The Seychelles to auction off estate at a discount after diplomat’s divorce

The minimum bid amounts to more than a 60% discount from its recent listing price
By Maya Rajamani | May 04, 2019 11:00AM

Lana Zakocela and Justin Etzin in front of their former New Castle home (Credit: Getty, Zillow)

The consul general and tourism ambassador of the Seychelles, an Indian Ocean island nation known for its robust offshore financial services sector, is selling his 7.9-acre estate in North Castle.

Seychelles’ government shelled out $2.2 million in 2016 for the property at 1503 Old Orchard Street on behalf of Consul General Justin Etzin back in 2016, the New York Post reported.

But Etzin, no stranger to tabloid headlines, and his wife, Latvian model Lana Zakocela, recently divorced, and the North Castle estate they lived in will now be auctioned off on June 13. The minimum bid has been set at $2.5 million, a more than 60 percent discount from its recent $6.75 million listing price, according to Daily Voice Plus.

Paramount Realty USA, which is handling the auction, noted in a press release that the diplomatic property has previously been owned by the Hearst and Macy families.

The North Castle property includes an 8-bedroom, 10-bathroom main house, guest cottages, stables, a log cabin, a parking garage and its own lake, according to the DVP.

Attorney and Paramount Realty founder Misha Haghani told the outlet that whoever buys the estate could “choose to gut-renovate or demolish the main house, subdivide the property into three-to-six individual lots, or renovate it as a school, religious compound or other facility.”

As for Etzin, son of hotel magnate Bernard Etzin, he told The Real Deal in a statement issued through a spokeswoman that the “auction process was chosen as a means for our Government to dispose of the Westchester Estate. We do realize that at auctions the real estate often sells at below market price, but we have chosen this selling platform for a sale in an efficient and timely manner.”

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