History of Pulpit Point Residential Estate
The following is an excerpt from the Sydney Morning Herald of 12th December 1996, page 16 of the Domain Section
It feels like a bit like a Queensland resort. In fact, one could think it was the Gold Coast if not for the telltale Sydney Views. The palm trees, the marina, the ordered villas and the vast mansions (some still under construction) estate, echo an up-market ‘90’s nouveau resort lifestyle.
Once the site of the Mobil Oil Terminal in the exclusive waterfront suburb of Hunters Hill, the 12 hectare Pulpit Point project was the brainchild of veteran developer Sid Londish. He envisaged Sydney’s most exclusive residential harbourside estate: prices for houses and apartments (originally due for completion in 1990) would range from $1.25 million to $6 million.
But the project was beset by site clearance delays, the property slump, the recession, high interest rates and buyer fears over the impact of the third runway flight path.
Nine years after the initial stages, the project remains unfinished.
In 1988, NatWest Australia Bank Ltd took 50% equity in Londish’s proposed $350 million dream, on one of the largest parcels of waterfront land offered to the Sydney market in 20 years.
The next year, Sid Londish’s Comrealty and NatWest Bank paid Mobil Australia $71.5 million for the site, which has more than 700 metres of waterfrontage.
A condition of sale was that Mobil demolish and decontaminate the former depot it had owned for more than 80 years.
Bad weather and industrial unrest slowed the clearance operation, which ended up costing about $20 million.
Sid Londish wanted to capture the character and unique nature of Hunters Hill: there was to be a mixture of upmarket houses and apartment buildings, in total 134 dwellings, plus a marina and yacht club, tennis courts, swimming pools and a country club.
The lynchpin of the marketing of the project was a spectacular 6 metre wide architectural scale model, which alone cost about $375,000 to build – prospective buyers could see exactly what they were buying, even the precise view from their finished building.