The former Mount Pleasant home of Wollongong businessman Marsden ‘‘Mick’’ Williams has sold for $2.5 million, setting a record price for the leafy suburb.
The result for the property at 2 Bushland Avenue, which is set on an expansive block of escarpment bushland and Japanese-style gardens and ponds, is the highest sale price for Mount Pleasant and the second highest residential sale price for the 2519 postcode.
Some design elements of the home, and especially the gardens, reflected Mr Williams’ 60-year affection for Japan, a country he regularly visited until his 96th year.
Real estate agent Ben Baaner of Ray White Wollongong/Figtree was in charge of the sale, which took place before the property even went on the market.
Contracts were exchanged last week.
‘‘It’s a one-of-a-kind sale that would only come once in any agent’s career and I feel privileged that I was the agent who sold it,’’ Mr Baaner said.
‘‘It’s the most unique property I have ever seen. It was so special that I doubt I will ever see anything like it again.’’
Mr Baaner said the purchaser did not want to be named.
Mr Williams passed away on September 4, 2013, aged 97. He was well known in the Illawarra where he spent all his life.
He established his first company, B&W Steel, in Wollongong in 1939 on the day World War II broke out.
After the war, he established Allied Constructions in partnership with Ted Williams (no relation) and later was involved in the formation of Transfield Pty Ltd.
Intensely private, Mr Williams was fiercely loyal to the Illawarra region and contributed to many community projects and infrastructure.
In 2006, he donated $3 million to the University of Wollongong’s new Graduate School of Medicine to set up the Roberta Williams Chair of Medicine (General Practice).
He made the bequest to honour his late wife Roberta.
In 2005, the philanthropist gave $100,000 to Guardian Air Rescue Foundation to assist its bid to win the contract to operate the region’s helicopter rescue and medical retrieval service.
His company Shin Investments, parent company of the Allied Group of Companies, came up with the cash in 2010 to buy the core business of the Wollongong-based Wideform Group of Companies which had gone into receivership the previous year with debts of $58 million.
In doing so, Shin Investments, saved at least 180 jobs.
Shin Investments Pty Ltd CEO Geoff O’Donnell said Mr Williams was an inspirational man, respected by his friends and the many people he employed in the businesses he created over a 70-year period.
‘‘He was a generous contributor to the community with many organisations and individuals, some unknown to him, having benefited from the unseen hand of Mick Williams over many years,’’ Mr O’Donnell said.
‘‘He was an unobtrusive mentor and confidant to many and had the ability to engage with people from all walks of life, something he did with great humility.’’
Mr Williams is survived by his partner, three sons, and their families.