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For almost a century the landmark Spanish mission showpiece, Boomerang, on the Elizabeth Bay waterfront has lured the big names of Australia’s moneyed class, reflecting the rise (and occasional fall) of various family fortunes.
So it is perhaps unsurprising that soon after would-be buyers were told they could no longer inspect the heritage-listed property that Sydney’s trophy home-owning set have excitedly been spreading the news that it has sold.
The heritage-listed Boomerang mansion on the Elizabeth Bay waterfront is expected to settle to its 11th owner before its 100th birthday in 2026.Credit:
Despite multiple, well-placed sources close to the family saying it has sold, the Fox family, headed by Melbourne-based trucking billionaire Lindsay Fox and his wife Paula, have responded to queries with “no comment”.
What is known is that the vintage Hollywood-style residence was quietly put up for sale in 2017 for $60 million, relisted in 2021 by Pillinger’s Brad Pillinger for $80 million and is no longer for sale – a point made clear after recent approaches from would-be buyers.
The rumour mill fleshes out details about a buyer who hails from Asia who has paid about $80 million on an 18-month to two-year settlement. Other sources have suggested a $105 million price given the delayed settlement.
Members of the Fox family (left to right): David Fox, Paula Fox AO, Lindsay Fox AC, Katrina Fox and Lisa Fox AC.Credit: Josh Robenstone
Either way, the buyer and result won’t be confirmed until the second half of 2025.
Until then, it is safe to say Boomerang has never come cheap. Music publisher Frank Albert purchased the site for £27,000 and its construction cost a hefty £60,000.
The 25-room residence featured an ornate garden by then popular landscape designer Max Shelley, a grand entry foyer, three main bedrooms (all with servant’s rooms and en suites) and a home cinema modelled on the State Theatre.
Boomerang as it was when it sold in 1978, making it the first official house in Sydney to cross the $1 million barrier.Credit: Fairfax Media
For its first half century the house remained with the Albert family, until sold in 1978 to the late property developer Ian Hayson, who subdivided the site and sold Boomerang for $1.05 million. At the time the sale was billed Sydney’s first official sale to cross the $1 million mark, but rumours have long since claimed the Hemmes family’s Hermitage estate traded for double the $500,000 registered on title records.
Throughout the 1980s there were a slew of high-profile owners, including businessman Peter Fox, bookmaker Mark Read and Perth developer Warren Anderson.
Anderson, who made his fortune developing shopping centres, was in residence when the commercial property crash of the late 1980s dented his net worth, prompting claims upon the estate by the Bank of New York. A court stoush ensued during which time the bank had security guards posted outside the property’s perimeter wall, and Anderson had guards inside, and ended when it sold mortgagee in 1993 for $6.6 million.
Jailed fraudster Nati Stoliar was known as a telephone pager entrepreneur in 1993 when he purchased it for $6.6 million, selling it three years later to hedge fund manager Duncan Mount and his wife Sally for $15 million.
The gardens of Boomerang were designed in the 1920s by then popular landscape designer Max Shelley.Credit: Domain
It set a national house price record in 2002 when purchased by the late art collector and cleaning businessman John Schaeffer for $20.7 million, but rising debt contributed to its resale for a loss in 2005 for $20 million.
For the past almost 20 years it has been owned by Katrina Fox, the daughter Lindsay Fox, who thanks in large part to his transport and logistics giant Linfox is worth an estimated $4.35 billion on last year’s Australian Financial Review Rich List 200.
Boomerang set a national house price record of $20.7 million when sold in 2002.Credit: Domain
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