Condos on Hammerstein Estate up for sale

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On the heels of the redevelopment of the historic Hammerstein Estate, Wildflower Estate Developers have put the second group of the Beechhurst condominiums up for sale.

Located in the shadow of the Throgs Neck Bridge, the second and final phase of development has created 27 condominiums on 1.5 acres. The housing units, standing east of the intersection of Powell’s Cove Boulevard and Totten Street, are valued at a total of $18.9 million.

The units, which each have three bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms, start at $641,625.

The sale of the condominiums marks the end of the Beechhurst project, which transformed one of the neighborhood’s most famous pieces of property.

Built in 1924, the Hammerstein mansion was named for its owner, the playwright Arthur Hammerstein. The neo-Tudor style building was designed by architect Dwight James Baum and featured gables, gothic arches and stained glass windows.

While the estate off Little Bay flourished early in the century, in recent decades it had fallen into disrepair. In the 1980s the mansion, which had been operating as a restaurant, was abandoned.

For years, the property sat untouched.

“Nobody wanted to rehabilitate it,” said Cesar Guevara, a William B. May sales agent in charge of the property. “It cost too much money.”

But in 1997, Wildflower Estate Developers decided to take a chance and purchase the property.

“The developer had the idea that it was a beautiful location and wanted to do something,” said Guevara.

Central to development of the estate was the mansion. Declared a landmark by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, the exterior of the building could not be changed.

In the first phase of development, the interior of the mansion was redesigned into six side-by-side homes. Meanwhile, 24 condominium units were constructed around the building. The first phase was finished in 2000.

The following year, construction began on the second phase, located at the southern edge of the property.

The developers now are finishing up landscaping and cosmetic work to the buildings.

Sherida Paulsen, chairwoman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, said her agency was happy with Wildflower’s work.

In particular, she noted that the development provides ample space around the mansion after two buildings had been taken out of the original plan.

“The landscape plan around the mansion maintains the relationship of the house to the water, which is very important,” she said.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.

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