Catherine Gaffaney is a general reporter based in Auckland.

The $35m mansion that no one wants to buy

Dotcom mansion attracts no offers, despite a ‘vigorous’ marketing campaign.
The sprawling Coatesville estate at 186 Mahoenui Valley Rd - also known as the Chrisco mansion - has 12 bedrooms, is on 22.6ha with its own vineyard.
The sprawling Coatesville estate at 186 Mahoenui Valley Rd - also known as the Chrisco mansion - has 12 bedrooms, is on 22.6ha with its own vineyard.

It's the $35 million mansion no one wants. More than three weeks after tenders closed on the sprawling Coatesville mansion Kim Dotcom used to call home, not a single offer has been tabled.

The sprawling Coatesville estate at 186 Mahoenui Valley Rd - also known as the Chrisco mansion - has 12 bedrooms, is on 22.6ha with its own vineyard, lake and boathouse, and has manicured parkland and sculptures.

A vigorous marketing campaign was launched when the property was put on the market.

But Christina Tang of Barfoot & Thompson's Ponsonby Rd office, said no offer had been made for the place listed in February. Tenders closed on April 21.

But she remains hopeful and expects it to be snapped up soon.

"I believe it will definitely be sold. We're working with several parties," she said. There had been an overwhelming number of requests to see through the place.

"We've had thousands of inquiries, including emails and phone calls."

About 50 people or parties of a variety of nationalities had viewed the place, Tang said.

Asked if potential buyers had been put off by its chequered history, she said "absolutely not".

Property records list the house as being owned by Lurcher Ltd, which Companies Office records now show is called Linkicons and whose sole director is Richard Bradley of Australia.

Bradley and his wife, Ruth, the founders of the Chrisco hamper empire, built the house for an estimated $30 million in 2006.

During its construction, a 35-year-old man died when a crane boom came loose and struck him.

The man was one of three workers who had jumped on to the A-framed boom on the crane to dismantle it.

The Bradleys moved to Sydney in 2008 and the property was empty for two years until Dotcom moved in, paying $1 million a year in rent.

Dotcom ran Megaupload from the mansion, which was raided in the early hours of January 20, 2012, by a big police contingent, including helicopters and members of the special tactics group.

On the first anniversary of his arrest, Dotcom held a lavish party at the mansion, complete with a re-enactment of the raid.

Feng Shui Consultants NZ director Danny Thorn said he would not be surprised if the history of the property deterred some potential buyers.

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Feng shui is a Chinese philosophical system considered to govern spaces in relation to the flow of energy.

"The feng shui of a property is an important factor to a lot of people when they're looking at buying a new property," he said.

"We have clients of a wide variety of nationalities but it is perhaps something that is more at the forefront of the mind of Asians, in particular Chinese."

Luxury property realtor Michael Boulgaris believed feng shui wouldn't have affected the property's sale. He believed its age could be the reason it remained on the market.

"People with money to spend want a new property, they don't want something that's dated," he said.

"The new generation of Chinese buyers aren't superstitious. It's all to do with money."

He was unsure how much the mansion would sell for.

Under the terms of the lease, Dotcom was forced to move out at the end of 2015 as he couldn't afford to buy the property.

Losing the home was a bitter pill, Dotcom told the Herald on Sunday at the time.

"I fought hard to be able to retain this for my family," he said.

"When I couldn't do it with the court funds that were made available I started a new business and I built that primarily to be able to pay my legal fees and be able to keep this home for my family.

"After almost four years, to have to lose that battle now and leave my home, makes me sad."

- Herald on Sunday

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