Bath Beach

Bath Beach eyesore 85 Bay 8th St. sells for almost $1 Million

Eye On Real Estate

October 14, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This Bath Beach house, 85 Bay 8th St., has changed hands and is now under renovation. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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Drama, drama and more drama.

So many people showed up for the five-hour sale closing that they couldn’t all fit into the conference room.

The deal was so complex that the closing was postponed — twice. It didn’t get done till the third time it was scheduled.

One deceased part-owner of the house left a will that was invalid. Another deceased part-owner of the house left a will that was never probated.

“It was the most complicated deal I’ve ever done,” Frank Savoy told Eye on Real Estate.

Savoy, a licensed realtor at Ben Bay Realty in Dyker Heights, was talking about the nearly $1 million sale of 85 Bay 8th St. He was its listing agent.

The co-listing agent was Nellie Ieva (her full name is Emanuela Ieva), who is also a licensed realtor in that Ben Bay Realty office.

The Bath Beach house belonged to numerous relatives of the Raccuia family. It had been deeded to Matilda and Mary Raccuia in 1952, city Finance Department records indicate. They passed away many years ago.

The long-vacant property was an eyesore that earned the dubious distinction of being nominated for our list of Brooklyn’s Ugliest Buildings in 2014.

At that time, neighbors of the house, which is on the corner of Benson Avenue, told Eye on Real Estate about pigeons, possums and a vagrant getting inside the building. They spoke of thieves who had stolen the wrought-iron fence right out of the yard and hypodermic needles tossed into trash piles surrounding the house.

The windows were boarded up. The brick façade was marked with graffiti.


One house, many heirs

Before continuing Savoy’s narrative, we must explain that this past June, we reported that the sale of the house had closed — for $50,000. There was a deed in city Finance Department records that said so.

The deed gave no indication that what was sold at that time was one family member’s partial ownership stake in the house.

The buyer was Rubicon Acquisitions Inc., whose president is a lawyer named Gerard Marrone.

Recently, additional deeds appeared in Finance Department records. One is for a $60,000 purchase Rubicon Acquisitions made from other Raccuia relatives for their partial ownership stakes in the house.

Another recently filed deed is for the full sale of the property for $940,000 to Miao Xuan Yang.  

According to this deed, the sellers are six of Mary Raccuia’s heirs plus Rubicon Acquisitions.

‘We thought we could close in 10 days’

So. Here’s what happened.

This past January, when Roseann Raccuia hired Savoy to list the house, it was headed for a foreclosure auction because of an unpaid tax lien.

The Bay 8th Street house looked so messy. But people wanted to purchase it. Lots of people.

He immediately received numerous offers above its $849,000 asking price.

In no time flat, there was an accepted offer — all cash — from Yang, who ultimately bought the house.

Savoy also got threatening phone calls — from people who didn’t want him to market the house. They wanted the foreclosure auction to go forward so they’d have a chance to buy the property for a low price.

Yang signed a sale contract on Jan. 29, Finance Department records indicate.

“We thought we could close in 10 days,” Savoy recalled.

But then the title search turned out to be “never-ending,” he said.

Attorney Barry Simon of Simon & Gilman LLP sorted out who was actually entitled to inherit the property and who wasn’t.

“Barry Simon really was the maestro,” Savoy said.

The sale closed in August.

‘Dry as a bone’

Savoy and Ieva didn’t open the boarded-up house to show it to prospective purchasers.

“The buyer said, ‘We will assume the worst, that the house is a disaster,’” Savoy recalled.

It turned out that the interior was in much better condition than expected. The roof was in good shape, with nary a leak.

“The house was dry as a bone,” Savoy said.

A piano that had been left behind was in fine shape; the house purchaser decided to keep it.

Recently, workers started renovating the house. The estimated cost of the project is $80,000, city Buildings Department records indicate.

One day when Savoy and Ieva were visiting the property, they retrieved a family keepsake that workers had thrown out.

There in the trash was a home-made book filled with autographs and good wishes — some written in Latin — for Rose Raccuia for her graduation from P.S. 21 in June 1916.

“We got the chills,” Savoy said.

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