A spectacular clifftop mansion built by a former high-flying property developer – but unlived in for the past 10 years – has been placed on the market for sale.
The 346 square metre five bedroom palace sits on a 33.61 hectare headland overlooking Purau and Pile bays in Christchurch’s Lyttelton Harbour.
The home was built by former Christchurch-based property developer Gary Kennard who reportedly went bankrupt in 2011 owing the Inland Revenue Department more than $2.5 million after a failed Queenstown apartment purchase went awry and unpaid GST was due.
Now Kennard’s abandoned waterfront chateau – which has never been occupied – has been placed on the market for sale through a mortgagee sale process being run by Bayleys Canterbury. Offers for the home and waterfront land block close on April 16.
The two-storey manor features three living areas, internal audio wiring throughout, underfloor heating, three heat pumps, double glazing, a balcony overlooking private beaches, marble fitments in the kitchen, a master bedroom with en-suite and walk-in wardrobe, a separate guest bathroom, and three toilets.
Services including power, and telephone connections, with water drawn from a spring, rain water retention, or a well, all of which been fitted to the home but never connected as the home has never been used. Bayleys Canterbury sales person Richard Innes compared the property to something out of a fairytale.
“Construction of the home began in 2004 and a full council code of compliance was issued in 2005. For some reason though, it’s then-owner never moved in, so to all intents and purposes, it’s brand new,” Mr Innes said.
“The walls are all painted, the fittings and fixtures are all intact, the walk-in wardrobes are complete, and the floorboards are ready to be carpeted. Essentially, it’s being sold in an ‘as is, where is’ condition.”
A long driveway connecting the home to Camp Bay Road is now overgrown, although Mr Innes said the underlying shingle base remained intact and was ready to be covered with either concrete or tarseal.
“It’s like something you read about in a Brothers Grimm story. There’re thistle bushes sprouting up around the exterior of the house, but they would be very easy to remove,” he said.
“Anyone with vision can clearly see the opportunity for landscaping on what can only be described as a stunning lifestyle block location with use of three sandy beaches which are great for swimming and boating.”
The 33.61 hectares of gently sloping land surrounding the homestead is all in permanent pasture, and is subdivided into approximately six paddocks which have been leased to a neighbouring farmer for grazing over recent years. The
property is some 45 minutes drive from Christchurch CBD.
The home and land overlook one of Canterbury’s most historical sites – Ripapa Island, the first musket-fortified Maori pa in the South Island, which went on to become an immigrant quarantine facility, and then home to the defence outpost of Fort Jervois in 1880s to repel the perceived 'Great Russian scare'.
Two large cannons and two machine gun outposts were built on the island as part of Fort Jervois, as the location has commanding views down Lyttelton Harbour. It was described in the British House of Commons as: "the strongest port fortress in the Empire.”
Ripapa Island was later transformed into a prisoner of war camp, and housed the infamous World War One German navy captain Count Felix Von Luckner who sank 14 allied vessels before being captured.
Mr Innes said the buyer would most likely be a Cantabrian looking for a substantial lifestyle block, and unafraid to take on an earthquake repair project - with the end product being a substantial family home. The property has a 2013 council valuation of $1.89 million.
“Aside from removing some of the scrub vegetation around the garage and having the driveway laid, it’s only a matter of adding finishing interior decore touches to what could become the jewel of Lyttelton Harbour,” Mr Innes said.