Buyer spends $8m on gutted hinterland home
THE fiery misfortune of a Brisbane couple has led to a big-spending Chinese businessman 'growing' his rural holding in the Hinterland community that takes in Canungra to a $23 million-plus investment.
The property's sold at receiver auction for $8.05 million at what's been described as a battle that started with 13 bidders and came down to a two-horse race.
Feng previously had bought a riverfront multi-title aggregation, spending more than $15 million, that neighbours Wirraway and he was well on his way to becoming the king of Biddaddaba's Spengler Rd.
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All up, the 'Kou' properties, the bulk of which the Queensland Government previously had earmarked for the aborted Glendower dam site, span more than 1300ha.
The 54-year-old Feng, born in China's Hebei province, is the owner of company Lucas Garden - the vehicle used for his initial Spengler forays.
He's a fellow with an eye for luxury living - in 2015 he paid $8 million for a Sanctuary Cove home which Taiwanese owner James Tsai had been chasing $16 million.
His Wirraway buy, had it been made before night flames wreaked havoc four years ago, might have offered him another palatial residence.
The property's mansion originally a homestead until it was given a $14 million makeover.
The couple behind that work were Brisbane's Preston Richardson and wife Miranda.
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Preston paid $3.575 million in 2012 when he bought the 565ha Wirraway spread in 2012 via company PBR Properties.
Enlarging and upgrading the homestead turned into a $14 million exercise.
At the end of the day the Richardsons had a giant colonial-style home that included four bedrooms, a grand ballroom for 250 guests, and a wine cellar with an adjoining tasting room that doubled as a panic room and had bulletproof glass.
When the property first was marketed in 2014 it was touted as having, in addition to the home, two three-bedroom guest cottages, a diving pool, tennis court, gymnasium, an airstrip, two aircraft hangers and a helipad.
The Richardson home, which hadn't sold, went up in flames two days after Christmas in 2016.
The fire brought disastrous financial results for the Richardsons, with Wirraway owner PBR Properties put into receivership in 2018.
The reason for the Kou focus on Spengler Rd is not known, as is what he will do with holdings described as cattle-fattening properties.
The Chinese investor did not win at auction without meeting some homegrown competition.
The underbidders for the first three properties he bought were described as an Australian farming family.
In the case of Wirraway, a bidder 'from the bush' pushed the eventual winner to pay what one observer has termed 'real top dollar'.
Originally published as Buyer spends $8m on gutted Hinterland home