To get a true sense of what Hanan and Yardena Shoshani did to the parcel of land they bought in 2003, one must first understand the sleepy, quaint slice of Jamaica Estates that they built a home in. Up and down the block are one-story ranches and wholesome, quaint faux Tudors. Then there’s 83-21 Kent Street, a 7,000-square-foot hunk of light stone set back up 15 steps and shielded by a string of two-story Corinthian columns.
Inside, there is a custom-built cascading red-oak staircase, a 20-foot-high window, nine bedrooms, five chandeliers, two ovens, a 32-foot-long indoor pool, and so many Jacuzzis that when I refer to one of them, Realtor Mai Shoshani has to ask me which one I mean — the hot tub off the pool, the Jacuzzi tub near the pool, or the Jacuzzi off the primary suite, whose spout resembles a swan, à la Billy Madison. Behind that primary bath, a circular window has been etched to resemble a beach scene (sandbar, starfish), “as if you’re looking out at the snow but you’re also enjoying the palm trees,” Shoshani said.
Downstairs, the indoor pool opens onto a private outdoor space — “for if someone wanted to tan outside.” The smaller chandeliers — yes, there are subgroups — are from Tuscany, while the larger ones that spill over the entryway staircase and the dining room are local. Yardena says the home was designed by a Russian architect to recall Spain but that some fixtures were also inspired by her roots in Morocco: columns outside, an arched entrance, and the mosaic of a fruit basket behind the kitchen stove. Her husband, Hanan, who was killed in a 2014 plane crash, was from Israel, and they raised children kosher in a kitchen with two sinks and two stoves to keep meat and dairy separate. That might appeal to the next buyer, Shoshani said. She lives in the neighborhood and says the majority of new residents are mostly observant Jews or modern orthodox.
The house may be enormous, but Shoshani says it’s all ingeniously connected: The kosher kitchen doesn’t have doors, and neither does the living room, which can be screamed down at from a second-floor balcony. A window, cut into a tile wall, connects the home gym and the pool. Which is all to say, though the house is 7,000 square feet, it would be difficult to misplace a child. “It’s kind of perfect for a family,” Shoshani said, then corrected herself. “A large family.”