“Frank” Po Sum Wu is a Chinese real estate mogul and delegate to the country’s powerful National People’s Congress, but to Southern Highlands locals he is more pertinently known as the father of Wallis Wu, recent buyer of the grand Bellagio estate.
The $8.2 million property is a first home purchase in Australia for the 35-year-old Wu, who sits on the board of the Hong Kong-listed property giant founded by her father, Central China Real Estate.
Despite never previously owning property in her name in Australia, Wu is no stranger to Sydney, having graduated from an architecture degree at the University of NSW in 2006 and a Masters in Applied Finance from Macquarie University the following year.
Records show the home of builder Roy Alvaro and his wife Wendy was bought jointly by Wu and Lam Li Wu, the latter of whom owns a waterfront apartment in Kirribilli bought new in 1999 for $4.2 million.
Wu’s billionaire father is a lauded figure in China’s real estate industry, having been recognised in 2003 as one of the top 10 figures in China’s real estate industry and awarded a gong as “Meritorious Hero of China Real Estate Enterprise” the same year, among other accolades.
A former chairman of the influential China Urban Realty Association, he was elected a delegate to China’s National People’s Congress in 2008 and 2013.
Wu snr is not a director of any Australian companies, but is a majority owner of the Development Construction (Australia) Company.
The sale of Bellagio through Knight Frank’s Deborah Cullen ended a four-year sales campaign that started with $12 million hopes that dropped to $8.75 million before it sold.
The two-hectare estate has an ornamental lake and landscaped grounds with fountains, waterfalls and grotto.
In 2008, the Alvaros built the opulent 20-room mansion with an ornamental lake, inspired by the villas that line the clifftops of Bellagio overlooking Lake Como in Italy.
Among the two-hectare property’s features is a landscaped garden with fountains, waterfalls and grotto, and the six-bedroom residence has a commercial-grade kitchen, separate caterer’s kitchen, self-contained guest accommodation, two cellars, a library and 10-car garage.
“It’s good to see more international buyers from China dipping their toe into the local lifestyle market,” said Michael Maloney, of Richardson & Wrench.
Maloney said one of the first trophy sales in the Highlands to an international buyer was his sale of the Gleneagle Estate at Mittagong in 2011 for $7.15 million to Aqualand boss Jin Shangjin Lin.