A property that's been cursed since it was built in 1916

Still on top of the hill, but slowly, slowly, sliding down

Still on top of the hill, but slowly, slowly, sliding down

Greenwich Time reports that Leona Helmsley’s pile of bricks at 521 Round Hill Road, “Dunnelan Hall”, has slashed its price again, and is now begging for offers beginning at $22.5 million. Owners have never done well here over the past century: financial ruin, tragic deaths of children and, of course, Leona herself being forcibly transferred a few miles up the road to Bedford Hill’s Women’s Prison, but the misfortunes it’s suffered over the past eleven years can be attributed to bad pricing and some truly dumb financial decisions by the current owner.

Ogilvy set off the circus parade back in 2008, when he originally listed it for $125 million, a price that was surely designed more to garner national news coverage for his firm than to convey any realistic appraisal of value, but ridiculous prices can also serve as sucker bait: in 2010, after the disappointed sellers had grown tired of Mr. Ogilvy, they hired a new broker, and a buyer (represented by Ogilvy’s office, ironically), actually paid $35 million. That wasn’t smart but, worse, convinced he’d effected a bargain, the buyer tossed some paint on the project and returned it to the market in 2011, marked up to $42.9 million, but failed to sell it: quell surprise.

Undaunted, the idiot pulled it from the market and put some real money into it, redoing rooms, mechanicals, tearing down an unfortunate addition, etc., and brought it back on in 2014 for $65 million. Five years on, he’s down to $22.5, and still falling.

It’s not as though the prospects for this ugly pink elephant haven’t been discussed online — notably, here, over the years, where both blogger and many commenters have offered their opinions, but ….