdoch once owned a house called Berthong in super swank Elizabeth Bay that he sold for $9,200,000 AUS to none other than Mister Crowe who subsequently sold it for $12,000,000 AUS in order to move into a $14,000,000 AUS penthouse at Sydney's tongue twisting Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf. Oh the tangle real estate webs celebrities weave.
Mister Murdoch, who resigned his post at his father's media empire several years ago but retained a seat on the board, made property news stateside when he bought an entire building at 11 Spring Street in New York City which is now known as The Candle Building. Murdoch's plans were to convert the graffiti covered 19th-century carriage house into a gargantuan, seven story single family residence but his grandiose real estate plans were thwarted when his father sent him Down Under. Mister Murdoch sold the building in September of 2006 for $12,000,000 to a 20-something year old real estate heiress named Caroline Cummings who cleaned and restored the exterior architecture and chopped up the 12,128 square feet of interior space into three high style condominiums–a simplex and two triplexes–with heated floors in the bathrooms and white glass back splashes in the kitchens. In September of 2008, renovations complete, Miss Cummings listed the entire building with a get rich quick asking price of $39,800,000. A month later she listed the individual apartments. As time went by and no one bought the building or any of the condos, the asking prices were steadily reduced leaving the latest and perhaps last price tag for the entire building at $26,000,000. According to StreetEasy, the entire building went into contract on the 31st of October so good for Miss Cummings.
But we digress...Mister Murdoch's twenty three million dollar purchase price sets the record for the highest price paid for a private property in Australia in 2009. The previous record was set by media mogul and gambling magnate James Packer who laid out $18,000,000 AUS for a property in the Eastern Suburb of Vaucluse earlier in the year. Perhaps not surprisingly, Misters Murdoch and Packer are in business together. Birds of a feather and all that.