An American rich-lister couple who earlier planned to immigrate to Auckland are instead offloading their more than $6 million dollar Remuera penthouse without having slept a night inside it.
The Herald can reveal New York businessman Michael Rems and wife Julie O'Shea bought the two-level penthouse in Remuera's St Marks development in 2016, while also snapping up an almost $3m Waiheke Island home, known as the Glasshouse.
The St Marks penthouse includes sweeping 180 degree views over Auckland harbour and Rangitoto Island, a designer French cooktop - alone worth up to $100,000 - and even a separate ensuite for a nanny.
The couple - understood to be in their 30s - originally bought three apartments in the unfinished St Marks complex, before spending two years working with the developer to convert them into a penthouse fit for the young family.
But just as the work was finally finished, the couple have now put it back on the market - all without ever spending a night enjoying its views.
A source told the Herald the penthouse could be worth $7m-$8m.
The couple purchased the six-bedroom Glasshouse on Waiheke in 2015 for $3.6m. It is described as having "breathtaking" views towards Auckland, but the couple has now relisted the property for $2.89m.
Bayleys listing agent Joe Telford said they were selling up because of a change in family circumstances and now planned to permanently reside in the US.
He said they had put their hearts into creating a family feel in the 380sq m Remuera penthouse.
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This included laying out oak flooring throughout the home while connecting the balcony with its outdoor heater and harbour views to the open plan kitchen and living area with wall-to-ceiling windows.
Elsewhere the property features marble bench tops in the kitchen and bathrooms, brass fittings, while two of the four bedrooms come with ensuites and walk-in wardrobes.
The penthouse also comes with four carparks and a butler's pantry that has its own entrance from the elevator lobby so caterers can come and go discreetly during parties.
St Marks developer and former surgeon Dr John Harman said the first thing you noticed when entering the penthouse was its "breathtaking view".
"I call this the quintessential Remuera view of Rangitoto."
He said the American couple had worked with his architects and designers to make the most of the harbour views.
"When [the couple] came and looked at it, they said, 'We'd like to have a New York style apartment with living upstairs and sleeping downstairs'," he said.
"So they bought essentially what was three apartments and made one large beautiful penthouse."
He said the penthouse was one of 58 apartments in the development that would be ready to move into by the end of the month.
Public records show Rems and O'Shea were granted approval under the Overseas Investment Act in 2015 to buy their Waiheke property on Okoka Rd.
The couple said on the application that they intended to immigrate and reside in New Zealand indefinitely and use the Waiheke property as their home.