'Aussie' John Symond set for new Point Piper neighbours

'Aussie' John Symond set for new Point Piper neighbours
'Aussie' John Symond set for new Point Piper neighbours

When expatriate retired mortgage broker 'Aussie' John Symond and wife Amber finally return to their home, (pictured above) from London, they might find they have several new neighbours on the pricey Point Piper peninsula.

There is an application to turn Portofino, the adjacent $60 million luxury home, into a block of three flats by the little-known Chinese multi-millionaire stock trader Andy Wenlei Song.

Portofino (pictured below, centre) was the longtime three-level home of luxury car dealer and yachtsman Neville “Croaky” Crichton and his then fiancée — now wife — Nadi Hasandedic.

'Aussie' John Symond set for new Point Piper neighbours

Crichton sold in 2016, just months before their lavish wedding, for $60.66 million, in what was the year’s top trophy home sale in Australia.

It required approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board, but seemingly no financing because there’s no registered mortgage on title.

In 2011, the six-bedroom Portofino was briefly rented by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melanie, at $25,000 a week.

Solicitors Minter Ellison have been nominated as assisting in the conversion application. 

The property is one of only two waterfront homes on the rather steep and narrow Wingadal Place.

The timber Scots College Rowing Club boatshed sits on the shore between Portofino and Symond’s five-storey home.

The conversion proposal has been with Woollahra Council since this time last year, and the revised plans have only just gone out for public comment.

The initial Rob Mills Architects plans raised concerns at council regarding excessive building height, the documents show.

'Aussie' John Symond set for new Point Piper neighbours

The works are estimated to cost $7.28 million for the 1436 square metre waterfront parcel.

Crichton bought the property in 1994 for $5.9 million from helicopter pilot Bruce Rose and his wife, Pam, who held the only private helicopter landing rights in the eastern suburbs, which have now lapsed.

The New Zealand-born Crichton had commissioned Auckland-based architects Swan Railley Clapham & Associates to design his Tuscan-style abode.

It is not known if the intention is to flip or hold, perhaps as a multi-generational family compound.

This article was first published in the Sunday Telegraph.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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