Rundown, landmarked Crown Heights house to go up for auction at $500,000

September 29, 2011 12:02PM

A striking, but rundown, house on a landmarked Crown Heights block
will be up for auction starting at $500,000 next month, the New York
Daily News reported. The house at 838 Prospect Place has sat vacant
since 2008. That year, the State Office for People with Developmental
Disabilities had purchased it from longtime owners Vincent and Lachmi
Bennett for $1.375 million, city and state records show. The state had
intended to turn it into a group home, but then the historic
preservation rules did not allow installation of fire escapes. State
officials tried putting it up for auction at a minimum of $700,000 in
June, but there were no takers. The house with a turret has three
stories, five bedrooms and two bathrooms, and looks llke a small
castle.

A Crown Heights resident said
the house would need a lot of work
with raccoons in the backyard, an eyesore
of a driveway gate, a crumbling slate roof, peeling paint and
plumbing problems.

Any
exterior changes would have to be approved by the
Landmarks Preservation Commission.
But another resident who is building an apartment complex next door
noted that area is attractive because it is fast-growing and
relatively safe. An
open house at the house on Tuesday attracted 20 people.
[NYDN]