Historic Bed-Stuy mansion smashes neighborhood record with $6.3M sale

Posted On Thu, September 6, 2018 By

Posted On Thu, September 6, 2018 By In Bed Stuy, Historic Homes, Recent Sales

Bedford-Stuyvesant‘s most expensive home has sold for $6.3 million, setting a record price for the neighborhood and sending a message that rising property prices are making their way further into Brooklyn, according to the Wall Street Journal. At nearly twice the previous record sale of $3.3 million in 2017, the Renaissance Revival-style John C. Kelley mansion at 247 Hancock Street is the most expensive single-family house ever sold in Bed-Stuy. The 8,000-square-foot, 10-bedroom townhouse was built in 1887 for water-meter magnate John Kelley, designed by noted architect Montrose Morris and modeled after a Gilded Age Vanderbilt mansion along Fifth Avenue.

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The sale price is significantly higher than the area average, which is reportedly between $1.5 million and $3 million. Real estate prices in Bed-Stuy have been climbing over the last decade, due as much to the neighborhood’s majestic townhouses as their relative affordability. Ban Leow, an agent from Halstead Property said, “It’s a bigger property, it’s a mansion, and it’s from a very prominent family. It’s one-of-a-kind property. One time people would scoff at this neighborhood, but now it’s getting trendy.”

This spectacular house–known as The Kelley Mansion and the Grand Dame of Hancock Street–has a presidential connection: It was a favorite hangout of Kelley’s friend, President Grover Cleveland. The home fell into disrepair over the decades, but retired ad exec Claudia Moran, now 76, purchased the house for just $7,500 in the 1980s and became its savior, dedicating a great deal of her time and money to its restoration. Since then, the house has also been used for film and photo shoots and as a wedding venue.

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The mansion sits on an 81-foot-by-100-foot lot with a building footprint of 41 x 60 and top-to bottom brownstone encompassing an entrance framed in a carved arch set between two bay windows. Past the arch, the main hall meets the billiard room with a smoking balcony to the back.

The entrance hall is finished with French walnut, with Corinthian columns and high paneled wainscoting with carved panels and silk trimmings. Double parlors sit to the left of the entrance and are divided in the center by fluted Corinthian columns and and an oak arch. Similar details appear all throughout the mansion, including the bathroom with its gorgeous claw-foot tub.

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The rose garden has its very own koi pond—the perfect place to contemplate the home’s incredible past—and the up-and-coming neighborhood also has plenty to offer, including a great community and wonderful shops, restaurants and cafes.

Ms. Moran began to think about selling the house after living there for three decades; in 2014, she listed it for $6 million. Though several developers made over-ask offers on the property’s 16,000+ buildable square feet, Ms. Moran turned them down: “It has to be someone who cares for it as much as I do.”

The house was granted landmark status in 2015. Another bid fell through, but a new–anonymous, purchasing via a shell company–buyer surfaced in recent months.

[Listing: 247 Hancock Street by Ban Leow and Howard Ramial for Halstead]

[At CityRealty]


Images courtesy of Halstead

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Neighborhoods : Bedford-Stuyvesant



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