Half of the colossal Point Piper waterfront mansion has changed hands, linking a string of Australia’s most expensive property sales to one family.
The settlement saga of Point Piper’s Edgewater trophy home looks to be finally drawing to a close. Recently updated property documents have confirmed Chinese-Australian businessman John Changjin Li has taken ownership of one of the two apartments that comprise the country’s third-most expensive home, three years after it sold for $95 million in 2020.
The gold mining businessman has paid $47.5 million – half the total purchase price – for the Moss family’s downstairs apartment within the iconic four-storey harbourside abode in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
The Edgewater mansion on Point Piper’s Wolseley Road sold for $95 million in 2020. Inset: the late Sam Moss and his wife, Agi.  The Australian Jewish News
Mr Li purchased the 1800-square-metre landholding – complete with waterside tennis court and 40 metres of Sydney harbour frontage– from Katies clothing chain co-founders Joseph Brender and the late Sam Moss, in an off-market deal inked three years ago.
Edgewater’s upstairs apartment – owned by Joseph and Gerda Brender – is understood to be on extended settlement terms, which, when expired, is expected to complete the $95 million deal.
The settlement of the Moss family’s portion of Edgewater wraps up almost four decades of ownership, after the Moss and Brender families paid $5 million for Edgewater from showbiz great Michael Edgley – who built Edgewater – in 1985. The recent settlement also marks the latest in a string of at least four prestige sales totalling $306 million linked to the prominent eastern suburbs family.
Patriarch Sam Moss, who died in 2016 at age 90, arrived in Australia in 1949, in his own words “completely alone”, a Czechoslovakian-born Holocaust survivor who had endured the horrors of Auschwitz. After partnering with Polish immigrant Joseph Brender, the unlikely pair would go on to dominate Australia’s textile industry and remain lifelong friends as upstairs-downstairs neighbours.
Clockwise from top left: Uig Lodge in Point Piper; the Landerers’ former Vaucluse mansion Ganeden; John and Michelle Landerer paid the Fairfax family $18m for this Coolong Road house. 
Nowadays, members of the Moss family are behind Australia’s most expensive property deals. Along with Edgewater as Australia’s third-biggest residential sale at $95 million, Sam’s son Steven Moss and wife Carol sold Australia’s most expensive property – Point Piper’s Uig Lodge – to Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar and his investment banker wife, Kim Jackson, late last year for $130 million.
Following the death of Sam Moss and his second wife Agi, ownership of the Moss’ share of Edgewater transferred to their five shared children, one of whom is Michelle Landerer who is married to prominent lawyer John Landerer.
In a further trophy home twist, the Landerers sold their landmark Vaucluse home, Ganeden, for $62.75 million in February last year. At the time, Ganeden clocked Sydney’s sixth-most expensive sale, a consolidation of three houses between Wentworth and Vaucluse roads. It was designed by architect Stephen Gergely, who was also behind Edgewater’s conversion into two dwellings.
Following the sale of Ganeden, the Landerers went on to pay $18 million for the Spanish Mission-style Coolong Road home of Fairfax dynasty members Charles and Kate Fairfax in Vaucluse, in a deal understood to be negotiated through prestige buyer’s agent Simon Cohen.
In the past 18 months, the four homes linked to members of the Moss clan have traded for about $306 million. What’s even more astounding is the capital gains, given the three properties sold by members of the Moss family – offloaded for a combined $288 million – last transacted for a total of $18.2 million. These include Edgewater purchased for $5 million in 1989, Uig Lodge for $9.2 million in 1996 and Ganeden for $4 million in 2002.
While the $47.5 million settlement of Edgewater marks an end to the Moss family’s long association with the mansion, it signals an end to a drawn-out settlement process three years in the making. On Thursday, ownership of the Moss’ unit was updated and transferred to company name Point Piper One Pty Ltd, of which John Changjin Li is the sole director.
Edgewater was built as a single residence, but converted into a duplex to be shared by the Moss and Brender families in 1985. 
The agent behind the deal, Sotheby’s Michael Pallier, says while the outcome was a long time coming, the vendors were never at risk.
“Both families are canny business people, and when the original proposal was made, they looked at all worst-case scenarios,” Mr Pallier said. “When the headwinds came up, the vendors were protected.” He made special mention of the Moss family’s “genius” solicitor, Carl Reid, of Reid and Vesely, who had “everything covered”.
Those headwinds came in the form of Mr Li’s marriage breakdown to estranged wife Meihong Yang, while one of his key business interests, the now-sealed Indonesian gold mine, PT Sultan Rafli Mandiri, has not legally produced an ounce of gold in almost two years, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.
On the drawn-out settlement, the Sotheby’s agent remained characteristically diplomatic.
“There’s never a dull moment when you’re selling a property in Point Piper,” Mr Pallier said. “I don’t know which is more interesting, the houses or the people.”
At $95 million, the Edgewater sale price follows Scott Farquhar’s $130 million purchase of Uig Lodge and the $100 million paid by Mike Cannon-Brookes for Point Piper estate Fairwater in 2018.
The buyer of a designer luxury compound fronting the Yarra River in Melbourne’s Hawthorn has emerged as Nick O’Halloran, CEO of voice assistant and contact tracing technology outfit Contact Harald, and son of former Computershare director Michele O’Halloran.
Nick O’Halloran has purchased this Hawthorn riverfront compound for the low $20 millions. The designer home on Yarra Grove was listed in May for $24 million to $26 million.  
A caveat placed on the Powell and Glenn architect-designed five-bedroom, six-bathroom home has revealed Mr O’Halloran is set to take the keys from outgoing owners, prominent Melbourne knee surgeon Hayden Morris and wife Jacqui.
The property first joined the luxury market in March with a $24 million to $26 million guide, and while the final sale price remains unconfirmed until settlement, it is understood to be in the low $20 millions.
Mr O’Halloran has listed his Toorak home for sale following his Hawthorn purchase.  
Constructed by Visioneer Builders across three lift-connected levels, the Yarra Grove abode features floor-to-ceiling windows, polished concrete stairs and Dolomite granite kitchen with stainless-steel surfaces. The 2963-square-metre Hawthorn block comes with direct river access and gardens designed by Robert Boyle Landscapes.
Given the pricey purchase, it is little surprise Mr O’Halloran has listed his Toorak property on Vista Grove. That property – a collaboration between designers Christopher Doyle, Davies Henderson and Paul Bangay – has just concluded its expression of interest process, following a campaign guiding between $13 million and $14 million through Marshall White’s Marcus Chiminello and Alan Crawford.
Hawthorn has been well represented in property headlines this year, with the record-setting, $41 million sale of Avon Court and the $20 million-plus listing of Aidan and Vicki Clarke’s gold-rush mansion in Hawthorn East.
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