Property developers are sparring with wealthy home buyers for the chance to acquire the heritage-listed Wentworth Memorial Church in the luxury Sydney enclave of Vaucluse.
The offer of the site at 32B Fitzwilliam Road, by the Anglican Parish of Watsons Bay, has created a buzz ahead of expressions of interest closing next week.
McGrath Estate Agents pitched the site as a prime candidate for an overhaul into either a stand-alone mansion or a multiple residence development.
The property is tipped to trade for between $5 million and $5.5m though listing agents Paul Attard and William Manning but may sell at a higher price.
The contest has prompted hopes it may be sold to an individual owner keen to preserve the historically significant features as part of a substantial residence in the same way Atlassian co-CEO Scott Farquhar plans to restore the former Fairfax family estate Elaine in Double Bay.
The well-positioned church has not been used since 2006 and legal action was taken seven years ago to win the right to subdivide and sell the land.
The site has ties with the estate of politician William Charles Wentworth and the church’s soaring white walls and walled courtyard cap the top of a rocky hill on part of the former Wentworth Estate.
The church, designed by the late Donald Gazzard, is a significant example of the regional architecture that evolved in NSW in the 1960s known as the Sydney school. The Royal Australian Institute of Architects has recommended that the original form of the major skylight above the chancel be restored or reconstructed.
In 2015, Bishopscourt, the Anglican Church’s redundant trophy home in nearby Darling Point was sold to Chinese billionaire Wang Qinghui for about $18m.
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