A New Jersey Villa, Overlooking NYC

People / Places / December 2, 2015

The 1.3-acre estate in Fort Lee, N. J. boasts a pedigree of sorts, in addition to its sweeping views of Manhattan.

It’s been owned by New York Yankees owner Del Webb and comedian Buddy Hackett. It’s currently the property of Arthur Imperatore, founder of the New York Waterway Ferry System.

But its underworld connections deliver more notoriety than all of those connections combined.

Land for the estate now known as 75 Bluff was acquired in 1947 by Albert Anastasia, Jr. An associate of Lucky Luciano and Bugsy Siegel, Anastasia teamed up with them to assassinate a rival crime boss at a Brooklyn restaurant in 1931.

As a reward, Anastasia was promoted to underboss of New Jersey’s most prominent crime family, and ran Murder Incorporated out of the back room of a Brooklyn candy store. Law enforcement officials believe Murder Incorporated was involved in as many as 500 deaths.

Alas, Anastasia lived and died by the same sword. He was murdered in 1957 while sitting in a barber chair at New York’s Park Sheraton Hotel. The two masked gunmen, each wearing one black glove and sunglasses, were never captured. The barber chair is now on display at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas.

On Dec. 8, the property goes up for auction.

“The interiors need updating, but structurally it’s in good shape,” says Genelle Brown, content manager at Top Ten Real Estate Deals, a website that’s featuring the estate. “It’s a stunning property, and just minutes from the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln Tunnel.”

The Italianate-style home includes five bedrooms, pool and pool house, red-tile roof, marble fireplaces, theater, bar and a long gated driveway. According to the auction listing, its proximity to New York City directly across the Hudson made it the ideal setting for many gangland gatherings.

But if a mob-related home is not precisely your cup of tea, Brown is featuring another, more civilized property in the South of France, as well.

“There’s one for sale tomorrow that’s affordable – just under a million dollars,” she says. “It was Julia Child’s house in Provence.”

Now that’s a pedigree.

For more, go to TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

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Michael Welton
I write about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. I am the author of "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" (Routledge, 2015), and the former architecture critic for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.




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