Tim and Karin Gordon: the family behind Rivermead Estate | Rivermead

Tim and Karin Gordon: the family behind Rivermead Estate

By: | October 10th, 2019

Bringing together their love for property, horses and family, Tim and Karin Gordon are breaking new ground with their multi-faceted luxury hinterland development, Rivermead Estate. 

A passion project that has become ingrained in their hearts, Rivermead Estate is located 25 minutes from the Gold Coast and features a majestic homestead international-sized polo field, and plans to build both a world-class equestrian facility as well as an idyllic Artisans Village. 

From Tim’s grassroots in building and property development to Karin’s styling finesse and enchantment with horses, their expertise and talent have culminated to curate a property where experience is everything. 

Chatting to the couple, we explore the Tim and Karin story; their successes, their challenges and their unwavering family focus. 

Family is the epicentre of a successful and happy life

For Tim and Karin, family is everything. They have four children, three from Tim’s previous marriage and one child together, Ella, who currently attends secondary school. Their two sons, Zac and Riley, have worked closely with Tim on the Rivermead Estate project. Zac is a carpenter and project manages the Rivermead development, while Riley, an electrician, has managed the hi-tech electrical requirements and wiring for the entire property. 

“Family is important to all of us. We are very fortunate to have a family business that has evolved from my father’s generation where my brothers and I worked with him, to today where our children are actively involved in the construction and development of Rivermead Estate. It really strengthens our relationship”, says Tim. 

Rivermead Estate has brought the Gordon family closer together, creating a very positive experience for the kids. 

“We did this together, it was a real collective,” Karin says. “From Ella helping to unpack to the boys working tirelessly to complete this wonderful property, and now working daily alongside their father, we feel very fortunate.” 

Property is in the Gordon blood 

Growing up in Melbourne, Tim left school at 15 to complete his apprenticeship as a carpenter. Beginning his career as a tradesman, he soon moved into project management and then development management. 

In 1981, Tim, together with his father and three brothers, established Gordon Pacific Limited. Listed on the ASX, with offices in Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast, they developed residential and commercial properties along the stretch of Australia’s east coast. 

Setting up and managing the Melbourne office, Tim oversaw Gordon Pacific’s debut into property development market in Victoria. With the experience that came from his lineage, and time in the family business, the transition to solo property developer was a natural leap and from this time on, Tim's solo career started to stem and grow.   

Fast Forward, with a lifestyle choice relocation to the Gold Coast and the decision to pair back their developments in scale, Tim and Karin developed Gordon Corp, balancing a young family, making wise choices,  they slowly built Gordon Corp to become the leading boutique property development firm on the Gold Coast. 

The re-invention of Rivermead Estate 

Originally planned as a rural retreat for the Gordon family, the intent for Rivermead Estate is dynamic, ever-changing and forward-thinking. 

From the meticulously renovated homestead and international-sized polo field to the plans for an elite equestrian facility and Artisans Village, the property offers many unique aspects that appeal to a range of markets. 

When they first purchased the property in 2017 Tim and Karin recognised its potential to incorporate the existing polo field with Karin’s love for equestrian, as well as using it as a family getaway. They renovated the existing homestead with intricate detail, to reflect their passion for plantation-style homes and Hawaii, styling it with a relaxed yet sophisticated warmth. 

“We love Hawaii and both feel like we have some Hawaiian blood in our veins. In the re-design of the Rivermead house, we drew inspiration from the iconic plantation properties of Maui as well as the casual and neutral styling ethos of the Four Seasons Hotels that we love to stay at around the world”, says Tim. 

It’s a style that transfers beautifully across to the commercial space, allowing Tim and Karin to reshape their plans for the property and optimise the full potential of what it can offer to guests. While they’ll still use the Rivermead House as a weekender, they also intend to rent it out privately. 

“We understood that there was a range of opportunities for Rivermead Estate, and reviewing our current lifestyle, particularly with a teenager who plays a lot of sport, we realised that we just didn’t have the time to only enjoy it for ourselves,” Karin observes. 

Rivermead Estate exemplifies Karin’s styling flair and love for horses

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Karin moved to Tokyo with her parents at the age of 14.  Beginning a modelling career in her teens after being scouted by a Japanese agent, Karin later moved into high fashion, where she modelled and featured in catwalk shows for some of the most prestigious European brands. 

Combining her extensive background in fashion with her natural instinct for style, Karin has worked closely with Sue Hiscox from Inarc Design Qld to decorate the interiors and outdoor spaces of Rivermead Estate. 

Alongside Karin’s styling prowess is her unbridled passion for horses. Attending riding schools in both Hong Kong and Japan growing up, Karin has ridden all her life and continues to ride whenever she can. 

“Growing up, I was the girl whose bedroom was covered in posters of horses, rather than rock stars”, Karin recollects with a smile. 

Today, Karin rides three to four days a week with dressage specialist coach, Nicole Tough. Her horse, Fidelia, was sired by a famous German dressage stallion and hails from the prestigious riding stable, C & C Dressage in Germany. Karin is often approached by leading dressage riders and coaches, asking when she will breed Fidelia, an option that the Gordons are currently exploring. 

Plans to build a world-class equestrian centre at Rivermead 

With plans to build an indoor arena and stables at Rivermead Estate, Tim and Karin are looking to construct an elite centre that caters for both national and international equestrian services. A one-of-a-kind concept for the Gold Coast, the Gordons envisage this facility to incorporate dressage coaching, horse agistment and potentially a prestigious breeding facility. 

Sharing a deep love for horse-riding, the equestrian centre is a passion project for Tim and Karin. Travelling to Hawaii and trekking into the mountains on horses has always been a cherished getaway for the busy couple, who are now looking forward to enjoying more riding at Rivermead Estate. 

Artisans Village coming soon to Rivermead 

With an existing approval for retail shops, café and cabins on Rivermead Estate, Tim and Karin have initial plans underway to reinvent this space on the property. Their aim is to build a farm-to-table restaurant, seating 150 people along with a boutique bar or gin distillery. The village will also feature a local artist gallery, fresh locally grown produce and a number of architecturally designed luxury pods, offering the perfect weekend retreat. 

The Artisans Village is envisaged to be open to the public for weekend trade and also cater for corporate functions and weddings. The Gordons anticipating a 2021 launch for the Artisans Village.

“We have so many ideas for the future of Rivermead Estate”, says Tim. “It’s much more than a development project for our family; it’s our heart and soul.”


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