NSW

Jonathan Chancellor | 6 December 2012

Greg Coffey gets his Balmoral residential compound for $17.8 million: Title Tattle

Greg Coffey gets his Balmoral residential compound for $17.8 million: Title Tattle

The high-flying recently retired Australian expat hedge fund trader Greg Coffey finally has his Balmoral compound.

It's been sealed with the recent acquisition of a $3.5 million Burran Avenue holding (pictured above). The four-lot, three purchases total 4,400 square metres, have cost $17.8 million.

The latest purchase added a strategic 610-square-metre holding to the hillside compound, which began with the purchase of the Merdjayoun estate in 2005.

Coffey paid $11.8 million for Merdjayoun, a seven-bedroom, 1930s Kirkoswald Avenue house (pictured above) on 3,200 square metres through Ray White agent Kingsley Yates inconjunction with Richardson & Wrench. It had been held by the Hattersley family for decades.

Then earlier this year Coffey paid $2.5 million for the home on 610 square metres of the late Patricia Flynn, which had been unoccupied for several years when listed by the NSW Trustee and Guardian through Ray White Lower North Shore.

The latest acquisition through Ray White Lower North Shore last traded in 2001 when bought by the Balicki family.

No plans yet lodged with Mosman Council, so just what Coffey wants awaits. The two smaller purchases give him both sites in front of his main residence holding, which has a slight covenated building restriction.

Elsewhere at Balmoral, the Manassen family spent $7.5 million on one place, then $6.4 million on the adjoining clifftop harbour property in 1998 and 1999. Ditto Urs Schwarzenbach, the Swiss-born financier based in Britain, and his Australian wife, Francesca, who bought their first Balmoral clifftop house for $3.9 million in 1988 and then $11 million for the neighbouring sandstone cottage in 2010. The Schwarzenbachs currently have a $2.3 million demolition and works project by architect Ian Little before council.

The Karedis family spent $19.05 million on their two-block Balmoral acquisition in 2005 and 2006.

Topping the outlay was the Oatley family, who spent $15 million for Rivendell in 2001 through Richardson & Wrench, and then $19 million in late 2011 for the adjoining holding.    

Ros Oatley-Lambert, the former wife of the former Southcorp wine chief Keith Lambert, snapped up her neighbouring Balmoral harbourfront property, Kahala, to improve her garden and boating facilities.

The 1,485-square-metre Hopetoun Avenue acquisition was sold by Albert Bertini, the flamboyant property developer. The adjoining Rivendell was a 2,000-square-metre double block.

Of course one doesn't have to buy more than one holding to make an impression.  Mosmanites are marvelling at the deep excavation at the recent Kirkoswald Avenue acquisition of Kimberly Simpson-Morgan, the wife of UBS boss Matthew Grounds. They are replacing a large Federation house on a 1,680-square-metre block that cost $14.05 million. The council were advised the newBKH-designed house would cost $3.9 million with the construction being undertaken by Todd Grounds at Grounds Construction Pty Ltd. It was approved but only after the potential heritage significance of the house was queried by near neighbour, Emeritus Professor David Carment.

Sydney's most noteworthy compound surrounds the main Packer family residence, Cairnton in Bellevue Hill. Although there's been no acquisitions for a decade, it totalled nine separate acquisitions in the decades following the first purchase in 1935 by James Packer's late grandfather Sir Frank Packer, costing about $9.1 million, at yesteryear price levels, but obviously worth much more in today's market.

Credited as reshaping London's financial district, the City, Coffey initially lived in relatively humble London homes.

From 1999, Coffey and his wife, Ania Brzezinski, resided just off Clapham Common in a suburban Tudoresque semi with attic that was worth about £1 million freehold, based on Title Tattle's 2006 kerbside appraisal.

He then moved to the pricier Chelsea, which the Australian Financial Review described as culminating a dazzling career that catapulted had him from Cabramatta in Sydney’s western suburbs to Chelsea in west London.

In October Coffey hit international headlines when he announced his retirement aged 41 from his London hedge fund, taking with him as estimated fortune of $400 million to enjoy.

His resignation letter at Moore Capital Management said he intended to spend more time in Australia with his wife, Ania, and their children.

Shortly after Title Tattle heard the rumour that swept the Pittwater peninsula that the Coffey's spent $13 million-plus to be the buyers of adman Geoff Cousins' weekender, adjacent to their own Whale Beach retreat.

But this wasn't the case.

Instead they had their eyes on their Balmoral neighbour.

Coffey also has grand plans for his sprawling Ardfin estate (pictured above and below) in the Hebridean Island of Jura, Scotland, for a golf course.

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