The Real Deal New York

$25M Park Slope listing could set a Brooklyn record

Neo-classical structure was once home to school that closed amid scandal

November 01, 2012 01:00PM
By Katherine Clarke

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The Brooklyn Mansion at 105 Eighth Avenue

A neo-classical limestone mansion once home to a now-defunct Montessori School in Park Slope has hit the market asking $25 million or $65,000 a month.

The 50-foot-wide residence at 105 Eighth Avenue, designed by architect Frank Helme in the early 1900s, served as the school’s only Brooklyn location from 1970 until just a few months ago, when it closed abruptly. The building has been owned by Anil Kumar Sinha, the father of the school’s former principal Lina Sinha, since 1969. Lina Sinha was convicted in July of sodomy and other sexually related crimes for having bedded a 13-year-old male student at a school operated by her parents, who operate three New York City schools, according to reports.

The trophy three-story building, dubbed one of the most impressive classical homes in Brooklyn by the Brooklyn Historical Society, features four fluted, Corinthian columns at the entrance. It is listed by Halstead Property’s Jackie Lew and Marc Wisotsky and is comprised of one commercial and one residential unit. The listing does not provide square-footage, but PropertyShark.com puts the interior square-footage at 9,788.

The home replaces a triplex apartment atop One Main Street in Dumbo as the priciest home currently on the market in Brooklyn. It could set a record for the highest price paid for a home in the borough if it sells as a single-family home for more than $12.5 million. A Brooklyn Heights mansion once owned by Truman Capote sold last winter for $12.5 million, setting the record for a single-family residence in the borough.

A call placed to the property by The Real Deal was answered by a person who identified herself only as one of the school’s trustees, who said the owners, who are now too old to maintain the property themselves, would prefer to rent the building as opposed to selling it.

The building was originally occupied by the Tracy family, which owned one of the East Coast’s largest stevedoring firms, according to the historical society’s records. The family then transferred ownership of the property to the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization, which then sold it to the current owners in 1969.

According to the Halstead listing, the property has additional undeveloped air rights that would potentially allow expansion for use of the building as a residential development site, an educational facility, medical offices, a cultural center or museum.

Wisotsky told The Real Deal by email: “Since The Tracy Mansion is such an unusual property, both in its rarity, overall size, and architectural significance, we will be marketing this property for sale to more than one type of buyer. The room configuration is nearly untouched from the time that the Tracy family called it their home.”

The building features fine interior detailing, the listing says, including huge public rooms clad in rare woods, an eight-foot, an Italian marble fireplace, a grand marble entry hall with bronze doors and a vaulted ceiling.

Correction: A previous version of this story said the student involved in the sex crime conviction was a student at the Brooklyn Montessori school, but he was in fact a student a Manhattan Montessori school also owned by the Sinhas. 

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