Taxi and tanning tycoon Stevie Malcolm is building Scotland’s most expensive house - a £9 million palace overlooking Gleneagles’ famous Queen’s golf course.
Glasgow Private Hire boss Stevie Malcolm’s incredible home is being built around a £1 million aquarium which rises three storeys through the centre of the property. The 44-year-old tycoon paid £1.3 million for the plot, one of 13 in an exclusive gated development called Queen’s Crescent. By the time it is completed in 18 months, it will have cost Malcolm almost £9 million as Scotland’s most expensive new build.
He was the first to snap up one of the plots, which were sold last year by the world famous five-star hotel and golf resort in Perthshire as part of an £18 million investment for the 2014 Ryder Cup to be held there. His plot, the second most costly of the 13, is one of only six that lead directly on to the golf course. The taxi boss, who was divorced from wife Julie in 2006 after 20 years of marriage, said: “I’m trying to get back with my wife at the moment, so I don’t need any s****.
Malcolm, who bought his cab firm from late crime boss Tam McGraw’s wife, is a golf fanatic. "Every time the taxi business gets mentioned, it causes problems. Every time a story goes in the paper, you get crackpots calling, looking for money."
"It’s a big house, 21,000sq ft. It’s going to take a year and a half to build. The foundations are in and it’s coming out of the ground now. I’d heard Madonna and Sean Connery had shown interest in the site." A construction source said: "This house is the last word in bespoke luxury. The aquarium alone costs £1 million and is being designed by an American specialist."
"There are 13 plots but Malcolm is the first to get building. Some very wealthy people, along with property speculators and construction firms, have bought the other dozen plots. It seems the credit crunch does not extend to Glasgow’s private hire businesses."
The site, which overlooks the third fairway of the Queen’s Course, was a hive of activity last week as a construction team prepared the giant foundations for the futuristic dream home. At 21,000sq ft, it will be about five times the size of a typical luxury five-bedroom detached home. It boasts six bedrooms, including Malcolm’s massive round master bedroom - complete with Austin Powers-style circular bed. The basement level has indoor and outdoor swimming pools and jacuzzis, along with two bars, a barbecue area and his and hers changing rooms.
Malcolm, who once owned Scotland’s largest chain of tanning salons, even has a room for sunbeds. The basement area includes a self-contained flat for staff or guests that opens on to a private courtyard.
An ultra-modern glass and steel spiral staircase soars upwards around the tubular, three-storey, custom-built fish tank and there is also a private lift.
The ground floor has a formal dining room with a glass wall and a huge kitchen and office containing a bank of CCTV screens and a boardroom table. The first floor, with four enormous bedrooms and en suites, also has an open plan living area with floor-to-ceiling French doors leading to a terrace that curves around the mansion.
Architects’ plans for the house also show a three-car garage with electronic doors. The top of the home is dominated by Malcolm’s circular bedroom, a huge bathing area and separate dressing room. Special glass is being used on floor-to-ceiling walls to avoid cracked panes from wayward golf balls.
The gated development is protected by a gatehouse and code-operated electric security gate. Malcolm and car dealer Tommy Wallace bought Glasgow Private Hire - previously known as Mac Cabs - from McGraw’s wife Margaret, known as The Jeweller, about eight years ago.
The Sunday Mail revealed five years ago that Malcolm was behind the growing taxi empire along with Tan Ko - then Scotland’s largest chain of sunbed salons. In 1990, detectives seized more than 100 stolen cars which were being rented out to another taxi firm owned by Malcolm.
He was arrested at the same time as former McGraw associates David Deans and Robert Roden. Police found £36,000 under a sofa in Malcolm’s home and a gun at another address. Malcolm - who has a £1 million home in Whitecraigs, near Glasgow - was never charged but Deans and Roden were both convicted of car crime.
Malcolm has held directorships in various taxi firms and went into partnership with Allan Gibson, 47, in Edinburgh City Private Hire a year ago. Gibson had run Glasgow-based Network Private Hire, linked to the McGovern crime family.
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