Nieces and charities lose millions in penthouse sale
Nieces and charities may have missed out on millions after the strata committee of a Darling Point high-rise lodged plans with council for a new penthouse above one already on the market.
The level-30 penthouse in the Ranelagh block at 30a/3 Darling Point Road - the former home of the late B&D Roll-A-Door founder Arthur Byrne and his wife, Yvonne - sold for $6.1m at auction last night.
It's the highest penthouse outside the CBD.
The result was $1.6m above the $4.5m reserve via Ray White Woollahra/Paddington agent Ty Demirezen and principal Randall Kemp, with a panelbeater from Woolloomooloo making $100,000 bids to win the keys.
The beneficiaries were two nieces alongside 30 charities including Cure Cancer Australia, because Arthur's brother, Leo, had died of Leukaemia.
But there'd been expectations of much more for the relatives and charities.
There'd initially been hopes in the $8m to $10m range for the double apartment with extraordinary views - dashed during the final week of the campaign when Ranelagh's strata lodged plans with Woollahra Council for a new penthouse in the roofspace of the building along with new facade and windows costing more than $26m.
"That knocked out 80 per cent of the buyers," says Demirezen.
"We knew about the windows and facade when the campaign started, which is why the strata levies were going to be $28,000 a quarter, but the lodging of the penthouse plan removed a significant portion of buyers."
Executor Martin Whitehouse said: "In my opinion, it sold for less because the plans for the penthouse were lodged."
Strata manager David Terry of Strata Logic, who represents the strata committee, said: "I'm not sure how the lodging of these plans could affect the value of the penthouse."
He also said that the lodgement's timing in the final week of the auction campaign was coincidental.
"The owners corporation had been working on the DA for six months - it was supposed to go into council at the end of February, but it was delayed."
Arthur Byrne and his business partner Paul Davidson launched the Roll-A-Door in one of the first marketing campaigns on TV in 1956. The garage door became one of Australia's greatest suburban icons.
He and Yvonne bought the penthouse in 1980. Whitehouse, a family friend and colleague,
remembers the day Byrne, who died in 2009, and his wife, Yvonne, who died more recently, moved in.
"They had a lot of trouble getting the grand piano up there," Whitehouse said.
Spanning 290sqm, the apartment has three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a double garage.
There's been 10 registered bidders, with five active last night at auctioneer Damien Cooley's Double Bay rooms. Three had dropped out once the property hit the $4.5m reserve.
It was an incredible auction, with another party countering the panelbeater's $100,000 bids with offers of $1000.
The crowd was in hysterics. The late Arthur and Yvonne would have enjoyed the show.
It's understood the panelbeater is planning an extensive renovation. He already has an extensive investment portfolio.
Originally published as Nieces and charities lose millions in penthouse sale