Architect Sarah Susanka’s 1998 book “The Not So Big House” urged Americans to think quality over quantity in new home construction, and while most apartments in New York City are economical on space, many wealthy New Yorkers clearly adhere to a bigger-is-better philosophy. To highlight some of city’s biggest mansion projects, The Real Deal‘s new section for research brings you the five largest single-family home plans submitted to the Department of Buildings in the last year.
111 Cliffwood Avenue, Staten Island
Total Construction Floor Area: 21,835 square feet
The largest single-family home submitted to the DOB during the last year is a 21,835-square foot mega-mansion project at 111 Cliffwood Avenue in Staten Island. Before plans dropped there was already a 11,539-square-foot colossus on the site, once owned by former Mets pitcher John Franco. Franco sold that white-columned home to Steven and Esther Nisan for $3.4 million in 2012, according to public records, and the couple apparently didn’t think the house was big enough. Approved plans for the new home call for what will be a sprawling two stories of house, basement space (with three bathrooms), and a three-car garage. Franco’s old manse was demolished in 2013, according to New York YIMBY.
154 East 78th Street, Manhattan
Total Construction Floor Area: 18,729 square feet
Martin and Lauren Geller are planning to build a 18,729-square-foot townhouse on the Upper East Side, but they first have to knock down a trifling five-story townhouse that’s already there. A good chunk of the space planned for the new home will likely be beneath the ground floor, as plans call for a below-grade level swimming pool. The owners also plan on adding a roof deck to the new townhouse, if it even gets built at all—the most recent permit application was rejected by the DOB in December.
526 Canal Street, Manhattan
Total Construction Floor Area: 13,864 square feet
Developer Hesky Haim filed plans to construct an eight-story townhouse for just one family in July at 526 Canal Street in Tribeca, and not a single story will go to waste. The first floor is devoted to a “grand hall,” the second floor will have a “wine cave,” the next five floors up will be dedicated to living space, the eighth floor will consist of a pool, hot tub and sunroom, and the roof will have a garden. So will this 100-foot tall single-family home get built? Haim’s plans were rejected in September, so he will need to make a few tweaks first.
200 Parkville Avenue, Brooklyn
Total Construction Floor Area: 12,966 square feet
Issac Laufer wants to build a seven-story single-family home at 200 Parkville Avenue in the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Kensington. The plans are pretty bare. Basically, it goes like this: a cellar to park five of your favorite cars and then seven floors of house. The address is a short walk from a number of marble and gold-flecked McMansions on Ocean Parkway—but one wonders, can any of those homes hold five cars?
7-65 Caffrey Avenue, Queens
Total Construction Floor Area: 11,774 square feet
7-65 Caffrey is a mansion that will only rise an unambitious two stories in Far Rockaway, but it’ll still hold about 12,000 square feet. There is some bad news for developer Ephraim Herskovitz, though. Plans submitted in December were recently rejected by the DOB (pretty standard for first application round), so even though the developer has already demolished the measly one-story home that once stood at the address he’ll have to wait a while to do much else.
For more reports and research from across the New York City real estate market, visit The Real Deal‘s new research website here.