Jamie Durie walks away from $11m Daylesford deal

The Belty Drive property is for sale again.

A consortium including celebrity gardener Jamie Durie, financier, Dominic Labrinos and investment banker, Kim Jacobs, have abandoned plans to buy Hepburn Springs’ Stonefields for a boutique accommodation investment.

The Tuscan themed home contains four bedrooms.

The $11 million deal with professional landscaper Paul Bangay was sealed in January – three months after the Denver property hit the market.

The Block producers bought a Phillip Island resort (pictured) after shelving plans to develop a Daylesford farm.

It will be reoffered if the publicity from the high-profile fall-out doesn’t bring a buyer out this spring; Forbes’ Michael Gibson, Robert Fletcher and Tracey Atkins are again the agents.

Locals drive another investor away

The relisting comes after the vendors’ Opulus Hotels received council support but faced community objection to plans for an eco-resort with 50 villas.

Expected to trade from 2025, it would have carried a c$70m end value and been one of the region’s larger tourist accommodation venues.

Elsewhere in the area, producers of Channel Nine show The Block are expected to sell a Daylesford farm after possibly abandoning plans to film the next series there – again because of local objections to a subdivision which looked likely headed to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Earlier this month, the network outlaid $9.6m for a replacement property, a Cowes, Phillip Island resort (story continues below).

No hard feelings at Stonefields

There are no hard feelings between the Stonefields vendor and purchasers, according to the agents, with the gardeners remaining close friends.

However with the market backdrop being more depressed than in January – with four successive interest rate rises since February – it is unknown if Mr Bangay will achieve $11m again; Opulus bought it against an $8-$8.8m guide.

Fifteen kilometres north east of Daylesford, the 27.75 hectare Belty Drive estate includes a four bedroom Tuscan-themed home, developed on land bought for $320,000 two decades ago, and guest accommodation, The Lodge, on an 11.8ha component which set the gardener back $585,000 in 2012.

There is also a dramatic garden laid out by the vendor, with rolling lawns beside a 16 metre pool and a walled rose garden.

Opulus retains a 110ha farm at Table Cape, Tasmania – its maiden acquisition – purchased four months before Stonefields. Mr Durie meanwhile recently outlaid $3.63m on a 30ha estate, Akubra, at Nashua, south west of Byron Bay.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.