Actors Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly have sold their 18-room mansion in Brooklyn's Park Slope area for $8,450,000 and have paid $6,920,000 for a penthouse new co-op unit in Manhattan's TriBeCa area.

 

Brownstoner broke the story last week of the acting duo's sale of their 5,243-square-foot mansion, which is at 17 Prospect Park West in Brooklyn. Indeed, records show that Bettany and Connelly went to contract to sell the house way back on June 1, but the deal did not close until November 17, and the deed was recorded with the city on December 10. The buyer is shown in public records as being something called Harken Pretty, LLC -- and for all we know, a celebrity may well be behind that company.

 

We had written back on May 11 about the couple's listing of their home in Brooklyn -- when it had been reported to be under contract. Interestingly, the couple originally had listed the house for $8,500,000 -- very close to their ultimate selling price.

As for Bettany and Connelly's new digs, it long had been reported that the couple was under contract to purchase the 4,000-square-foot penthouse loft in the building at 288 West Street in TriBeCa, which had been on the market for $6,995,000 and which has a roof deck. Records show that Bettany and Connelly closed on that penthouse way back in late August -- a deed filed with the city on August 27 shows that they purchased the penthouse (Units 8E and 8W) sometime shortly prior to that (possibly as recent as August 26), and the amount was $6,920,000. The person who sold the penthouse at 288 West Street to the couple is not a celebrity.

It's surprising that in this housing environment, the acting couple was involved in two real estate deals that both closed for very close to asking.

Some further information about the house in Brooklyn that Bettany and Connelly just sold:

Records show that the couple's William & Belinda Shears Trust closed on the property on August 27, 2003, with the deal being recorded on January 23, 2004. (The trust name, we think, may have something to do with the Beatles, given the character's name "Billy Shears" in "Sgt. Pepper's LonelyHearts Club Band.") The house sits on a minuscule, 2,500-square-foot (0.06-acre) parcel, according to public records. As an aside, the couple's money manager, Carolyn Rossip Malcolm, also has had her name on the deeds of plenty of other celebrities' homes, including Ethan Hawke and Lisa Loeb.

Bettany and Connelly's former house has some historic value to it. As our faithful commenter Tara helpfully noted early this year, another blog reported that Bettany and Connelly's mansion once was owned by the late U.S. Rep. Francis Dorn, who represented Brooklyn in the House from 1953 until 1961.

Records show that in 1989, Dorn's descendants sold the house to the man who sold it to Connelly and Bettany.
After buying the house, Bettany and Connelly suffered "two massive floods that completely trashed the whole kitchen," Connelly told New York magazine in 2005. "Water coming out of the light fixtures. Pipes burst. Twice! They dispatched the fire department." Even so, Connelly told the magazine that the house has "a nice backyard and a place for the bicycles."

The following year, New York magazine described the house at 17 Prospect Park West as being "one of the most beautiful in all of Park Slope. Nestled on a shady corner opposite Prospect Park, it is distinguished without being ostentatious. Its Ionic columns and great arched windows seem typical rather than showy. The garden — the disrepair of which was once, Park Slope blogger tells me, a cause of consternation for some neighbors — is now a well-maintained torrent of tulips in varying shades of oxblood, peach, and white."