Norman Mailer’s old writing studio, asking $11.5M, goes into contract 

Townhouses known for literary owners top Brooklyn’s luxury market

Norman Mailer’s Former Studio Tops Brooklyn’s Luxury Market
20 Remsen Street, Serhant’s Lucia Cousins; 916 President Street, Compass’ Debra Bondy (Getty, Google Maps, Compass, Serhant)

Townhouses once home to famous literary figures topped Brooklyn’s luxury market last week.

A Greek Revival brownstone where Norman Mailer had a writing studio was the priciest home in the borough to land a buyer between Jan. 1 and Jan. 7, according to Compass’ weekly report.

The Brooklyn Heights townhouse, built in the 19th century, was listed for $11.5 million. The 26-foot-wide, five-story home spans 6,100 square feet and has six bedrooms and four bathrooms.

It features a rooftop deck, double-entry doorway, wine cellar and wood-burning fireplaces.

Serhant’s Lucia Cousins had the listing. Compass’ Nick Gavin represented the buyer.

The second most expensive home to go into contract was 916 President Street in Park Slope, with an asking price of $5.4 million. Built in 1905, the 7,000-square-foot townhouse has seven bedrooms and four bathrooms and is set up as a two-family residence.

The home, less than a block from Prospect Park, also boasts bay windows, a full-height basement, stained glass and original details.

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The brownstone’s first owner was Laura Jean Libbey, the famed 19th-century dime novel writer who lived there until her death in 1924. About 45 years later, New Orleans artist George Kendall Shaw and editor and writer Frances Fort Shaw purchased the townhouse.

The five-story townhouse hit the market for the first time in decades in 2020, priced at $6.25 million.

Brooklyn’s luxury market eased into the new year with just 10 contracts inked for homes asking $2 million or more last week. The total matched that of the previous period, which was also a short week.

Of the contracts signed, seven were for townhouses and three were for condos.

The average asking price for the contracts was $4.1 million with an average price per square foot of $1,070. The homes spent an average of 332 days on the market and prices had a 6 percent average discount from the original listing.

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This article has been updated with information on the broker representing the buyer in the sale of 20 Remsen Street.