Emerald city: David Gyngell looks to Brunswick Heads

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In his new career as an entrepreneur, former Nine boss David Gyngell is looking to build residential and retail real estate in the idyllic NSW north coast township of Brunswick Heads together with development partner John “Strop” Cornell, another Byron local. Gyngell, who knows the region like the back of his hand, loves Brunswick Heads, situated about 780km north of Sydney, because it is the “Byron Bay of 25 years ago”. Gyngell bought two sites — 1100sq m and 1200sq m — in the heart of the coastal township, planning a retail and possibly a residential development. “We are looking to develop to the betterment of Brunswick Heads,” the former Nine boss told Emerald City. Gyngell raised the ire of some Byron Bay residents a few years back by developing a multi-million-dollar spread behind Byron Bay as a weekender for his family.

History changes hands

International banker Gary Head quietly sold his Vaucluse mansion prior to auction last Monday through Sothebys International. The three-bedroom Russell Street property, a former ferry master’s cottage, was purchased for $1.794 million in 1999 from Mamamia founder Mia Freedman and her husband Jason Lavigne. Sothebys International would not divulge the price Head achieved but agent Michael Pallier put a price guide of $5.75m-$6.25m on the 1920 built house.

Known as “Mennock”, the property is in a prestigious harbourside location on 766sq m. It was redesigned by architect Michael Suttor with interiors by Marco Meneguzzi and gardens by Parterre. The five-bedroom home features a north-facing master suite and bedroom-sized walk-in wardrobe, plus a “luxurious floor-to-ceiling Carrara marble bathroom”, according to Sothebys, as well as a kitchen and butler’s pantry.

Coastal surveillance

Remax Coastal Byron Bay real estate agent Matt Towner is scouring the eastern seaboard for an iconic pub on behalf of an investment consortium that has up to $100m to spend. Towner says the Australian consortium is interested in anything on the coast from Newcastle, north of Sydney, to north Queensland.

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