Russian immigrant becomes owner of Australia’s most expensive property

The Sydney Opera House in Sydney Harbour, Australia © David Gray
An immigrant from Russia who at one time delivered pizza and is now a wealthy businessman has paid $80 million for a cluster of four homes in Sydney’s prestigious Coolong Road. Leon Kamenev paid a record price for a piece of property in Australia.

According to Australia’s real estate website, the four properties cover 4,270 square meters, and Kamenev wants to knock them down and build his own private mansion.

Two of the houses are set on the waterfront and have been owned by the family of Australian technology entrepreneur David Shein. The remaining two houses are smaller street front properties.

Last year 58-year-old entrepreneur Kamenev made his debut on Australia’s BRW Rich List with a net worth of $308 million.

Kamenev was schooled in Russian Siberia before graduating with an economics degree from the Moscow Academy of Management. He arrived in Australia in 1990 and started delivering pizza.  

Apartment units and waterfront houses are seen on the harbour in Sydney © Mick Tsikas

He was introduced to an Australian travel agent who suggested he bring Russian tourists to Australia. Within two years, Kamenev and his partner were bringing more Russian tourists to the country than any other operators with their Flairview Travel business. Kamenev later started his own online takeaway delivery service called Menulog. About 6.3 million orders were made through the service in the year to March 2015 from about 5,500 restaurants.

Last week Kamenev sold Menulog to British rival Just Eat for a reported $470 million.