What next for Shafston Estate after purported $20m sale?

 What next for Shafston Estate after purported $20m sale?

It’s no surprise the sale of a Brisbane CBD riverfront property hit the property news headlines this week. Homes like the 1851-built, state heritage-listed Shafston House at 23 Castlebar St, Kangaroo Point, doesn’t sell every day.

In fact, the last time this prestigious property sold was in 1993, when it changed hands for $1.8 million.

Set on an enviable, riverfront one-hectare site, Shafston Estate is Brisbane’s third-oldest property and home of Shafston International College, which has accommodated students for more than 20 years.

However, both the property’s exact sale price and more importantly, its future, are uncertain. The Courier Mail claims the estate sold for about $20m, according to industry sources, with Burgundy Group Property Development Director Kevin Pan purchasing the property from college founder Keith Lloyd.

Pan has been difficult to contact regarding what he plans to do with the estate. In a recent statement he revealed he plans to restore the site’s historic buildings, based on a full heritage assessment. Shafston International College’s six freestanding modern buildings, however, are expected to be demolished and what, if anything, will be built in their place is uncertain. The entire 9,958sqm site is zoned high-density residential under Brisbane City Council’s city plan, meaning buildings no higher than 15 storeys could be constructed there, though the heritage listing, and the significance of the river view, should limit that somewhat.

Architectural historian Marianne Taylor told the ABC: “It’s an interesting situation because… it was marketed as a development property, however, the entire site is covered by the Queensland Heritage Register boundary, which in theory means that it would be very hard to actually build anything in the grounds of that place.

“I would hope, if the system works properly, that even though it has that high-density zoning… it should overrule that and should in theory not allow any development on the site, particularly not high rises that block the view of the house”

Regardless of what Shaftson Estate’s future holds, Cushman & Wakefield Brisbane Commercial Sales Director, Andrew Gard, is essentially relieved to have sold the amazing property. He admitted to OzHomeNews he’d been pestered with calls over the stunningly unusual sale, and said the entire, 12-month marketing campaign was pretty unusual, with interest coming from Queensland, interstate and overseas.

“It’s pretty rare to find a hectare with direct river frontage in Brisbane and that’s also elevated, got two reaches to the river and views to the CBD,” he says.

“It’s probably the nicest property on the river, I imagine, with its outlook, and it’s very rare, given it’s the third oldest home in Brisbane.”

As a result, Andrew says, the estate attracted mixed, wide ranging interest with different ideas and uses planned by potential buyers.

“We predominantly targeted educational users because it’s an inner-city campus, effectively,” he says.

Andrew admits he could never predict where Shaftson Estate would eventually “sit” on price, but he knew its owner was certainly happy with the sale result.

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