Published: June 29, 2012
“Nobody can imagine that this can possibly be in Brooklyn,” said Gary Vinbaytel, the owner and a Manhattan developer, who has lived there for more than 15 years. He is about to put the 17,000-square-foot Manhattan Beach property on the market for $9.75 million. While swimming in the pool and looking out at the water can feel like being in South Florida, he said, he wants to spend more time in the real Miami, where he has another house.
Nestled in an upscale enclave, the property is among the relatively few on the ocean. The 6,000-square-foot house takes full advantage of the water views: the double-height living room has floor-to-ceiling windows; a master bedroom has a terrace and an en-suite bath with a large circular window above the whirlpool tub. The dining room also opens onto the pool patio.
There are radiant-heat floors throughout the four-bedroom house, including its four baths and modern eat-in kitchen. Some of the interior is highly personalized, like the upstairs bar with ’90s décor that opens onto the roof deck, and the bathroom with a gas fireplace and a claw-foot tub smack in the middle. The finished basement has a sauna, a steam room and a four-person hot tub.
Outside, a metallic industrial sculpture made of oxidized copper surrounds the main exterior door. There is also a chain-link dog cage and a landscaped koi pond, about 4 feet wide and 12 feet long, that has 20 large fish. When Mr. Vinbaytel bought the house in 1997, the backyard was mostly a rocky outcropping. “I leveled everything out,” he said, standing on the roof deck and pointing out how neighbors are beginning to follow suit with lush green lawns. “Then I just kept going with the pool and kept going with the pond. Every few years I just put in something else.”
“Nothing like that has been on the market,” said the listing broker, Ariel Tirosh of Prudential Douglas Elliman, noting that the closest comparable property — a house on a 10,000-square-foot lot, several blocks away on Sheepshead Bay — sold for $5.76 million in 2007. Just down the block, a four-bedroom three-and-a-half-bath house on a 4,000-square-foot lot without any waterfront is listed for $2.1 million.