12/07/2018 - 15:36

Sotheby’s markets Taj to the world

12/07/2018 - 15:36

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A Peppermint Grove property once home to the infamous ‘Taj on Swan’ is set to go under the hammer, with the owners recently engaging Sotheby’s International Realty to run a global sales campaign.

Sotheby’s markets Taj to the world
The plot of land is scheduled for auction on site Saturday July 28. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

A Peppermint Grove property once home to the infamous ‘Taj on Swan’ is set to go under the hammer, with the owners recently engaging Sotheby’s International Realty to run a global sales campaign.

The 6,882 square metre site at 2 Bay View Terrace in Peppermint Grove has failed to pin down a committed buyer since it listed for sale in late 2016, following the demolition of an unfinished Indian-style mansion, nicknamed the Taj on Swan.

Vendors Pankaj and Radhika Oswal, former owners of fertiliser empire Burrup Holdings (now trading as Yara Pilbara Holdings), bought what was originally eight individual blocks in 2007 for $22.7 million, according to realestate.com.au, starting construction on their $70 million residence a year later.

Construction on the mansion, which was to feature six bedrooms, a gym, swimming pool, parking for 17 cars and an observatory with a revolving roof, was halted in 2010 after the Oswals left Australia amidst legal and financial disputes with ANZ and the Australian Taxation Office.

The property was left vacant for several years until the Shire of Peppermint Grove won the right to demolish the derelict building in 2016, which it claimed was being used by partying teens and squatters.

Western suburbs agent Vivien Yap has since managed the sales process, initially listing the site at $30 million, a price that was dropped to $22.7 million in 2017, followed by a failed auction and a further reduction to $20 million earlier this year.

The property is currently being marketed at $19 million as one whole block or as six individual lots, now co-managed by Ms Yap and Sotheby’s South Australian division’s managing director Graham Bowie, under a conjunctional agreement.

Mr Bowie said the vendors approached Sotheby’s earlier this year.

The agency has 950 offices across 69 countries and 22,000 sales associates, all of whom he said had been encouraged to assist in the sale of the Peppermint Grove property, which will be auctioned on site on July 28.

“The owners want representation on a local, national and global scale, following local real estate services in the past,” Mr Bowie told Business News.

“As a local agent, working within the confines of a local and national reach with such a significant property may have been the disadvantage and one of the reasons Sotheby’s has been approached.”

Sotheby’s has since developed a marketing campaign partnering with media platforms such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Luxury Estates, Country Style UK and Mansions Global, as well as Chinese international property website Juwai.com.

Promotional material is also being run across Sotheby’s global website, which it says attracts more than 2 million visits per month, as well as its affiliate channels in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. 

Generally, Mr Bowie said, for an overseas buyer to register interest, there had to be a link to a business partner, relative or past living experience in Australia, and that selling land had more complexities than presenting a completed home.

Enquiries had come from all over the world but the most interest had come from the US and Asia, he said, with Perth project builders also eyeing the property. 

“There has been more interest in individual blocks than for the whole, which means it’s definitely a good exercise for any developer wanting to subdivide,” Mr Bowie said.

“The $19 million at the end of the day is purely a guide; it is going to auction and they want to sell.”

He said Sotheby’s was yet to officially launch in Western Australia but was currently managing a pipeline of $43 million worth of WA-based property.

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