Thursday, March 11, 2010

little bay with big problems

It's only 3 kilometres from the city centre and a stone's throw from Kings Cross-Elizabeth Bay, a harbour-side suburb where a battle royal is about to break out.

The suburb has some rich and famous residents overseen by the imposing  Elizabeth Bay House, the historic homestead of Governor Lachlan Macquarie whose wife Elizabeth the area was named after. Chef Kylie Kwong lives there as does trucking magnate Lindsay Fox who stumped up $29M for the 1920's Spanish style residence Boomerang, built by the Albert's music family and the locale for the film Mission Impossible 11. At one stage actor Tom Cruise considered buying Boomerang as his Aussie base for he and former wife Nicole Kidman . Just up the road from Boomerang in Billyard Avenue have lived Russel Crowe and Lachlan Murdoch. A few hundred metres in the other direction in Roslyn Gardens is the imposing 4 storey terrace being restored by former Prime Minster Paul Keating-to date a 15 year project.

Rene Rivkin
 Owner of the fashion label Diesel and former James Packer partner , Theo Onosforou has a house there as does the head of the  Broome pearl empire Nick Paspaley while Consolidated Media's chairman, John Alexander lives in a magnificent penthouse. Right on the small park at the end of a marina where the action is taking place is controversial West Australian businessman Warren Anderson who has his elegant terrace for sale for give or take $30M.

Opposite Anderson's house is the Elizabeth Bay marina whose owners, rag trader Michael Dalah and the rich  panel beater Peter Fitzhenry wish to turn from it's present 30 vessel berth into 50. It's a fight that is sure to end  up in the courts as the residents oppose the development. They successfully saw off the last entrepreneur, the late stockbroker Rene Rivkin.

The Danish royals partied at Boomerang
Meanwhile John Alexander who led the fight to prevent the previous development has had to halt the renovations of his large terrace overlooking the harbour after another tenant of his building Julie Schaeffer took out an injunction in the Supreme Court citing lack off council approval. Schaeffer was the previous owner of Boomerang where she hosted the return home party for Princess Mary of Denmark when Mary paid her first visit back to Oz with her husband Frederick-the future King of Denmark.

And right across the road from Boomerang is the multi storey apartment of property entrepreneur Gary Baker and his wife Karin Upton Baker the head of the fashion label Hermes where they have hosted parties for Elle McPherson and Cate Blanchett. The Bakers-noted for their series of black autos-a Bentley Continental,  a Rolls Phantom , a vintage Mercedes sports car and a Mini Cooper all with XXX numberplate's, are facing a Supreme Court fight over their investment in a set of Bondi beach-side apartments once owned by the late singer Peter Allen the former husband of Liza Minnelli. The Bakers are being  sued by a credit company for around $18M and risk losing their home.
Directly across from the marina where all the woes are about to descend is tSS contributor Bill Ranken who has a pied-à-terre . He's not buying into the fight-he doesn't like boats.