Today, the Times profiled Azad Ali, who for over 20 years has been in the business of buying, renovating, and flipping Victorian standalone houses in the area south of Prospect South. That isn't too unusual in and of itself, but Ali's approach is somewhat out of the ordinary — instead of minimizing and condo-ifying, he prefers to work with an eye towards preservation, digging out and highlighting the many distinct details that the houses possess. Recently, his most ambitious project to date, a newly-built 4BR/3BA house at 1216 Albemarle Road, hit the market for $2.975 million. The site used to be inhabited by an unremarkable 1950 cottage that was built after a large Victorian burned down. It was later purchased by a woman whose attempts to anger to community by building a red brick McMansion bottomed out, and the property's fraught history allowed Ali to purchase it for a mere $218,000 in 2012. "I'm trying to restore a vision of what was originally there, not some mistake made 50 years ago," he told the Landmarks Commission.
While Ali was able to create his own vision with 1216 Albemarle, with 870 Ocean Avenue he was forced to work with what he had. But perhaps forced is too strong a word — by all accounts, this type of thing is exactly what Ali loves about renovating.
Correction: 870 Ocean Avenue is not owned by Ali, and has not been extensively renovated before getting put on the market. The home has, however, been brought to market by the same Corcoran broker as 1216 Albemarle. Curbed regrets the errors.
"The real joy is uncovering the little details that have been lost to time and bringing them back," he told the Times.
Another neighborhood house on the market, 870 Ocean (pictured above), contains many such details, like stained glass, beamed ceilings, and painted ornamentation, although not all of them are necessarily working in its favor. That house was listed for $2.3 million last month and just cut its price to $1.9 million.
· Renovator of Victorian Beauties Profits From Preservation [NYT]
· Listing: 1216 Albemarle Road [Corcoran]
· Listing: 870 Ocean Avenue [Corcoran]