Breakfree founder Tony Smith makes $7 million-plus Mermaid Beach comeback: Title Tattle
The Breakfree founder tourism entrepreneur Tony Smith – whose global financial crisis share investment tumble prompted a hasty exit from his Mermaid Beach mega-holding – has made a $7 million-plus comeback on the Gold Coast beachfront strip.
Smith, who now runs two luxury resorts in Bali, has bought a 1,220-square-metre holding on Surf Street, which runs off Albatross Avenue.
He told the Gold Coast Bulletin the property would be the family's holiday house when they visited Australia.
"I have no idea if the market is at the bottom but can't imagine that it can go much lower," he said.
"We are now buying at 1998 to 2000 prices (the last boom started in 2001), which was at the end of an eight to 10-year bust."
Smith made national headlines during the property boom for wanting to build the "the world's biggest bloody house" along Hedges Avenue, having consolidated five properties.
But the plans were thwarted when MFS, now known as Octaviar, got caught in the GFC, with Smith among those hurt by the early 2008 collapse.
With Gold Coast prices remaining surprisingly resilient well into the GFC, his partially half-built Hedges Avenue mega-mansion was sold to the now failed IT tycoon Daniel Tzvetkoff for $27 million.
The depths of the coast's eventual property collapse emerged when Tzvetkoff hit financial strife, and the still unfinished house was sold to Mitchell Drilling founder Peter Mitchell for $17 million.
Smith, who is a non-resident Australian, now lives in Bali and manages properties at Seminyak and Uluwatu, under the Semara Resort and Spa brand.
Agent John Natoli at McGrath negotiated the sale after the property was passed in for $6.9 million. It sold within 24 hours for between $7 million and $7.5 million.
It is the Smith family's second property purchase along the strip, as his wife Simone spent $3,025,000 on a beachfront unit in late 2011.
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Meanwhile, Mike Quigley, boss of the federal government's National Broadband Network, has also sold his Mosman mansion recently at $3,555,000. It represented a loss on the $3.6 million paid in 2007.
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