These fortunate artists stay rent-free in a $6M Brooklyn mansion


While the common renter shells out over $2,400 a month to stay on this nook of Brooklyn, the residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s costliest constructing don’t pay a penny.

The landmarked, 10-bedroom John C. Kelly property at 247 Hancock St. grew to become and stays Bed-Stuy’s priciest ever property when a mysterious LLC paid $6.275 million for it in 2018. Instead of occupying the 41-foot-wide, 7,533-square-foot palazzo-style manse himself, although, the nameless new proprietor invited a bunch of grateful Georgian artists to shack up there rent-free.

“I had no idea about the house, I just mentioned that I was not sure what I was gonna do – maybe I’ll go back to Georgia – and he was like, ‘why don’t you stay in the house?’” Eteri Chkadua informed The Post of the fateful dialog she had with the property’s proprietor, her outdated good friend and artwork collector.

The Post has confirmed the person, a Georgian resort magnate, is the house owner, however he declined to remark for this text.

It was autumn 2020 on the time, and the 57-year-old painter had lastly been let again into the U.S. after 5 months caught throughout the COVID-closed borders of Vietnam. She’d been calling to ask if he was nonetheless curious about a portray of hers when he supplied her the hire deal of a lifetime.

247 hancock st bed stuy artistsThe palatial, stand-alone property’s facade.Matt Vacca

In November, Eteri and her brother moved into the manor. “Nobody was living there and it was full of boxes, like a warehouse,” she recalled. The second flooring quickly grew to become her studio. Her brother went beneath.

“It’s like being in that century,” Eteri’s brother, Gocha Chkadua, informed The Post of dwelling within the outdated home, which was in-built 1887. He has crammed its cavernous basement with “Alien Bloom” — his glow-in-the-dark recycled flower creations, constituted of plastic cups, umbrella handles and different detritus. He lets Eteri select the flowers’ colours.

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
A subterranean set up of Gocha Chkadua’s glowing flower creations at 247 Hancock St. Courtesy Eteri Chkadua

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
Gocha’s “Alien Bloom” set up within the gentle. Stefano Giovannini

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
The residence is filled with unique particulars and its residents’ art work. Stefano Giovannini

Though alone at first, over the previous 12 months, the siblings have turn into housemates with an ever-changing roster of creatives, most of them Georgian nationals. Eteri lists them: There had been the 2 artist {couples} – an actor and his mannequin spouse together with a chef and her photographer boyfriend, all associates of the proprietor – who stayed till a couple of months in the past, a Dutch author, a professor from Berkeley and varied others. Countless visitors. A French photographer is coming later this month. Sometimes, the proprietor stays – at the moment, his son resides there. No one pays hire.

In addition to creating the outer-borough palace right into a work-live house, Eteri has additionally used it to quench her insatiable need to throw dinner events.

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
Guests at one in all Eteri’s many dinner events. Courtesy Eteri Chkadua

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
One of many Georgian feasts Eteri has ready for visitors. Stefano Giovannini

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
The cozy gathering was stored to only a couple associates as a result of present COVID surge. Stefano Giovannini

“In Georgia, we make big parties, and when you have a guest, you have to have a dinner,” she defined of her deep love for internet hosting and feeding kindred spirits, lots of them current strangers.

“It was very movie set to me, very reminiscent of the dinner parties say, Salvador Dalí would throw – the salon-style,” commented one recurrent visitor, the neo-conceptual artist and 37-year Greenpoint resident Richard Humann, who met Eteri via his artwork supplier. “I haven’t really been in that situation in New York in 20 years give or take, so it was refreshing to be at a dinner party with other artists who don’t know each other.”

In the winter, Eteri prefers to host visitors within the Corinthian columned lounge, however within the hotter months, she makes full use of the house’s non-public park-sized yard.

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
Friends collect for one of many many occasions Eteri has organized within the gigantic yard. Courtesy Eteri Chkadua

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
The residence’s yard, on a sunny summer time’s day. Courtesy Eteri Chkadua

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
The occasions are free — Eteri doesn’t cost for admission, and all are welcome. Courtesy Eteri Chkadua

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
A yard efficiency on the manse. Courtesy Eteri Chkadua

There, she’s held screenings, showings, sound occasions, efficiency artwork showcases and extra. Sometimes, random folks wander away the road to benefit from the leisure and lounge amid the landscaped gardens.

Recently, Eteri held a small joint celebration for her and her brother, who’s one 12 months and 5 days her senior.

As with something that exists in NYC for lengthy sufficient, although, the deal with has had many lives, and was not all the time as tony as it’s within the current second: Its earlier proprietor, Jamaican-born advertising government Claudia Moran, purchased it for $140,000 in 1986, and it was as soon as an SRO. In its 134-year life, it has additionally been the scene of a Sharon Stone movie shoot and hosted former-President Grover Cleveland.

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
A current dinner visitor walks the bottom flooring’s halls. Stefano Giovannini

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
One of many rooms off the primary gathering space. Stefano Giovannini

247 hancock st bed stuy artists
Eteri’s second flooring studio house. Stefano Giovannini

To Eteri’s information, there isn’t any finish in sight for its present incarnation: The proprietor – whom she speaks of in reverent tones – has no plans to develop, promote or in any other case do something with the constructing. He has many youngsters and associates in New York, she defined, and likes with the ability to present them with a spot to remain awhile.

Still, whereas there’s no lease to expire, Eteri’s gatherings have ephemerality to them, an aura that nothing gold can keep.

The Hancock St. house, and the events in it, have a way of “pure happenstance,” an “out of place feeling,” mirrored Humann. Indeed, that such an ornate and large constructing in one in all America’s hottest actual property markets ought to at the moment be largely in use as a setting for the festive whims of 1 sociable painter is one thing of a New York miracle.

Comments are closed.