It was a crazily ambitious private residential project that dragged on for years before selling last year in its unfinished state. Now the scaffolding is down at 277 1st Street in Park Slope and the building is closer to welcoming residents with a switch from private home to condos.
Former owners Ivona and Joseph Hertz — who are in the construction biz — purchased a vacant lot in 2000 and began to build a massive new dream home. Among the over-the-top amenities they planned: A two-story rock climbing wall, a hydraulic care lift for indoor parking, an oversized passenger elevator, an indoor lap pool, nine balconies, and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
Although hopes were high for the house to be completed in 2013, after more than a decade of construction the owners gave up the dream and put the house on the market, asking $11.5 million in 2015.
The house was finally purchased by an LLC in 2016 for $7.5 million — making it one of the most expensive properties to sell in Brooklyn that year. A Brownstoner visit in early in 2017 showed the house shrouded in scaffolding and a sidewalk shed still in place.
When Brownstoner walked past the site recently, the scaffolding was down and the exterior was looking close to finished, with balconies, windows and contrast wood cladding in place. Workers were busy on site; inside, some lighting fixtures appeared to be in place and kitchens were under construction.
A condo offering plan was submitted in June and accepted in October with plans for six residential units and one parking unit. A teaser site launched for the project, promising a “premier boutique new development made up of six distinctly unique condominiums.” There will be two two-bedroom units, one three-bedroom unit and three four-bedroom units.
Three of those units have “estimated” prices ranging from $1.699 to $2.655 million, the site says.
Listings for the three units appeared briefly on StreetEasy this summer, with a perhaps unintentionally sly mention in the description that “no expense was spared during construction.” The top price was also a bit lower: $2.479 million for a four-bedroom unit.
While there won’t be an indoor pool and rock climbing wall, per the original house plans, there will evidently be Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, fireplaces, storage units and private roof-top spaces with outdoor kitchens. Renderings on the website showing a modern living room with a fireplace and dramatic view through wraparound floor to ceiling windows; a contemporary kitchen with marble walls, counters and stainless steel appliances, a marble-lined bathroom with soaking tub in a glass-enclosed shower.
The exterior has been simplified compared to the rendering that appeared in the listing when the house was for sale. Gone are contrasting panels of what appear to be board-formed concrete. Those sections are white stucco.
Over the years, the architect changed and the applicant of record with the DOB is now Karl Fischer, a prolific designer of large apartment buildings in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. The building does not yet have its certificate of occupancy.
[Photos by Susan De Vries unless noted otherwise]
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