Abandoned Minnamurra mansion faces brighter future: photos

The Dunmore Equestrian Centre homestead, inset, sits on a 40-hectare site and has a frontage to the Minnamurra River.

The Dunmore Equestrian Centre homestead, inset, sits on a 40-hectare site and has a frontage to the Minnamurra River.

Six months and $200,000 later, the once abandoned Minnamurra mansion is starting to show its potential as one of the grandest properties on the South Coast, according to Wollongong lawyer Christopher Adams.

More than 60 parties have expressed an interest in buying the property through a campaign from real estate firm CBRE.

Late last year Mr Adams formed a partnership with some fellow Illawarra businessmen to take possession of the vandalised property.

Work on cleaning up the site began in February.

The Dunmore Equestrian Centre homestead, which became unofficially known as "the abandoned Minnamurra mansion" was two-thirds complete when work ground to a halt five years ago around the time the Belmorgan companies of former owner John Kosseris were placed in receivership owing tens of millions of dollars.

The future of the unfinished residence was complicated by court orders to restore environmentally sensitive wetlands, work that Mr Kosseris estimated would cost $4 million. The orders placed the 40-hectare property in a state of limbo for five years, with St George Bank, which held the mortgage, refusing to take possession of the property.

During that time the property became a magnet for vandals - and a popular illegal skate park.

The pool area.

The pool area.

Mr Adams said the first challenge was to keep vandals out. The second was to overcome the environmental damage, over which Shellharbour City Council spent more than $350,000 pursuing the previous owner.

Mr Adams said all potential purchasers are made aware of the issues.

"We haven't come to a final agreement with the council," Mr Adams said.

"We have confirmed there was no asbestos on the site, which is great news, but issues need to be resolved regarding the physical presence of what was supposed to be a road.

Christopher Adams in the mansion prior to its clean-up.

Christopher Adams in the mansion prior to its clean-up.

"Our advice is now that area is overgrown it is best left there, as attempts to remove it would cause more harm for very little environmental gain."

Mr Adams said the clean-up did not reveal any secret hidden treasures.

He said there had been well over 60 inquiries from people "all over the world" interested in the property.

"We have had interest from schools, retirement villages, hotels and accommodation providers and several parties interested in the property as a private residence," he said.

The mansion is advertised as having an estimated internal area of approximately 5000 square metres and frontage to the Minnamurra River of approximately three kilometres.

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