CONCEPTS for the future of an historic site in Raymond Terrace have been unveiled following the sale of the St John’s Rectory.
The Examiner can reveal that the heritage-listed property, built more than 170 years ago, was purchased by the operators of Raymond Terrace’s Hathaway Bed and Breakfast - Helena and Victor Groves.
The couple wished not to disclose the price of the sale.
Mrs Groves told the Examiner the motivation to acquire the former rectory was to restore and turn it into a community-based complex.
Their visions include transforming the main residence into a wedding and function space, an art exhibition centre and even a patchwork and quilting workshop.
The Norfolk Island pines will remain and an additional summer room attached to the main building has been proposed.
‘‘We do want to keep it for the community, but nobody puts that sort of money up [from the sale] without a return on the investment,’’ Mrs Groves said.
‘‘It is coming into spring and summer ... we have to repair the roof and there are some excessive bills ... but we hope it is open by next year.’’
Talk surrounding the sale of the rectory, which was costing the Anglican parish too much money to maintain, had been previously opposed by some advocates claiming it was a place that held fond childhood memories.
In the meantime, work is keeping pace on a development application (DA) for a new rectory currently before Port Stephens Council.
Plans were submitted back in May for a four bedroom design, however, the council is now awaiting further information with regards to a heritage impact statement.
It is hoped the new rector’s residence would be built by the start of next year.