Pfizer Mansion sells for $9M, shattering Clinton Hill record

Brooklyn-based rocker lands 130-year-old, 10K-sq-ft brownstone

Pfizer Mansion (Douglas Elliman)
Pfizer Mansion (Douglas Elliman)

Move over, 315 Vanderbilt: There’s been a new record home sale in Clinton Hill.

The famous Pfizer Mansion sold for $9.1 million in late June, property records show. The last time Clinton Hill saw a deal anywhere near this size was in 2015, when 315 Vanderbilt Avenue, a former union hall repurposed as a single-family home, sold for $7.2 million.

The 10,000-square-foot, Queen Anne-style mansion has a history filled with pharmaceutical riches and rock and roll.

It was built in 1887 for Charles Erhart, who co-founded the Pfizer pharmaceutical company with his cousin and future brother-in-law Charles Pfizer. Nearly a century later, in 1991, musician Legion Davies and his housemate, Paul Raven of the English rock band Killing Joke, called the mansion home before it was sold to interior designer Jessica Warren and her husband, Douglas, for $3.2 million in 2007.

The Warrens took on major renovations, retaining historic details like an original Otis elevator and adding modern updates including a sunken “speakeasy” party room. The home has seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms and eight fireplaces, and features 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor entertaining space.

After placing it on the market three years ago, the couple sold the home to Sean Ragon and his wife Beverly in an all-cash deal, according to property records. Douglas Elliman’s Doug Bowen and Zia O’Hara had the listing, and the buyers were represented by Atelier’s Wendy Maitland.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

“The baton has been passed to another rock and roll couple, and the rock and roll history of this building will continue and come back to life,” Bowen said.

The mansion endured several price chops over the years: It was originally listed by Brown Harris Stevens for $13.5 million in 2018, but was slashed to $11.5 million a year later. Corcoran took the reins in the fall of 2019 and the price was cut to nearly $10 million and later $9.2 million.

“The $13.5 and $11.5 million were both mistakes. It was unrealistic,” Bowen said. “There’s caps on absolute prices in certain neighborhoods.”

Knowing that the most expensive property sold in the neighborhood was in the $7 million range, the team kept the $9.2 million price tag when it took over in December 2020, feeling confident thanks to the city’s bustling townhouse market.

Bowen said that the record speaks to the tolerance in absolute price in neighborhoods throughout the city as homeowners take on extravagant renovations by some of the city’s top architects and designers.

“It’s a predictor of the next steps in these markets in terms of pricing and thresholds,” Bowen said. “You’ll start to see houses that people have been living in being extensively renovated that will push the price points [upwards].”