Inside Darnley Hall, Joe Hockey's latest forced FIRB trophy Sydney divestiture home

Inside Darnley Hall, Joe Hockey's latest forced FIRB trophy Sydney divestiture home
Inside Darnley Hall, Joe Hockey's latest forced FIRB trophy Sydney divestiture home

An international style penthouse that sold six years ago for $8.1 million in Elizabeth Bay is one of the latest homes where the FIRB is seeking forced divestment, after its owners came forward in the amnesty on illegal purchases that ends in November.

The top-floor company title apartment at Darnley Hall on Onslow Avenue was bought by Paul Longmuir and wife Elain Wei Ah Kwan in 2009 from Tony Benjamin, the property investor best known for ownership of the Holiday Lodge Hotel, Potts Point historic terrace.

The Longmuirs have since spent $16 million buying in Bellevue Hill, but the Bellevue Hill home is not under suspicion for breaching any foreign investment rules. 

It was a seven bedroom Bellevue Hill property sold by the Indonesian media mogul Eddy Sariaatmadja.

As the departing Elizabeth Bay Longmuir couple came forward themselves under Joe Hockey's crackdown, they will have 12 months to sell the home, though there are unconfirmed suggestions it may have already been quietly sold. No knowledge of any fresh sale by the last selling agent, Jason Boon at Elizabeth Bay's Richardson &Wrench agency.

Sales must take place within three months for owners who do not come forward voluntarily.

Additionally by coming forward the owners will keep all the capital gain appreciation, but next year under tough new laws being debated in parliament currently, they will risk their gains.

The other homes up for divestment are in Ardross in Perth, Underdale in Adelaide, Stretton in Brisbane and Labrador on the Gold Coast.

The Darnley Hall penthouse renovation was described as "hard to pin down as being from one particular place," by Tony Benjamin's then partner, Kym Elphinstone, an arts consultant.

"This could be Sydney, Paris, London, San Francisco or Hong Kong and is the result of influences drawn globally," Kym noted.

"We travel a lot and I guess we’ve pulled together what we like from different places as sympathetically to our own environment as possible."

Inspired by French-born botanist Patrick Blanc’s much-published vertical garden walls on buildings throughout the world, the couple decided on as much greenery as possible on the terrace. 

A former bedroom has been converted into a state-of-the-art kitchen that also opens up to the terrace through original French doors

High ceilings, original architraves and grand rooms were all period features that had been the main attraction when they bought in 2007. 

The purchase triggered a two-year period of re-modelling and restoration with the collaboration of interior designer Tonka Andjelkovic, with a difficult existing floor plan. 

Above images courtesy of Tonkaandjelkovic design.

Below picture was taken prior to renovation.

Inside Darnley Hall, Joe Hockey's latest forced FIRB trophy Sydney divestiture home  

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