The Sydney Polo Club, owned by Mortgage Choice co-founder Peter Higgins, on the Hawkesbury River at Richmond, is being quietly offered to buyers for $75 million.
The sale, through Ken Jacobs of Christie’s International, is expected to close a 16-year chapter in Mr Higgins’ life in which his passion for polo saw the 116-hectare site amalgamated and developed into one of the best polo operations in the country, winning the bid to host the XI FIP World Polo Championship in 2017.
“Peter Higgins has decided to retire from the sport of polo and re-ignite his passion for the more leisurely pursuit of sailing and also focus on a number of new international business opportunities,” said a statement issued by his office to Domain.
Mr Higgins has been amalgamating alluvial land on the Richmond Lowlands since 2002, of which one of the largest acquisitions was dairy farm land in 2006 for $10.2 million.
The property includes three professional polo fields, two indoor arenas, extensive stabling, a clubhouse, a garden pavilion, a three-bedroom homestead, staff lodgings, a renovated barn house and master-planned landscaping that included the introduction of more than 14,000 trees. It also holds a water licence for 527 megalitres.
The sweeping grounds were used as a backdrop in director Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 movie The Great Gatsby, and in particular the estate of old money socialite Tom Buchanan, played by Joel Edgerton.
More recently the club was featured in Nine’s popular TV series Married At First Sight, in which Sam Ball and Elizabeth Sobinoff were married.
The decision to sell coincides with Mr Higgins’ decision to withdraw his Pittwater waterfront estate Marara from the market after eight years.
The 1.27-hectare estate – the largest private holding on the northern beaches – was initially listed with $40 million hopes.
However, the biggest two waterfront lots are now being amalgamated and DA plans have been lodged to build a Mark Hurcum-designed residence as Mr Higgins’ own residence.
The eight surrounding lots are being offered to buyers with DA plans for their own Hurcum-designed homes through Claudio Marcolongo, of LJ Hooker Avalon.