You thought those friends who snagged a Catskills farmhouse just before all hell broke loose in March 2020 were getting a deal?
Well, in Englewood, New Jersey, the resplendent “Gloria Crest” mansion — once one of the Garden’s State’s most expensive listings at $39 million in 2013 — just closed for a mere $4.6 million, a staggering 88% reduction from its original asking price.
It took a rotating cast of brokers and years of price drops — $25 million in 2014, $24 million in 2015, $12 million in 2018 and even $9.99 million in 2019 — to close the deal.
So what gives?
Built in 1926 for Stefan Poniatowski, a man who said he was Polish royalty, 83 N Woodland St. is a sprawling eight-bedroom estate with some 24,000 square feet in which to frolic like you’re Gatsby.
The handsome pile of private lakefront architecture — with a marble foyer, a jaw-dropping staircase, home theater, gym, an infinity pool and chef’s kitchen — was purchased by Edward Turen, CEO of Control Equity Group, for $4.8 million in 2000.
But in 2017, the so-called “White House of Englewood” nearly headed to a foreclosure auction with a $17 million asking, The Post reported at the time.
Michelle Pais, founder of Signature Realty NJ and CEO of Michelle Pais Group, who finally sold the house attributes the wild discount to the $168,000 annual tax bill and the not-so-humble abode’s need for significant renovations.
While the buyers want to remain anonymous, Pais stressed that this was not a traditional sale.
“It was corporate-owned and there were multiple decision makers and many hoops to jump through to get an offer voted through to acceptance,” said Pais. “Throughout the listing, we generated multiple offers higher than for what it sold. Unfortunately, at that time, the powers that be were not willing to vote through anything less than the full asking price.”
Finally, they relented and approved Pais’ suggested price adjustment following rounds of formal appraisals. Pais and her team marketed the home aggressively, from spots on major national TV networks, to bringing in celebrities, athletes and executives.
In addition to the high taxes and a need for substantial technology and cosmetic upgrades, other deterrents to the home’s sale include the property’s highly specific décor.
We’d imagine some of the home’s rumored former owners — like 1920s film star Gloria Swanson and her lover Joseph Kennedy, grandfather of President John F. Kennedy — felt at ease with the opulent interiors which include gilded moldings, a stained-glass ceiling in one of the four kitchens and ornate fireplaces. But it’s not exactly outfitted for the standard 21st-century buyer.
“The estate is stunning and grandiose, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. My favorite thing about it is the history,” said Pais. “When you first step in, you feel like your time traveling into a different era.”