It would have set a record if it sold for $18 million. Now one of the most ambitious developments in all of Brooklyn — a lavishly appointed, over-the-top mansion at 146 Willow Street — has scaled back its asking price to $16 million.
It could still happen. Now it’s asking just $500,000 more than the current record holder for a townhouse sale in Brooklyn, the 10,000-square-foot Cobble Hill carriage house photographer Jay Maisel bought for $15.5 million last year.
Developer Shahrzad Khayami is betting the Willow Street townhouse will appeal to a wealthy family on the hunt for a large home in Brooklyn Heights close to the neighborhood’s private schools, she told Brownstoner when the property went on the market in May.
To that end, the 7,750-square-foot house, formerly divided into 11 apartments, is being converted back into the single-family mansion it once was, and updated with Passive House construction, an elevator, a rebuilt stoop, high-end finishes, and a landscaped roof garden with Manhattan views.
Now it is with a new broker, Leonard Steinberg of Compass, who plans to list it later this week, he told Brownstoner. The renovation is close to done and the house will be photographed Tuesday, although it’s still waiting on its certificate of occupancy.
The project has not been without controversy. Some of the house’s well-heeled neighbors have complained it is ostentatious, and their grumblings were reported in a New York Times column penned by a resident of the block that said such conversions contribute to homelessness around the city. The article generated its own mini kerfuffle with hundreds of readers weighing in, some charging the article was elitist and hypocritical.
Khayami, head of real estate firm AscentSeven, purchased 146 Willow Street for $6.8 million in 2014 and set the renovation in motion. AscentSeven signed on Brooklyn architecture firm Baxt Ingui, known for brownstone restorations that incorporate energy-efficient Passive House techniques. The firm is also renovating Norah Jones’ Cobble Hill carriage house.
The landscaping is being handled by Palm Beach-based Nievera Williams Design, known for lush dramatic designs.
[Photos by Susan De Vries, renderings by Baxt Ingui]