Century-old Brooklyn mansion could shatter price record

Colleen Kane
The entryway. Click any photo to go to a slideshow with more and bigger images.
The entryway. Click any photo to go to a slideshow with more and bigger images.

[Yahoo! Homes editor's note: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said, "Current owner Anil Kumar Sinha bought it in 1969 and converted it to a private Montessori school, which closed earlier this year amid scandal." A different Montessori school suffered a scandal. The correct details are below.] This landmarked, century-old neoclassical mansion in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood has 23 rooms, 9 bathrooms and approximately 10,000 square feet of space. The home, at 105 8th Avenue in New York, recently listed with Halstead Property for a potentially record-setting $25 million.

As a point of reference, the priciest home to ever sell in Brooklyn sold earlier this year for less than half that amount, $12 million. That was the Brooklyn Heights townhouse once belonging to Truman Capote, which went through numerous price cuts over nearly two years from the original $18 million asking price.

[More from CNBC: 10 unique multimillion-dollar homes]

“The price is based on offers received by unsolicited offers in the past,” said the property’s broker, Marc Wisotsky. “We’ve listed at the price [the owner] asked and the market will speak."

The property’s other broker, Jackie Lew, added, “That is just the asking price. There is negotiability.”

In terms of impressive factors that might contribute to that value, consider this: In 100 years the house has had just three owners, beginning as the residence of the Tracy family, which made its fortune in stevedoring. Ownership then transferred to the Knights of Columbus. Current owner Anil Kumar Sinha bought the mansion in 1969 and converted it to one of his three private Montessori schools (one of which suffered a scandal in 2007). The school closed this summer because the owners were retiring.

[More from CNBC: The Dakota, New York's most exclusive building]

Another rare attribute: It’s never been subdivided into apartments. Other than the addition of an enclosed fire escape, the layout is still the same as when the Tracys dwelled there in the twentieth century.

Other unusual factors for a Brooklyn residence are both the building’s 50-foot width and the 112-foot depth of the property it sits on, both which exceed typical proportions of the area, according to the brokers. The mansion also comes with air rights, for a total (pending approval of any new additions) potential square footage of 16,800.

The Tracy mansion was built in 1912 by Frank J. Helmle (an alumnus of the iconic New York architecture firm McKim, Mead and White), who also designed the Boathouse and other structures in nearby Prospect Park.

Behind the facade’s four fluted, modified Corinthian columns is a grand entryway. The dramatic marble entrance to the home, pictured here in the vertical photo, has a curved bay shape, bronze doors, a golden-hued stained glass transom window, and a vaulted ceiling. Click either photo to go to a slideshow of the stately mansion.

[More from CNBC: Homes where music history was made]

The home has three full floors and a basement (or garden level, as it's called in Brooklyn). On the parlor level (first floor) are mahogany-paneled walls and an 8-foot-tall Italian marble fireplace, and a sweeping staircase with tall stained glass windows.

The mansion’s dining room has coffered ceilings, more dark wood paneling, inlaid floors, and built-in mirrored china cabinets. The brokers note that the Tracy mansion can be a single-family home or can be adapted again to use as a school, or a museum or offices, possibly as a rental property.

The listing is held with Halstead, an affiliate of Luxury Portfolio International.