Look inside Benny Wu’s incredible Cairns mansion
BENNY Wu's property blitz in Cairns has taken another flying leap with the Hong Kong businessman buying one of the city's most prestigious homes for a $5 million-plus price tag.
The Double Island Resort and Acacia Court Hotel owner has signed a contract to buy the sprawling mansion at 21 Knott Court in the foothills of the Whitfield range.
Owner Patrice Knott has had the manor on and off the market as far back as 2008, most recently with a $5.95 million price tag, and settlement is finally expected at the end of the month.
Colliers International Cairns executive Jay Beattie said he was under a confidentiality agreement not to reveal the seller or buyer's identities - although the Cairns Post has confirmed the details.
"On behalf of ourselves, we are very happy to finalise this sale in time for the seller to move south to join family in time for Christmas," he said.
The home is an exercise in Italian grandeur, inspired by the work of Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, with 5m-high ceilings, 1441sq m of living space on a 7000sq m block with some of the best views of the city.
The main residence features a porte cochere and stunning central living area leading on to four ensuite bedrooms - including a Palazzo Versace-style master suite, twinned bedrooms that share a central music room, and a guest suite with a private bar and terrace overlooking the rainforest and rear lawn.
It offers a gymnasium with private terrace, timber panelled offices and a wine cellar complete with mural, an eight-car underground garage and a blue mosaic 17m pool overlooking the city.
An extra self-contained guest apartment downstairs features two ensuite bedrooms, private living and dining areas, a full kitchen and laundry and secluded balcony and courtyard.
It has been in the Knott family - after whom the street is named - since its construction after the land was bought for just $190,000 in 1997.
Mr Wu's most recent purchase adds to a growing property portfolio for which he has drawn criticism in recent months over a lack of maintenance, with Acacia Court Hotel receiving a spike in negative reviews and its neighbouring property, the former home of the late GP Dr Leslie Westaway, becoming overgrown and derelict.
Cairns Regional Council in June demanded action from the state government after inspectors found considerable deterioration of facilities at Mr Wu's Double Island Resort.
Mr Wu's spokeswoman has been asked for comment.
Benny Wu's FNQ property collection
Bought for $5.68m in 2012, Mr Wu had big plans for the resort but it has deteriorated in recent years.
Mr Wu spent $18m for the property in 2013 with $80m redevelopment plans which have not eventuated.
The former home of the late Cairns GP Dr Leslie Westaway, right next door to Acacia Court.
Vacant CBD nightclubs
The former Mad Cow and Casbah nightclub on Spence St has long been vacant.
The heritage-listed wedding, corporate retreat and function venue is shut.
Originally published as Look inside Benny Wu's incredible Cairns mansion