277 1st Street has finally sold! This project is known as one of Brooklyn’s most crazily ambitious private residential projects.
Owners Ivona and Joseph Hertz attempted construction of a massive new home, but ended up selling it – unfinished and for $4 million less than asked.
The story goes like this. The couple owned real-estate management firm Ocean Empire Management and construction company Anovi Builders. Back in 2000 they purchased the vacant lot and began to build their 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.
In 2013, the owners proclaimed to the New York Post the house was nearly done. Ivona Hertz told the Post they wanted their children to enjoy the house while they were little. The construction took over a decade and by that time their children were in college and the house was too big for them.
At the time the owners made the statement, the Gothamist said the building looked like “a treehouse that Howard Hughes built over 15 sleepless nights.”
It took two more years for the owners to finally wave a flag of surrender and put the unfinished house on the market asking $11.5 million in the summer of 2015.
The asking price was very ambitious despite the property being 60-foot-wide and it comprising three lots. But in November 2016, after a year on the market, the unfinished five-story house sold for $7.5 million — making it one of the highest-priced sales in Brooklyn in 2016.
The new owners submitted an application in August 2016 to change the certificate of occupancy from one family to six families, but the Building Department disapproved it in December.
For the time being, records show the new owners have been filing applications for boiler, plumbing and other mechanical work, which means the project might be wrapping up soon.