The $35m mansion that no one wants to buy

5:00 AM Sunday May 15, 2016

Dotcom mansion attracts no offers, despite a ‘vigorous’ marketing campaign.

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t’s the $35 million mansion no one wants. More than three weeks after tenders closed on the sprawling Coatesville mansion Kim Dotcom used to call home, not a single offer has been tabled.

The sprawling Coatesville estate at 186 Mahoenui Valley Rd – also known as the Chrisco mansion – has 12 bedrooms, is on 22.6ha with its own vineyard, lake and boathouse, and has manicured parkland and sculptures.

A vigorous marketing campaign was launched when the property was put on the market.

But Christina Tang of Barfoot & Thompson’s Ponsonby Rd office, said no offer had been made for the place listed in February. Tenders closed on April 21.

But she remains hopeful and expects it to be snapped up soon.

“I believe it will definitely be sold. We’re working with several parties,” she said. There had been an overwhelming number of requests to see through the place.

t’s the $35 million mansion no one wants. More than three weeks after tenders closed on the sprawling Coatesville mansion Kim Dotcom used to call home, not a single offer has been tabled.

The sprawling Coatesville estate at 186 Mahoenui Valley Rd – also known as the Chrisco mansion – has 12 bedrooms, is on 22.6ha with its own vineyard, lake and boathouse, and has manicured parkland and sculptures.

A vigorous marketing campaign was launched when the property was put on the market.

But Christina Tang of Barfoot & Thompson’s Ponsonby Rd office, said no offer had been made for the place listed in February. Tenders closed on April 21.

But she remains hopeful and expects it to be snapped up soon.

“I believe it will definitely be sold. We’re working with several parties,” she said. There had been an overwhelming number of requests to see through the place.

Bradley and his wife, Ruth, the founders of the Chrisco hamper empire, built the house for an estimated $30 million in 2006.

During its construction, a 35-year-old man died when a crane boom came loose and struck him.

The man was one of three workers who had jumped on to the A-framed boom on the crane to dismantle it.

The Bradleys moved to Sydney in 2008 and the property was empty for two years until Dotcom moved in, paying $1 million a year in rent.

Dotcom ran Megaupload from the mansion, which was raided in the early hours of January 20, 2012, by a big police contingent, including helicopters and members of the special tactics group.

On the first anniversary of his arrest, Dotcom held a lavish party at the mansion, complete with a re-enactment of the raid.

Feng Shui Consultants NZ director Danny Thorn said he would not be surprised if the history of the property deterred some potential buyers.

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Feng shui is a Chinese philosophical system considered to govern spaces in relation to the flow of energy.

“The feng shui of a property is an important factor to a lot of people when they’re looking at buying a new property,” he said.

“We have clients of a wide variety of nationalities but it is perhaps something that is more at the forefront of the mind of Asians, in particular Chinese.”

Luxury property realtor Michael Boulgaris believed feng shui wouldn’t have affected the property’s sale. He believed its age could be the reason it remained on the market.

“People with money to spend want a new property, they don’t want something that’s dated,” he said.

“The new generation of Chinese buyers aren’t superstitious. It’s all to do with money.”

He was unsure how much the mansion would sell for.

Under the terms of the lease, Dotcom was forced to move out at the end of 2015 as he couldn’t afford to buy the property.

Losing the home was a bitter pill, Dotcom told the Herald on Sunday at the time.

“I fought hard to be able to retain this for my family,” he said.

“When I couldn’t do it with the court funds that were made available I started a new business and I built that primarily to be able to pay my legal fees and be able to keep this home for my family.

“After almost four years, to have to lose that battle now and leave my home, makes me sad.”

 

Source : New Zealand Herald

‘Tinnie terrorists’ to face Cairns court on Monday

May 15 2016 – 11:53AM

Kim Stephens

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Five Victorian men dubbed the “tinnie terrorists” over a bizarre plot to travel by boat from northern Queensland to Syria will be extradited to Melbourne after being charged on Saturday night.

Federal Attorney-General George Brandis confirmed on Sunday the Australian Federal Police charged the group with terrorism-related offences which carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

"I know it has been ridiculed but these are serious crimes," Attorney General George Brandis said on Sunday.
“I know it has been ridiculed but these are serious crimes,” Attorney General George Brandis said on Sunday. Photo: Kim Stephens

They remain in custody and will face Cairns Magistrates Court on Monday, where police will apply to extradite them to Melbourne.

Police will allege the group intended to flee to Syria to join the militant Islamic State.

Robert 'Musa' Cerantonio, is one of the five men in custody, charged with terrorist offences.
Robert ‘Musa’ Cerantonio, is one of the five men in custody, charged with terrorist offences. Photo: Eddie Jim

The much-ridiculed plot to travel by boat from northern Australia via Indonesia and the Philippines was hatched after Foreign Minister Julie Bishop cancelled the group’s passports and the request of the AFP, Mr Brandis said.

They had been under surveillance for some time, he said, which led to their arrests near Cairns on Tuesday.

Federal police have executed 10 search warrants in Melbourne’s north west and in northern Queensland in the intervening time, Mr Brandis said, before charging each man with one count of making preparations for incursion into foreign countries for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities.

Islamic preacher Musa Cerantonio, who has been described as “an outspoken cheerleader for ISIS”, was arrested near Cairns on Tuesday along with Shayden Thorne, Kadir Kaya, Antonio Grenata and another, so far unidentified, man.

The men range in age from 21 to 31.

While not missing the opportunity to spruik the government’s enhanced border protection laws as facilitating the arrest in the midst of the federal election campaign, Mr Brandis said though the plot had been subject to ridicule, the allegations were serious.

“Obviously there was at one level an unusual character to the plot, I know it has been ridiculed but these are serious crimes because they involved preparation to engage in terrorist war fighting overseas and that is against Australian law,” he said.

He said there were a number of people under police surveillance in Australia but emphasised the security threat remained at probable, the level it rose to in September 2014.

“I want to reassure the Australian people that our agencies, police and  national security agencies, are among the best in the world and they will do whatever they need to do to keep Australia safe,” he said.

“The important thing to bear in mind is these people have been under surveillance for quite some time, that’s the reason their passports were cancelled because they had been under surveillance and their intentions to travel to the Middle East were know to the authorities.”

Mr Brandis said the police were seeking the extradition of the group to Melbourne, due to the majority of the alleged planning having been undertaken there.

Anyone who sees suspicious activity is urged to phone the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

 

Source : Brisbane Times