An opportunity awaits history buffs, stressed-out Manhattanites, and possibly creative developers when a Westchester, New York lakefront mansion once owned by the Straus family of Macy’s department stores, and then by the Hearst family goes to auction on June 13. A peaceful location with room to roam and restoration already prepped to begin, the mansion has been taken to the studs, the excavation dug for a cliffside infinity pool and even a lakefront log cabin further through the woods has construction started. Ideal for a buyer’s architect to design for their personal taste, sealed bidding starts at $2.5 million – an almost 60% reduction from its list price of $6.75 million.
Now a secluded property of 7.9 acres, it was originally part of a 43-acre estate purchased by the Straus family in 1895, a year before brothers Isidor and Nathan Straus became the sole owners of Macy’s. Macy’s, the largest department store chain in the United States, was one of the first employers in America who were concerned for the health care of their workers hiring a doctor and nurse for their New York store. The Straus estate stayed in the family until the 1980s when it was sold to the Hearst family, for many years the country’s largest newspaper chain. After Randolph Hearst died in 2000, his widow sold 37.25 acres to the City of New York for $5.3 million. It continued to be her residence until 2016 when she sold it to the Republic of the Seychelles, a rapidly developing nation of islands in the Indian Ocean, to be used as the family home of its consul general, Justin Etzin, and his model-wife, Lana Zakocela. However, after having just begun a massive renovation of the property, Justin and Lana filed for divorce and the Republic of the Seychelles placed the estate on the auction block, still in the early stages of renovation.
Located only 40 minutes from New York City by train, 490 acres of conservation land surround the home including Cranberry Lakes Preserve. Sited on spring-fed Quarry Lake, formerly a 19th-century granite quarry, additional structures include a 1,300-square-foot log cabin, guest cottages, stables, custodian’s house, and a garage. Ground has been dug out next to the main house for a one-of-a-kind 60’ infinity pool overlooking the lake from the cliff above. The 13,721-square-foot main house has huge rooms with 19-foot ceilings, formal rooms, eight bedrooms and ten baths. The 1,300-square-foot log cabin is under construction and other structures include guest cottages, original stables, caretaker’s house and a garage.
The estate is a seven-minute drive to the Valhalla and North White Plains Train Stations and fourteen minutes from the Westchester County Airport. After acquiring the necessary change of use, possibilities are almost limitless for development such as a housing subdivision, school or religious facility or in sticking with its original purpose as a glamorous family home ideal for entertaining.
The former New York estate of two of the wealthiest families in the country’s history will be going to auction by Paramount Realty USA on June 13th.
Photo credit: Paramount Realty USA