“Berserk Eclectic” House Sold for $2.675 Million, Will Be Razed for Luxury Rentals


The fantastical, deteriorating, one-of-a-kind Victorian whimsy at 111 Clarkson Avenue has sold to a developer for $2,675,000. It will be torn down to make way for luxury rentals. The off-market deal closed September 23, according to Adam Glassman, principal of Property Buyers Group and Glass Capital Ventures, which brokered the sale. “The house could be salvaged but [would need] at least $1,000,000 in rehab and financially it won’t make sense,” he said.

The extremely grand interiors with a newel post gas light, enormous fireplaces, painted ceilings and stained glass windows are unchanged, Glassman confirmed; interior photos taken by Dinanda Nooney in the 1970s can be seen here and here.

The buyer is a small developer in Brooklyn who did not want to be named. The buyer is reportedly planning a 50-unit new construction residential building, a “high-end green rental building with amazing amenities,” said Glassman.

The house is located on an extremely deep lot and is not landmarked. As of last month, preservationists in the area hoped a new development could be built without tearing down the house. The property was reportedly for sale for years. The listings that recently surfaced were never approved by the seller, said Glassman.

Property Buyers Group handles off market distressed properties, which they sell within their network or rehab themselves for sale to the end user. The group also buys and holds investment properties upstate.

We Hear “Berserk-Eclectic” But Imperiled 111 Clarkson Has Closed [Brownstoner]
Berserk Eclectic Masterpiece on Market Again [Brownstoner]
Building of the Day: 111 Clarkson Avenue [Brownstoner]
“Berserk Eclecticism” on Clarkson Avenue [Brownstoner]
Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

18 Comment

  • This is not surprising, but really tragic. The house has an absolutely unique architectural pedigree–it is quite literally the only one of its style in New York City. I hope in the very least that a professional salvage architect has access to the place pre-demolition and fully documents it photographically, and works to salvage all possible details (mantels, woodwork, stained glass, etc.)

    This sucks. But to a developer, that 40×250 foot lot must have proved way too tempting to allow the house to remain.

  • At the expense of my usual wordy self, this really does suck. Once again “The house could be salvaged but [would need] at least $1,000,000 in rehab and financially it won’t make sense,” is the last word.

    I also think their numbers are plucked out of the air. I bet this place could be reclaimed for less than a million. These estimations always involve making it a high end period museum, an old house lover who wanted to just restore and fix it up so that it was a nice, old house would not be spending that kind of money. Not everyone goes with the “This Old House” super restoration. But it doesn’t matter, now.

    Not “one of a kind historic house”, not “a valuable piece of Brooklyn history”, not a “museum-quality interior”, just the dollars and non-cents of money, money, money.

    There’s not a rental amenity in the world that justifies tearing this house down. Like FLO, I hope the interior is documented, and salvaged, at least. The thought of all of that beauty torn out, and stacked in some hugely over-priced salvage place breaks my heart too, but at least its not part of the landfill somewhere.

  • It would not be so bad if the replacement building would be something worthy, but you just know that it will be the bottom-of-the-barrel, Brooklyn-cheap-and-ugly McFedders super size deluxe.

  • Saw this sale on Property Shark yesterday and my heart sank. Raphael Berger has finally ended his reign of house terror with the greatest bang of all — complete demolition! Gotta love that, after years of trying to sell this property at a never-gonna-happen price point, this nutjob actually nailed it. :-(

  • I’m over you, Brooklyn.

  • This is SO sad, but probably inevitable, absent inclusion in the PLG Historic District. I was on the PLGNA committee that worked on obtaining our designation in the ’70s. IIRC we tried to include this house, but it was not to be. This DOE’S show the importance of an extension of the PLG Historic District OR the creation of additional small HDs (like what was done a few years ago on Ocean Avenue. IMO there are several other parts of the neighborhood worthy of protection; Chester Court, the South side of Fenimore I, Parkside west of Bedford Avenue, and Clarkson I come to mind, although I’m sure I left some notable blocks off this quickly made list. That would still leave lots of room for development.

  • Well, I admit I am torn on this one. One one hand, it’s a shame to see this unique property demolished. On the other hand, the same lot will now provide housing for 50 families instead of one. Can we complain about the rising cost of living in Brooklyn while also wishing to prevent the creation of additional housing stock?

  • Maybe the Brooklyn Museum would be interested in this living room? They have some entire preserved period interiors.

    • chemosphere, that’s an awesome idea! I also wonder if blueprints for houses such as these are filed with the city. Using those, maybe someone could build a new version of this house upstate somewhere where it wouldn’t cost trillions…

  • I can’t help but notice the patterns of development, that developers are targeting single family homes in this area of Flatbush/PLG, buying them for top dollar, only to tear them down and put up multi-family buildings (six stories) to match the rest of the pre/post war buildings in the area. Examples: this one, 111 Clarkson; the house and lot that was in the location where BeCa condos, and PLG South are today, both at Caton/Bedford; the two houses next door to 194 Lenox purchased for at least $1 million or more each, 271 Lenox, and at least two other side by side properties further down on Lenox and on Clarkson. I imagine that at one time in the early 1900s or so, there were far more single family homes, not just farms, but most of them are gone. It just seems that way–numbers of multi family six story buildings, then suddenly, single family clapboard/brick colonial type….