‘Prince’ sells Kapiti girls’ home to locals
A rambling, deserted Catholic home for girls, owned by a selfstyled Georgian prince, will finally be sold.
Marycrest, on State Highway 1 between Peka Peka and Te Horo, was listed on Trade Me in 2014 for a minimum $2 million by Victor Greenwich, now living in Sydney, who said he was a descendant of princes from Georgia.
The new owners plan to live in an empty chapel on the site while they work out what they will do with the complex.
The formerly grand Marycrest has not been used since it shut in the early 1980s. Greenwich said he bought it in 1988 after building a home nearby.
Kapiti resident Drew Mackenzie said she and husband Anthony Ryan would take ownership of the14.5 hectare property in early December.
‘‘In the first instance we’re going to live in the chapel, it’s the building that was least damaged. We’re going to seal up the rest of the buildings for the time being.’’
Mackenzie said they had ‘‘a few ideas’’ about what they would do with the rest of the complex, and had held clean-up working bees.
‘‘Like everybody on the coast’’, she had driven past and been curious about what it was like inside. ‘‘It was up for sale, and we thought ‘We’ll have a look’ but we didn’t think it was in our price range.’’
The ageing complex’s history, and the pre-Pakeha history of the land itself – it was the site of a major battle – did not bother the couple, she said.
They would drop the Marycrest name and revert to the Maori name for the land, Makahuri.
They had not spent a night in the church yet, but had spent a night on the property, which had six or seven buildings.
People told them they were brave to be staying there, she said. Marycrest has been considered one of the creepiest properties on the Kapiti Coast.
’’We don’t feel like it’s brave. It’s lovely, and it’s already creating the sense of community with the people coming to help.’’
Greenwich said the sale, once completed, would be tinged with sadness as it was the last piece of Kapiti property he owned, from a happy time in a district that he said was ‘‘magical’’.
He came to New Zealand with his mother in 1949, and said previously they ditched their Georgian name Dadianov and chose an English surname.
Marycrest, sold to a Kapiti couple.