Sydney Football Club chairman Scott Barlow and his wife Alina – daughter of Russian billionaire David Traktovenko – have sold their non-waterfront home in Point Piper on the quiet for about $40 million.
The Barlow’s Wolseley Road residence is one of three properties that was once slated for redevelopment by a syndicate involving jailed murderer Ron Medich and his former associates Damien Reed and Adam Tilley before the project unravelled in spectacular fashion.
The two waterfront properties that were also once part of the Medich syndicate are also set to trade hands: one was sold by Seven’s commercial director Bruce McWilliam in March for more than $32.5 million, and an adjoining block of land currently has an option to sell for about $27 million.
Bill Malouf of LJ Hooker Double Bay, who introduced the buyer to both the McWilliam house and block of land, refused to comment on suggestions it was the same buyer of both waterfront blocks.
It remains unknown who bought the Barlow home behind the waterfront blocks, but it is unlikely to be the same buyer given a neighbour’s driveway intersects the three blocks, making any future amalgamation unlikely.
Independent sources say the Barlows have been shopping their home to buyers on the quiet in recent years with $40 million hopes before it was sold by Pillinger’s Brad Pillinger, the agent selling McWilliam’s house in front. The Barlow sale is the highest of the year to date.
Barlow, who founded the property developer STRADA, bought his Point Piper property in 2010 for $8.8 million as a block of land and commissioned a striking four-level residence at a cost of almost $3 million that was approved by Woollahra Council the following year.
Pillinger declined to comment on the deal, but rumours elsewhere say the Barlows are looking to downsize in the eastern suburbs to a house with a tennis court in the $20 million range.
Title records show the Barlows previously owned the block of land in front, having purchased it with the original 1970s house on it from the Medich, Tilley and Reed syndicate in 2010 for $11.75 million.
The block was sold three years later for $14.35 million to Hugh Huang, son of Shanghai-based shipping magnate Shannian Huang, who demolished the house amid plans to build a Tzannes Associates-designed residence as part of his agreed Foreign Investment Review Board approval.
However, complications with the DA prompted Huang to sell it as a vacant block in late 2019 for $22.5 million to interests linked to yachtie Jim Cooney, who then sold it unimproved a year later for $22 million to 32-year-old Mu Li, from China.
According to the Herald’s investigative reporter Kate McClymont, when the three properties were owned by the property syndicate headed by Medich more than a decade ago, they were slated to be consolidated and redeveloped into a five-storey apartment block; however, the project fell through after Woollahra Council rejected the DA plans and when financing dried up during the global financial crisis.
Medich later transferred the outstanding debt from the deal to businessman Michael McGurk, who placed caveats on Mr Tilley’s property and in 2008 allegedly firebombed the house in which Mr Tilley was then living.
In the wake of that firebombing, Mr McGurk made secret incriminating recordings of Mr Medich that were later investigated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
A year later, Mr McGurk was shot dead outside his Cremorne home, and in 2018 Medich was found guilty of being the mastermind behind his murder, for which he is currently serving a minimum 29-year sentence.