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Sisters sell up after 114 years by the sea

Real Estate

A sprawling beachfront residential site owned by a religious order founded by Saint Mary MacKillop has hit the market for the first time in more than a century.

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The 6640sq m property at 208 Lady Gowrie Drive, Largs North, has been owned by the religious group Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart since 1906.

The site contains a heritage-listed 1890 sea captain’s house in the southwest corner, with the remainder of the block able to be redeveloped.

Founded in South Australia by Saint Mary MacKillop and English priest reverend Julian Woods, the Catholic organisation has centres across Australia and New Zealand.

A spokesperson for the Sister of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart said the Largs Bay property was being sold as it was “no longer fit for purpose”.

“Proceeds from the sale will enable the Sisters of Saint Joseph to continue to fund various ministries and charitable works in service of the community,” they said.

“The Sisters of Saint Joseph are grateful to the Largs Bay community for its longstanding support.”

JLL director Jed Harley, who is in charge of the sale, said the heritage-listed house would need to be incorporated into any residential or mixed-use redevelopment.

“When the house was built in the 1890s it would have been a magnificent prestigious house at the time. 114 years later, it might be in a state of disrepair that would be better suited to somebody who has the skills to unlock that value,” Harley said.

“It has buildings which have been added to it and they aren’t subject to the heritage listing.”

An additional building on the south-east corner has most recently been used for accommodation and religious retreats.

Sitting on the corner of Harrold Street and Lady Gowrie Drive, the site is directly across the road from the beach and less than 200m from Largs Jetty.

It is also about 5 kilometres from the Osborne Naval Shipyard precinct, which is home to Australia’s two largest naval projects.

Harley said the property, comprised of five separate titles, offered “maximum flexibility for future boundary realignment or division”.

“A developer can do a boundary realignment. They can shuffle the boundaries to suit what their development is,” he said.

“Importantly, Largs Bay is on the doorstep of the naval ship building precinct at Osborne.

“This area is already undergoing major infrastructure upgrades and will benefit from a share of more than $90 billion worth of Federal Government defence investment.”

Harley said the agency were accepting expressions of interest but he would not give a price range.

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