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Epic, unfinished Park Slope mansion finds a buyer at a steep discount

But will the new owners keep the climbing wall?

Exterior of Park Slope modern mansion

The never-ending saga of the Park Slope dream house at 277 1st Street has finally come to a close, Brownstoner reports. Still unfinished after more than a decade of trying, the mansion finally sold for $7.5 million last year—$4 million less than the initial ask.

Back in 2000, Ivona and Joseph Hertz—owners of the real-estate management firm Ocean Empire Management and the construction company Anovi Builders—purchased the vacant Park Slope lot for $825,000, and set about constructing their epic $25 million dream home. And if all had gone according to plan, they would now be living in an eight-bedroom, eco-friendly mansion with an overwhelming list of amenities, including a two-story rock climbing wall, a hydraulic car lift for indoor parking, an indoor Olympic-size lap pool, a Jacuzzi and sauna, at least three kitchens, and a geothermal heating and cooling system.

But it didn’t play out that way. For more than a decade, construction inched along, delayed, in part, by zoning changes and code violations. In 2013, it was announced that the project was “nearly finished,” but by that point, it had stopped making sense. “We wanted this house done when our kids were small,” Ivona Hertz told the New York Post at the time. The kids were now twenty-something college students. “It’s too big for us now,” she said. In 2015, the couple threw in the towel, listing still-unfinished palace for $11.5 million.

According to Brownstoner, the home was billed as “mostly completed” with “final design choices to be selected by the new owner.” The broker, Elliman’s Nicola Nicoletta, explained to the Observer the buyer could either follow through with the Hertzes’ plans, or explore their own design dreams (which, good luck).

The new owners filed applications back in August to divide up the 14,000-square-foot home, changing the certificate of occupancy from one family to six families, Brownstoner says. The Buildings Department disapproved that application in December.

While the future of the project remains unclear, DOB records show that the new owners, an LLC, have filed assorted applications for mechanical work, suggesting that construction may indeed be done someday. For now, the scaffolding remains.


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