Boston’s Largest and Most Expensive Home

With 15 bathrooms, six parking spaces, and 24,000 square feet of living space, it might be found sprawling across some suburb. But this $23 million mansion is smack in the middle of Boston.

The largest single-family home in all of Boston is being assembled from two adjoining buildings at Exeter Street and Commonwealth Avenue in the Back Bay. Its owner, investment executive Ofer Nemirovsky, spent a decade purchasing the four condominiums in the Exeter building and the adjacent Commonwealth townhouse, and is now combining them in a two-year, gut renovation project.

The house’s luxuriant features include an atrium bordered by a glass walkway and railings, according to building plans filed with the city. Each of three children’s bedrooms has its own bathroom and dressing room. The master suite has “his” and “hers” studies, dressing rooms, and bathrooms.

There’s more: an elevator, a sitting room, living room, parlor, media room, family room, exercise room, upper lounge, an “eat-in study,” a 27-foot, oval-shaped library, and an office for the house manager.

“You’ve got to be kidding me – that’s insane,” said David Kaufman, as he stopped to gawk at the building while walking his Bernese mountain dog one July day.

With workers crawling like ants along the wall of scaffolding, the renovation has Back Bay abuzz. Passersby invariably stop to speculate about what extreme amenities the home might have. One rumor making the rounds is an indoor pool. There is no pool, according to the plans, but the house will have a “ball-playing court” in the basement, next to the recreation room.

“Did a Saudi prince buy it” asked John Arena, a Florida resident who is renting a Back Bay apartment this summer. Arena has watched as the renovation evolved over the weeks, but admitted he “didn’t know it was one house.”

Nemirovsky, a managing director of HarbourVest, an international private equity firm in Boston, declined repeated requests for an interview, saying he wanted to maintain his family’s privacy.

Even by the imposing standards of Back Bay, which has been home to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s former wife, Joan, and car dealer Herb Chambers, Nemirovsky’s house stands out for its grandeur and its size. Luxury condominium projects such as the Mandarin Oriental-Boston are mushrooming all over downtown, some with units as large as a suburban house. But Nemirovsky’s residence is Boston’s largest, according to The Warren Group, a real estate research firm.

“Nothing comes close,” said Warren analyst Alan Pasnik.

The scale of the house recalls the Gilded Age, when Boston’s wealthy families between 1860 and 1890 constructed the mansions that line the boulevards of Back Bay. Over the next century, the single-family residences on Commonwealth were chopped into apartments, condominiums, college dormitories, or professional offices. Continued…

Source: Boston Globe (Kim Blanton)

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