Grimes Cottage, Millers Point sold by NSW state government

Grimes Cottage, Millers Point sold by NSW state government
Grimes Cottage, Millers Point sold by NSW state government

Grimes Cottage, at 50 Argyle Place in Millers Point, has been sold by the NSW government, securing the highest price yet in its staggered former social housing selldown.

It had been tipped to fetch more than $4 million at auction tonight, selling for $4.23 million through McGrath's Richard Shalhoub.

It was bought by lawyer John Schembri and his wife Karen, of Greenwich, Fairfax Media reported.

The property came with a 200-page conservation management pal which bans the buyer from using the heritage cobblestone side driveway as off-street parking.

The 15 earlier Millers Point property sales have netted the state government around $34 million.

The freestanding sandstone residence is not expected to be topped amid the 293 properties portfolio disposal over the next 18 months.

The sale tops the previous high of $3.95 million last September when a five-bedroom Victorian terrace sold on Lower Fort Street.

The Colonial Georgian freestanding home comes with six bedrooms, north-facing garden, along with a self-contained studio flat.

There are views of the Harbour Bridge and The Rocks from its rear verandah. 

It was built in 1831 as the first home of master mariner George Grimes and his wife Mary Underwood, the daughter of shipbuilder, merchant and distiller James Underwood. 

Set on 416 square metres, the 1830s home was dubbed by the Australian Financial Review as a "jewel" within the social housing portfolio in the area.

The terraces along Kent Street, Argyle Place, Windmill Street and Lower Fort Street have fetched between $1.624 million and $3.95 million.

Grimes Cottage features in artist Conrad Marten’s work in 1843. 

Grimes was born in 1801 to Charles Grimes, the Second Surveyor-General of NSW, and Elizabeth Matthews, a convict who had arrived in the colony in 1792.

Grimes became a seafarer, and by the 1830s was a master mariner and the commander of the Barque Woodlark.

In 1834 George Grime married Mary Underwood, the daughter of James Underwood, shipbuilder, merchant and distiller. They had nine children between 1834 and 1850, and their first home was ‘Grimes Cottage’ at 50 Argyle Place.

Grimes progressively built Nos. 52 – 60 Argyle Place from east to west commencing with No.s, 52 and 54 in 1842.

The buildings are early examples of investment in residential property by a local resident, and demonstrate a pattern of local development (building in stages as money permitted) that was to become common in Millers Point.

Grimes’ terraces were amongst the first quality dwellings to be built in Millers Point. 

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