Double Bay harbourfront Elaine sold for $70 million plus

Double Bay harbourfront Elaine sold for $70 million plus
Double Bay harbourfront Elaine sold for $70 million plus

Tech billionaire Scott Farquhar spent $70 million plus on Friday night to to secure the three-storey Double Bay harbourfront mansion, Elaine.

The property has been on the market for three years. 

There were two local parties vying against overseas interests for the derelict residence before it sold, ending the three-year marketing campaign by Ken Jacobs of Christie’s International.

Farquhar, 37, who co-founded tech company Atlassian with Mike Cannon-Brookes in 2002, now sits atop of the BRW Young Rich List with a combined net worth of $4.6 billion.

The 6986 square metre estate on Seven Shillings Beach features seven bedrooms, five bathrooms and a tennis court.

“We’re thrilled with the purchase and honoured to take over the Elaine estate in its entirety from the Fairfax family,” Farquhar told Fairfax Media.

Vendor John B Fairfax said the sale was an “emotional day”.

“I sold a home that has been in the Fairfax family since 1891. I am delighted it is being purchased in one line by an Australian family,” he said.

It has been reported Fairfax sold at a "sentimental discount" as he wanted a family buyer not a developer buyer.

Scott Farquhar, the co-founder and co-CEO of the software company Atlasssian, has been one of the handful of Australian billionaires who have been looking to buy in the prestige market place over recent times. It will be home for the low key tech guy and his wife, Kim and their three boys.

His interest has been focussed on eastern suburbs offerings including Rona on Bellevue Hill - going close but never committing to the modernised Rustic Gothic Revival style abode that remains listed through Bart Doff at Laing & Simmons Double Bay inconjunction with Ben Collier at The Agency. 

The sale of Elaine bettered the previous $70 million house record set in 2015 when Jacobs sold the Vaucluse mansion, La Mer on behalf of James and Erica Packer to Chinese-Australian businessman Chau Chak Wing.

Built in 1863, Elaine has been home to the Fairfax media dynasty since Geoffrey Evan Fairfax bought it in 1891 for £2100, though no one in the family had lived in two decades. 

It has been leased since 1996, first to socialite Elizabeth de Fox and her then medico husband David, followed by the boutique property developers Bob Rose and his wife Margaret, then venture capitalist Cameron O'Reilly, and then the joint chief investment officer of Caledonia Investments, Mark Nelson, and his wife, Louise.

Farquhar's has limited property holdings - a Pyrmont apartment in his name - unlike his tech billionaire business partner Michael Cannon-Brookes and wife Annie who love their property.

The Cannon-Brookes couple own a $12 million Centennial Park Californian bungalow home currently getting a makeover given the family's need for more bedrooms, so they have just spent a stopgap $7.05 million on the Double Bay trophy home SeaDragon, the 1936 Professor Leslie Wilkinson designed Mediterranean style villa while they await the renovations.

They also own a Southern Highland retreat and a Palm Beach weekender.

This article first appeared in the Daily Telegraph.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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