Privately aiding in China’s island hopping expansion, a Chinese tycoon and developer has put up NZ$7.5 million (35 million RMB) to purchase one of New Zealand’s most exclusive privately owned islands, or as she likes to call it, her “toy.”
The purchaser, Wendy Weimei Wu, officially lists her occupation has “housewife,” but she also has a string of directorships in property investment companies, according to the New Zealand tabloid news website Stuff.co.nz. In 2010, the “publicity shy” Wu made the biggest private home purchase of the year when she bought an historic mansion in an affluent Auckland suburb for NZ$15 million.
Slipper Island is located 4 km off the coast of the Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand’s North Island. The sale involves about 217 hectares of land on the 224-hectare island, an area that includes six houses, stunning beaches and an airstrip.
Her daughter, Vivenne Zhuo, a real estate agent, told reporters that that the island is “a toy for her” and that she just loves it. Zhuo added that they are still trying to figure out what they will do with her mother’s newest plaything.
The sale of the island has reportedly divided the siblings of the Needham family that had owned the land for the last 45 years. Stuff.co.nz reports that many of the siblings did not want to sell; however, Liz Needham, a 61% shareholder, did want the deal. Some of the siblings now say they are distraught over the loss of their family’s legacy, while others worry about the possible destruction of the island’s history.
The island is currently a popular spot for tourists and school campers. If you want to check it out, farmhouse villas on the island range from NZ$250-$750 per night. Maybe you should wait, though, and see what sort of improvements Wu makes.
According to the real estate agent, the transaction contract has been signed. Now they are in the process of doing due diligence, which should take about a month. So you might have missed out on this bargain, but don’t worry, there are always deals out there to be found.
by Alex Linder
[Images via Apple Daily & Slipper]