Inside the time capsule home of former Gold Coast mayor Robert Neumann

17 James St, Currumbin was home to the late Robert Neumann and his wife, Jeannine (pictured inset)
A Currumbin home built by former Gold Coast mayor Robert Neumann and held by his prominent family for three generations has come to market for the first time.
Built in the early 1970s, the eclectic property at 17 James St was home to the late Mr Neumann, his wife, Jeannine, and their four children.
Ownership was transferred to the couple’s daughter, Michelle, and her two sons, Spencer and Gene DeRiz, in 2016, with the one-of-a-kind home to be auctioned after Michelle lost her battle to cancer this year.
The prominent family still calls Currumbin home
The house occupies an elevated position on Currumbin hill
The five-bedroom, three-bathroom home is marketed by Justin Hayes, of Amir Prestige, and goes under the hammer on January 24.
Occupying an elevated 827sq m block, the hillside house has wide windows from its spacious upper and lower level lounges capturing sweeping Pacific Ocean views.
There’s an antique bar complete with mood lighting, a cellar, two balconies, and a paved entertaining courtyard.
Spencer said the home had hosted countless milestone celebrations over the years, with its retro decor retained in honour of the family’s legacy as pioneers of the southern Coast.
Jeannine and Robert Neumann
Michelle Neumann took over running the family company. Picture Mike Batterham
The Neumann Group of mining and construction companies built kilometres of the city’s canal network, supplied steel for the Q1, developed five housing and industrial estates and quarried gravel for the M1.
Robert was mayor from 1973 to 1976.
Michelle took over running the family’s steel company, Neumann International, in 1996.
“My grandmother was actually an antiques dealer and once she passed away, there were a few artefacts that were distributed throughout the family and whatever was left remained in the house,” Spencer said.
Michelle Neumann pictured with sons, Spencer and Gene DeRiz
“We liked that it was still in an original condition because we felt like it was a bit of a time capsule to have it like that for us as a family.
“There’s been so many historical moments for us there, whether it be an 18th or 30th birthday or a special wedding anniversary, these are shared family moments where we’ve come together at the house.”

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The house remains in mostly original condition
Views from the upper lounge area
Between such occasions, the property’s quirky style and enviable position found a niche as a nostalgic holiday rental property.
Mr Hayes said the home combined art deco and Mediterranean influences, reflecting Jeannine’s Parisian roots, while its concrete and double-brick construction was testament to the family’s construction pedigree.
“Being the Neumanns, there’s that much steel and concrete in the property, it’s not going anywhere. It’s built to last,” Mr Hayes said.
“This is a unique opportunity to be the next great custodians of a rare historic haven.”
The antique bar
The wine cellar
The house has five bedrooms
Raked timber-clad ceilings combine with arches and wrought iron detailing, while leadlight glass and brick finishes add yet more historical charm.
There’s a sunken formal lounge area, brick fireplace, and home office, and the kitchen has been updated with stainless steel benches and a walk-in pantry.

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