One of Australia’s most lavish homes could become a cannabis farm as ‘big pharma’ eyes off the sprawling Queensland estate
- Lavish Bellagio La Villa in Gold Coast hinterland is at auction February 25
- The 49-hectare property, established in 2008, was listed for $49million in 2022
- A major commercial medicinal cannabis operator is expected to bid for it
One of Australia’s most lavish estates could soon become a giant marijuana farm after it goes under the hammer next weekend.
It is understood a large commercial medicinal cannabis operation is among the potential buyers for the 49-hectare property, with four bidders registered 10 days out from the auction.
One of Australia’s most lavish estates could soon become a giant marijuana farm after it goes under the hammer next weekend
The centrepiece of Bellagio La Villa at Tallebudgera is an opulent mansion
An Australian pharmaceutical company with major interests in the emerging industry, which is forecast to generate $28billion in taxes over a decade for governments, reviewed the property and is expected to compete for it.
Bellagio La Villa comprises an opulent mansion, four other houses, stables and a large commercial chicken shed, which could be repurposed for agriculture.
It also has a freshwater dam and has a private pontoon on Tallebudgera Creek.
The property was listed at an optimistic $49million (on the basis of $1million per hectare) in 2022.
But that remains the most recent ballpark figure for buyers and agents.
Bellagio La Villa’s mansion was envisioned by a team of designers for Coral Homes founders Paul and Viki Sweeney in 2008.
The palatial mansion has a heated indoor swimming pool with spa and sauna
Renowned architect Michael Witty drew up plans for Bellagio La Villa, in conjunction with landscaper Paul Bangay and interior designer Eleanor Davis, who is responsible for the baroque style
Renowned architect Michael Witty drew up plans, in conjunction with landscaper Paul Bangay and interior designer Eleanor Davis, to creates its ornate baroque style.
It has 10 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, polished marble floors, two contemporary kitchens, walk-in cool room, gym, heated indoor swimming pool with spa and sauna and five-car garage.
It is surrounded by manicured grounds, walkways, water features and an orchard.
The Sweeneys paid $8million to buy the original 17-hectare site in 2008 and a further $8million to build.
But it sold for a disappointing $7.2million in 2013 to billionaire developer Riyu Li.
Bellagio La Villa has several distinctive features such as a lavish dressing room
The grand staircase in the entrance of the mansion at Bellagio La Villa, which was listed last year for $49million
That was despite the Sweeneys acquiring additional land.
Mr Li also bought neighbouring properties, bringing the Bellagio La Villa site to its current 49 hectares.
He decided to put it on the market last year after Gold Coast City Council rejected his proposal for an eco-tourism development in Tallebudgera.
Amir Mian, of Amir Prestige Properties, said flat real estate markets in Melbourne and Sydney had ‘a flow-on effect’ to the Gold Coast.
‘The luxury market has had a slowdown. There is no more fear of missing out on buyers.’
It is understood a large commercial medicinal cannabis operation is among the potential buyers for the 49-hectare property, which has a fresh water dam and river pontoon
The sprawling grounds of Bellagio La Villa at Tallebudgera in the Gold Coast hinterland
One type of buyer that is interested and has money to spend are Australian expats coming home from overseas after Covid, or planning to.
Mr Mian said he has spoken with Aussie expats in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Africa, Vietnam and New Zealand in recent weeks who want to snap up property on the Gold Coast.
He believes the region has fundamentals in place that will help it bounce back strongly.
‘Migration out of Queensland remains the lowest of any state and migration into Queensland is still the highest.’
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