ASTORIA – The Steinway Mansion a unique, a landmarked building steeped in the history of Astoria, has been sold for $2.6 million.
The purchasers were described by the Daily News as “Two mysterious Astoria-raised investors,” and The National Herald has learned that they are Italian-Americans whose first names are Sal and Phil.
“The unnamed owners pledged to preserve the landmarked house but may eye part of its sprawling grounds for development, officials say.The former summer home of the famous piano making family has been on the market since the death of owner Michael Halberian, in 2010,” according to the News.
Greek-American realtor Paul Halvatzis, who handled the deal, told the New that it was finalized May 2. In addition to the granite and bluestone mansion the property is reportedly includes an acre of land Christina Halvatzis and Lauren Cornea of Amorelli Realty, which is owned by the Halvatzis family, said.
It is too soon to know what the new owners’ plans are but Cornea reassured the community that “This is landmarked at the highest level…No one needs to be concerned about it being torn down. It will always be the Steinway Mansion.”
Costa Constantinides, City Councilman from Astoria, sees the sale, as a positive development for the community. He has met with the buyers, whom he described as born and raised in Astoria but whose names he could not reveal, but he believes they are committed finding a way for the Mansion to be integrated into the cultural life of the community.
Constantinides will follow the lead of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, NY State Senator Michael Gianaris, and State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, who have been working on saving the mansion for many years, to pursue the necessary funding from federal, state and local authorities. Constantinides believes the new buyers will work with the community and public officials and he believes the process “will have a good result.”
“The Steinway Mansion is an integral part of our neighborhood’s rich cultural history. Like many of my neighbors in Astoria, I hope that whoever made this purchase has an appreciation for the Steinway Mansion’s importance to the community and, bearing that in mind, finds a way to allow public access to this neighborhood landmark,” Gianaris told TNH.
The mansion was built in 1858 and includes five Italian marble fireplaces and 27 rooms.
The Halberian family said “they could not afford to maintain the home, but wanted to honor his dream that it remain a part of the community. They dropped their asking price to $1.9 million, for the home and three of the seven plots of land that surround it, last year,” according to the News.