RISE OF CLIVE: Clive Berghofer in 2004 after selling land.
RISE OF CLIVE: Clive Berghofer in 2004 after selling land. The Chronicle Archives

Rise of Clive: The success of Toowoomba's $374m man

CLIVE Berghofer still has more than $200 million worth of undeveloped land in Toowoomba.

Yet it's only a fraction of the 10,000 lots of land he has owned and developed over a 54-year career in real estate.

"There are not many parts of Toowoomba that I haven't done land on," Mr Berghofer said in an interview with The Chronicle.

The 82-year-old real estate magnate, who was worth an estimated $374m in 2017, has resurfaced as a key player in a number of recent high-profile developments.

He was revealed as the owner of land in Highfields that the Toowoomba Regional Council bought for $7.5 million and will also play a role in the creation of the city's newest suburb at Mt Kynoch, since he owns the land the developers need for it.

Additionally, the properties his company Jeteld owns in Darling Heights and Highfields are being turned into massive housing estates.

So how much land did Mr Berghofer once own?

And what holdings remain after 54 years of developing property?

"There's only one or two years out of all that I didn't develop any land," he said.

"I used to buy it and usually I paid the council to develop it, but in the early 70s I started developing it myself.

"In the biggest year ever, we did 800 blocks."

Mr Berghofer said his relentless approach to real estate set him apart from his competitors at the time.

"When land became available, I'd buy it and put it in (my) 'property bank'," he said.

"I wanted enough so I could keep going.

"I've developed I think 9000 or 10,000 lots over the time, which is a lot of land."

 

Clive Berghofer Toowoomba property developer and philanthropist he has held positions as Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly, Alderman and Mayor of Toowoomba. Scans from prints in CB personal file.The Chronicle Archives.
Clive Berghofer Toowoomba property developer and philanthropist he has held positions as Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly, Alderman and Mayor of Toowoomba. Scans from prints in CB personal file.The Chronicle Archives. The Chronicle Archives

When asked to consider a map of Toowoomba marked with Jeteld-owned properties, Mr Berghofer pointed to ongoing developments to the south (Kearneys Spring and Darling Heights) and the north (Highfields and Mt Kynoch) of the city.

He has offloaded almost all his holdings to the west and these have in turn been developed by others. One such example is the Sanctuary Rise housing estate in Wilsonton Heights which was shaped by Consolidated Properties.

Over the years, his holdings have shifted further from his earliest around Rangeville, Centenary Heights and Wilsonton.

But a relentlessness work ethic and business success have come at a cost.

"I've had plenty of friends when they want me, but I haven't had time to look after friends probably," Mr Berghofer conceded.



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