Morgan Tait

Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's consumer affairs reporter.

The house that Oracle built

Three multimillion-dollar homes are cleared so construction can start on Sir Russell Coutts’ beachside mega-mansion

Three homes have been cleared to make way for Sir Russell Coutts' mega-mansion.
Three homes have been cleared to make way for Sir Russell Coutts' mega-mansion.

Construction of Sir Russell Coutts' beachside mega-mansion is under way in north Auckland, with the first step the removal of three multimillion-dollar houses from the huge section.

According to publicly available documents, the two-storey Coutts home will be 667 sq m, with five bedrooms, six bathrooms and three indoor living areas, tennis and basketball courts and expansive decking.

A gym, office and large walk-in pantry are part of plans by Sumich Chaplin Architects, which got resource consent last year.

The total cost of the project is unclear, but building costs alone are likely to be more than $2 million - the price of a premium, high-end build using superior services and materials sits around $3000 per square metre.

The construction cost could go higher depending on the complexity of the design and materials used on the project, which will occupy a stretch of Tindalls Beach on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.

The land cost many millions more. The residence will be on a 2435 sq m site, marked by the dotted line on the image above, made up of three sections recently cleared of $7.7 million worth of dwellings by barge and road.

They were a four-bedroom house built in 1992 (bought for $2.5 million in 2008), a five-bedroom 1970s house (bought for $2.9 million in 2004) and a three-bedroom house built in 1957 (bought for $2.3 million in 2012).

When the Herald visited the site this week, there was bare clay where the three houses once stood.

The section was fenced off with makeshift wire fencing and minor earthworks had begun, with shallow holes and black plastic visible.

Good Brothers Group, a west Auckland company, is building the property for the 52-year-old, who led Oracle Team USA to an America's Cup win over Team New Zealand last year. A representative of the firm did not return calls.

Sumich Chaplin Architects also declined to comment, saying its projects were subject to confidentiality agreements.

Sir Russell's personal assistant said her boss did not give interviews on his personal affairs.

The Olympic sailor, who was knighted in 2009 for his services to the sport, owns other properties around the country, including a Takapuna apartment and homes and land in Central Otago.

An Auckland Council spokesman said consent was granted last year to clear the sites.

There were no objections.

- NZ Herald

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