A June 2011 file photo of the St. Ignatius Jesuit...

A June 2011 file photo of the St. Ignatius Jesuit Retreat House that formerly stood on the property. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa

Toll Brothers, a luxury home builder ,has purchased about 30 acres on Searingtown Road in North Hills on a site that was formerly a Gold Coast mansion and then St. Ignatius Retreat House, a Catholic sanctuary owned by the Jesuits.

The Fort Washington, Pa.-based developer, which paid $38.4 million, will be able to build 46 single-family houses on the property, with lots ranging from about 0.4 to 0.9 acres, said Jason Friedman, a real estate agent with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. Friedman represented the seller, the Manhasset Bay Group, a Hong Kong-based corporation. He had previously represented the group when they bought the property for $36.5 million in 2013. The mansion was torn down that year.

The development represents a rare opportunity to bring new homes to market close to New York City and amenities in Manhasset, Friedman said.

"As far as I can think of, it’s the only property within that vicinity to the city and to the Americana [shops in Manhasset] of that size and magnitude that allows for such generous lots," he said.

The ZIP code where the property is located, 11030, recently landed on a list of the country’s most expensive, ranking No. 96 with a median sale price of nearly $1.65 million. The homes built on the Searingtown Road property could stand to fetch more, given they would be new construction.

"People will be able to buy something new instead of having to pay up to be in a gated community of older homes," Friedman said. "It’s going to be the best product around for someone who wants to be in a gated community."

Aerial photo of the 30-acre property that was sold to...

Aerial photo of the 30-acre property that was sold to Toll Brothers for $38.4 million to develop 46 single-family homes. Credit: Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty/Mike Aghachi

The property sold at a steep discount from its 2019 listing of $110 million, and its most recent asking price of $80 million.

The site had previously been home to a 72,000-square-foot mansion built in 1920 and named Inisfada, Gaelic for "Long Island, that was home to Nicholas and Genevieve Brady.

Genevieve Brady donated it to the Jesuits in 1937 and it was used as a seminary and later as a retreat house until it was closed in June 2013. The Jesuits sold the property because the 87-room residence became too expensive to operate and the building was torn down in December 2013.

Latest Videos

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months