Mystery gold mining businessman seeks $40 million for Vaucluse home

Gold mining businessman “John” Changjin Li has been an enigmatic figure in Sydney’s trophy home market since he first made headlines in 2020 by buying Point Piper trophy home Edgewater for $95 million.

Agents who sell for the formerly Shanghai-based businessman are guarded about media coverage, and none of the significant property deals linked to him are held in his name and are instead held in the names of family or corporate interests.

An artist’s impression of the $10-million mansion on the drawing board for the Hopetoun Avenue site.

But that hasn’t stopped the director of Kingland Gold and Kingland Mining from making some handsome capital gains on his local real estate, like the Vaucluse investment bought in 2020 for $10.9 million and sold earlier this year for $26 million or the Bayview mansion bought for $11.5 million and sold a year later for $15 million.

Li is hoping to do just as well again on his home in Vaucluse, which is being offered to buyers for $40 million-plus through Christie’s Shane Clinton.

The Hopetoun Avenue property includes two 1920s-built bungalows on a consolidated block of three titles totaling almost 2500 square meters, all of which was purchased by Li family member Changren Cheng for $6 million in 2010.

The off-market sales campaign follows a Woollahra Council decision to knock back a DA to demolish the houses to build a $10.2 million mega-mansion on the site, although Li is expected to pursue the DA through the Land and Environment Court even as the property is being offered to buyers.

A DA to demolish the 1920s bungalow was knocked back by Woollahra Council.

A DA to demolish the 1920s bungalow was knocked back by Woollahra Council.

Li’s grand home plans have also suffered a setback on Edgewater in Point Piper after council knocked back his DA for $4.4 million worth of “alterations and additions”.

Li’s delayed exchange on Edgewater means the property does not settle to his interests until next year, but it is the registered address of his corporate entity Point Piper One Pty Ltd, and the DA designs, dubbed the “Li Residence” by MHN Design Union, are on behalf of client John Li.

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