Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gina Spends Up

When you are the richest woman in the world and in line to be the richest person on the planet, what's a few million dollars here and there.

 Gina Rinehart is buying up property abroad and has purchased 2 luxury apartments for nearly $44M in Singapore's new Seven Palms Sentosa Cove project. That's off-the-plan as they haven't actually been built yet and Gina's taking a bit of risk here with the Asian property market swings of highs and lows putting Dubai's property plunge to shame.

Lady Mary Fairfax
The last Aussie to splash out on property abroad was newspaper heiress Lady Mary Fairfax who bought the 3 storey penthouse in the ritzy Pierre Hotel in New York in 1988 for $12M . That pad came with it's own ballroom, 5 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms and featured spectacular views over Central Park. Lady Mary had plenty of cash to splash about at the time having picked up at least $250M in the failed takeover bid of Fairfax Newspapers by her son Warwick Fairfax which ended in tears although the extended Fairfax clan became immensely rich in the process.

The Pierre Hotel
The Pierre Ballroom
 This month that clan will gather at Lady Mary's Sydney harbour side mansion Fairwater in Double Bay to celebrate her 90th birthday. Fairwater doubles-up as the Monaco Consulate as Lady Mary is the Honorary Consul. When Mary passes the house has been left in trust to the nation although it's stipulated in her will that her retainers, servants, chauffeurs and gardeners can live there rent free for the rest of their lives

As for that Pierre Hotel penthouse, Lady Mary sold it for $21.5M in 1999, a record for a New York apartment.
That record was soon eclipsed by another Aussie newspaper baron Rupert Murdoch who paid $44M for a flat in the Rockefeller Centre but he was soon topped by David Geffen paying $45M for socialite Denise Rich's sumptuous pad on 5th Avenue (the Shuttle partied there for Milton Berle's 80th birthday). All this expensive real estate is put in the shade though by a penthouse that has just gone on the market for a whopping $95M in the mid-town Manhattan City Spire building