Controversial financier and mansion developer Mark Hotchin has finally returned to central Auckland, moving into an $8 million Remuera mansion after it underwent more than $1m in renovations.
Companies office filings show Hotchin changed his residence last week from a home on Waiheke to a property on Remuera's Benson Rd.
Hotchin made headlines in the 2000s after his company Hanover Finance grew to hold $500m from 16,000 investors - before collapsing in 2008 with most funds lost. He was one of six people sued by the Financial Markets Authority over the affair, with defendants settling the case with no admission of liability for $18m in 2015.
Hotchin also developed what was reported to be New Zealand's most expensive house on Auckland's Paritai Drive, sold in 2013 for $39m to businessman Deyi Shi.
The Remuera property was purchased by interests associated with Hotchin for $8.1m in 2017, and building consent records indicate it subsequently underwent two years of renovations costing more than $1m.
Records indicate $280,000 was spent demolishing and rebuilding a five-car garage, and another $850,000 went on redoing the kitchen and installing a spa pool.
A request for comment sent by the Herald via Dwayne McGorman, Hotchin's long-time accountant and the person responsible for the companies office filings, went unanswered.
The house had previously been advertised for rent, with listings describing the property as "Hollywood comes to Remuera" and an "iconic 1930s Spanish Mission Estate". The listing also make special note of a "weighty 1930s-style chandelier" and "secret doors in the cabinetry".
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The property, with a current rateable valuation of $8.6m, was previously called home by another colourful business character.
Jihong Lu - who in the 90s claimed to be heading a billion-dollar redevelopment of Britomart but was later bankrupted, before returning from obscurity to produce the epic theatrical flop City of 100 Lovers - lived in the house in the early 2000s.
The Remuera address shows up as Lu's residence, related to his directorship of a company in the Bahamas, in a leak of international trust company records known as the Paradise Papers.