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103-year-old throws in left-field ‘bid’ as developers fight it out

By Demi Treloar

IT was a win for jobs at Camp Hill in Brisbane’s east on Saturday when developers came out in force to fight for a splitter block that was being sold for the first time in 70 years.

The property had most recently been home to Fay Forsyth, Ray White Metro North principal David Treloar’s grandmother.

But their thunder was nearly stolen by 103-year-old neighbour Roland Busby who, at $1.601m, decided to throw his hat in the ring.

“And one!” he cried from his front row seat in the backyard of 52 Newman Avenue, Camp Hill.

“No!” yelped a family member sitting at his elbow.

“No, I’ve taken it, it’s too late,” Ray White auctioneer Haesley Cush joked and the laughter that carried through the crowd of more than 80 confirmed that Mr Busby’s bank balance was indeed safe.

But the three-bedroom red brick house on a double 810sq m block, which belonged to Ray White Metro North principal David Treloar’s grandmother before she passed away last year, was decidedly not safe, with the three main bidders all developers keen to “push it over”.

James Stephenson of Nundah, in Brisbane’s north, opened the bidding at $1.3m.

“We’ve got current projects but we’re trying to buy something else,” Mr Stephenson said.

On the other side of the yard stood ZD Projects developer Zac Krstev, who most recently turned a 742sq m block in Balmoral into two apartments and a penthouse that collectively sold for more than $6m.

“We’re looking at everything in this area. This one was good because it’s already on two lots so you could build two houses,” Mr Krstev said.

Camp Hill has a median house sales price of $875,000.

The house was announced on the market after the second bid of $1.4m and from there bids advanced in random shuffles of between $1000 and $10,000 as parties tried to outbid each other.

But it was a new partnership between u&u Recruitment Partners managing director Craig Sneesby and architect Renee Dunn who beat all 22 bidders, despite a mix-up with the auction start time that saw Ms Dunn arrive to find her business partner had sealed the deal at $1.601m.

“It’s a learning curve, right?” Ms Dunn said.

“When I rang to see where they were, he was signing the papers.”

The partners intend to build two new homes on the site which Mr Sneesby said would support 20-30 subcontracting jobs.

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