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November, 2018

A Japanese billionaire art collector whos restored two historic buildings
in central Queenstown has bought a landmark property close by.
Auckland-based Soi-chiro Fukutake has paid an undisclosed sum to buy
Doug and the late Betty Browns long-time four-level home on the
corner of Ballarat and Henry Streets.
The purchase, brokered by New Zealand Sothebys International Realty,
includes a small neighbouring home on the Henry/Malaghan Sts corner.
On the opposite corner is Fukutakes first local purchase  an 1800s
cottage that was restored, and lifted, by local heritage builder David
Bod Boden.
In 2013, Fukutake also bought the grand Victorian mansion, Hulbert
House, on the corner of Ballarat, Hallenstein and Malaghan Sts.
He again employed Boden to undertake a huge restoration project which
was overseen by noted Auckland interior designer Neil McLachlan.
Hulbert House re-opened as a six-suite boutique lodge two years ago.
Ranked by Forbes as one of Japans richest people, Fukutake is best
known for turning Japans former industrial island of Naoshima, in the
Seto Inland Sea, into a major world art collection.
In 2016 he lent a Claude Monet painting to the Auckland Art Gallery.
Betty and Doug Browns son Nigel says he doesnt know whether the new
owner will keep or bowl their former family home, which dates back to
the 1950s.
Were just happy that a property owner in Queenstowns bought it,
Nigel says.

Source: Mountain Scene


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