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Laurel Hollow showcase house sells

Jane Grucci's grand ballroom at the Laurel Hollow

Jane Grucci's grand ballroom at the Laurel Hollow designer showcase on Ridge Road on Aug. 27, 2013. Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

A Laurel Hollow mansion where village officials shut down a designer show house last year has sold for $1.9 million, the real estate agent who represented the property said.

Agent Maria Lanzisero said clients from Head of the Harbor closed on the nearly 11,000-square-foot 1930s-era mansion, known as Cedar Knolls, at the beginning of November. The home, which Lanzisero said had been on the market for years, had been listed at $2.2 million.

"They plan on restoring the house," Lanzisero said. "They appreciate all the moldings and millwork from the 1930s. They're very excited to finish the renovations to the home."

Last year, the home's owner, Bobby Bakhchi, Lanzisero and interior designer Claudia Dowling hired designers to redo rooms in the house. The idea was to give them a chance to show their work to the public while the owner received free renovations to help to sell the site.

Village officials quickly shut it down, describing it as an illegal commercial enterprise. A village court fined Dowling $10,500 for code violations. Lanzisero and two limo drivers who were also charged pleaded down to parking ticket violations. Bakhchi was not charged.

Bakhchi declined to comment this week.

Dowling and several designers have sued Bakhchi in state civil court, alleging fraud and negligence. Bakhchi's attorneys have denied the allegations in court filings.

Dowling is appealing the village court decision in state court.

Lanzisero said the designers' work helped sell the house, and the new owners planned to hire one of them.

"They saw the pictures," she said. "They loved the way each room looked."

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