Australia’s richest garbo buys up Gold Coast properties
A SYDNEY chap once described as Australia's richest garbo is set to 'dump' a pile of cash on some frustrated Broadbeach unit owners.
Ian Malouf, a 51-year-old father of five, is buying the tired Ultima and Mahanga low-rises in Surf Pde, stepping into a void left by the departure of a Singaporean group that last year had a deal on the buildings.
He signed up for the site three weeks ago after sailing into town in one of his superyachts, Mischief.
The purchase could see the Sydney-based Ian become the developer of a hotel or a mixed-use tower.
His Broadbeach deal is believed to be worth around $7 million, which is almost spare change to a fellow who two years ago sold his Dial a Dump Industries in a $588 million transaction.
Ian and his family today run a yacht-charter business, the Ahoy Club, that is active in the Mediterranean.
Among those who have chartered Mischief, which costs around $500,000 a week, is James Packer.
The Broadbeach foray apparently is Ian's first on the Gold Coast and the price he is paying for the 1227 sqm Broadbeach site is believed to be similar to that which Singapore's Royal Group was to pay - until COVID-19 emerged.
The pandemic struck on the heels of Royal Group, a private family company, in January gaining development approval for a 31-floor hotel at 122-24 Surf Pde, 150 metres from the throbbing dining heart of the beachfront suburb and overlooking a park.
Royal, which has hotels in Singapore and Malaysia and holds London and New York ambitions, signalled the $50 million project would be under way by mid-2020 and could be followed by two others on the Gold Coast.
COVID appears to have persuaded the group to back off and concentrate on its existing assets at home.
In light of that, there's been some scrambling to placate the disappointed owners at Ultima and Mahanga and to find a replacement buyer.
It seems the deal with former trash king Ian was the result of some frantic work by Kollosche agency newcomer Andrew Ramsey and Ian's man on the spot, fellow Broadbeach agent Doug Grevett.
It was the second time Andrew had walked the amalgamation path with the low-rise owners in three years.
The approval that Royal gained for the Surf Pde site was for a tower with 196 units in the form of hotel suites and serviced apartments.
There would be a ground-level cafe and the roof level would have another cafe, along with an outdoor food and drink service and a VIP dining room.
If Ian does sail into the business of being a tower developer, it will be a far cry from his early days.
His mum wanted him to become a lawyer but, after six weeks study, he 'binned' the idea, bought a truck, and went into the skip-bin hire business.
Two years ago it was a case of bingo and he hit the jackpot.
Listed group Bingo Industries made him an irresistible $578 million offer for Dial a Dump, a deal that included $378 million in cash.
Originally published as Australia's richest garbo buys up Coast properties