Chinese billionaire’s big property sell-off

RIYU Li, the Chinese billionaire who initiated the sparkling three-tower beachfront project that is Jewel and is buying Mariner's Cove on the Southport Spit, also is in something of a sell-off mode.

The Li clan has three of its Gold Cost properties on the market and also has an exit strategy for a troublesome Chevron Island apartment tower site.

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It's chasing buyers for two multi-milliondollar homes and is hoping for sweet success with a riverfront holding in sugarcane country.

The Li camp, if the asking prices are achieved, will come out millions of dollars ahead but the grand total won't reach the $28 million it is paying the Sunland Group for Mariner's Cove.

Riyu Li is selling 1 Cannes Ave, Surfers Paradise for $3.888 million.
Riyu Li is selling 1 Cannes Ave, Surfers Paradise for $3.888 million.

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There's no visible sign of the family whittling back its other holdings, which take in swathes of land in the Tally Valley and on Mt Tamborine.

They also include a stake in the Surfers Paradise site, on which a Chinese company walked away from plans for a super-tower called Spirit, and a beachfront tower, Surfers Royale.

Riyu and his Ridong group first popped up in a major way on the Gold Coast in 2009 when $24 million was spent buying two houses, a villa and eight housing blocks on Ephraim Island at Paradise Point.

The timing was not stunning, with the GFC under way, and it's taken Ridong years to extricate itself.

Sunland has sold Mariner’s Cove to Ridong for $28 million. Picture: Sunland Group
Sunland has sold Mariner’s Cove to Ridong for $28 million. Picture: Sunland Group

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Four months after the Ephraim foray, Riyu spent $81.8 million on what was known as the Pacific Beach site.

Approval was gained for Jewel but Riyu didn't hang around, selling out in two stages to other Chinese groups.

Riyu's Tally Valley 'plays' have his group sitting on more than 280ha and ownership of a grand mansion, Bellagio La Villa.

However, his Tally ambitions received a setback in February when plans for a mega tourism resort were rejected.

Steven Haggart, Riyu Li, Mayor Tom Tate and Charlie Li at a party for the Jewel development. Picture: Regina King
Steven Haggart, Riyu Li, Mayor Tom Tate and Charlie Li at a party for the Jewel development. Picture: Regina King

The major item in the current Li sell-off is a sprawling riverfront home in Cannes Ave, Surfers Paradise, bought for $3.888 million in 2012.

It was built for Villa World joint founder Tony Bawden in 2000, sold to developer Tom Ray, and later became a holiday home for property type Mike Dodd.

The property's being marketed at $9.8 million and is viewed as a future development site - it's on 1658sq m of land and has a 42-metre river frontage.

Two riverfront sites along the street have sold for multi-level apartment buildings in the past four years and achieved between $1944 and $2456 a square metre.

An artist’s impression of a luxury villa at Ridong's Tallebudgera Wellness and Tourism Gardens Project. The Gold Coast City Council refused permission for the project to go ahead.
An artist’s impression of a luxury villa at Ridong's Tallebudgera Wellness and Tourism Gardens Project. The Gold Coast City Council refused permission for the project to go ahead.

If the top figure was applied the Li site, the land would be worth $4.072 million.

The other Li home on the block - actually it's on three waterfront blocks and there's a second house on one of them - is at Mermaid Waters.

The main house was built for Jenny Wong, the woman who developed the Clocktower building (originally the Imperial Plaza) in Surfers.

The property was bought in two tranches for $4.63 million in 2017 and the Li camp's chasing $8 million.

It's also hoping for a positive result on 12.4ha of cane land at Eagleby, bought for $830,000 and on the market at $2.3 million.

Meanwhile, Riyu's sons Baron and Tony have aborted twice-worked plans for a Chevron Island tower and instead put a $3.9 million Stanhill Drive site into a joint venture with Brisbane's Marquee group for a building called Catalina.

Originally published as Chinese billionaire's big property sell-off



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