Shafston House: Brisbane’s Third Oldest Estate Sold to a Developer

Shafston House
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Shafston House, Brisbane’s third oldest estate, has been sold to a property developer who has expressed plans to undertake a full restoration of the heritage-listed site.

Kevin Pan of the Burgundy Group Property Development was named the new owner of the riverfront house on 23 Castlebar Street. His company has ongoing residential projects in Rochedale and North Lakes.  

In a statement, Mr Pan said that he intends to lodge a plan with Council to restore “Shafston House’s former glory.”

However, the building next to the heritage-listed site, which was the former Shafston International College, could be demolished. The developer might also add landscaping works whilst other plantings will be propagated in the property, consistent with the heritage restoration principles.

In response, Council said that development plans for the property, once submitted, will “undergo the usual rigorous assessment” as a protected State Government Heritage Unit before decisions can be made. 

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Photo Credit: Google Maps

Mr Pan bought Shafston House for an undisclosed amount months after 300 antique, unique and collectible items from the house were put up for auction by its previous owner, Mr Keith Lloyd.  

Shafston House was built in several stages between 1851 to 1930s. Its original design was from architect Robin Dods, dubbed Brisbane’s “most sacred architect” because all of his designs were individualistic and unique, according to historian Dr Jack Ford.

For decades, Shafston House was used as a private dwelling until it became a hostel (from 1919 to 1969), a place of accommodation for the Royal Australian Air Force (from 1969 to 1987), and an international college established by Mr Lloyd in the 1990s.

Over 120,000 students attended the Shafston International College through the years, until its closure in November 2020.

Photo Credit: Queensland Heritage Register

In 2005, Shafston House was entered into the Queensland Heritage Register for its historical, cultural and aesthetic significance.