The New Zealand Historic Places Trust category one
Corstorphine House may be on the market, but its owner
says he has no plans to let the historic Dunedin property go.
Dunedin businessman Paul Facoory has owned the property since
2009, and it was put on the international market last month,
mainly to see what it would fetch in the present real estate
''I wouldn't sell it for under a certain figure, and I'm
quite happy to live there until hell freezes over.
''I plan on staying, unless someone gives me an offer I can't
However, he assured Dunedin residents yesterday he would be
very particular about who buys Corstorphine House because he
did not want to see the property subdivided.
''We've put a lot of effort into it and I'm quite happy to
continue to put effort into it, but I'm a Dunedin person and
it's a Dunedin icon and I regard myself as a guardian.''
Mr Facoory said he was ''alarmed'' to see the property on the
market upon his recent return from a holiday in Europe.
''A guy who spoke to me about this said, 'Look, there's a
possibility that there's some overseas people interested in
buying Corstorphine House. Would you be interested if we
tested the waters'.''
Mr Facoory said he agreed to ''test the waters'', but had not
expected to see the property marketed on several websites,
''Frankly, I don't think people in New Zealand would buy it
at the moment.
''This whole thing has got a little bit jumbled up.
''It's based on the fact that if I was made an offer I
couldn't refuse, would I sell? That's what it's really all
''At the end of the day, it wasn't really meant to be
publicised in New Zealand,'' he said.
Corstorphine House has a history of accommodating royals,
heads of state and Hollywood actors, and estate agent Murray
Stott hoped to attract international ''A-listers'' who would
be prepared to pay the $3.8 million price tag.
In recent years, the 3.03ha Milburn St property has been a
private home, boutique hotel and the venue of choice for
celebrities such as Prince Charles, Hollywood stars Daniel
Craig and Gwyneth Paltrow, Coldplay band member Chris Martin
- even Sesame Street's Big Bird.
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust category one building
was built in 1863 for the Sidey family, and was extended in
After it closed as a boutique hotel, Corstorphine House was
rated as one of the top 100 homes in New Zealand, with its
eight themed suites and three dining-drawing rooms.