INSIDE STORIES BEHIND AREA
REAL ESTATE DEALS (Continued)
ON TREND: GREEN HOUSES
For many years trademark cedar shingle-style estates with beach-white trim and clamshell drives dominated the world of design and architecture here in the Hamptons. But it has become evident as of late that tastes are changing and modern may very well be the classic nouveau. (See our tribute to Charles Gwathmey in this section.)
The popularity of contemporary architecture and eco-conscious homes has been building for a few years. Most recently the trend has taken hold in both new construction and renovations. Although modern architecture (Norman Jaffe is no stranger here), or green technology (the Hamptons Green Alliance), is nothing new to the East End, some of the innovations in this emergent platform are. Being green in the Hamptons is more than a trend, it's the beginning to define a lifestyle. Builders and architects here understand and are responding to the demand.
YOUR OWN PRIVATE GEORGICA
The park-like setting on 3.5 acres in a very desirable Georgica location is just the beginning. The 11,500-square-foot Peter Cook/Men At Work manse offers a timeless aesthetic, starting with antique wide-plank oak floors reclaimed from a New England barn and a double-height entryway that fans out to common rooms with fireplaces and wainscoted ceilings. Eight bedrooms, a master wing with an office and private gym, cathedral-ceiling kitchen and a separate two-bedroom apartment allow plenty of room for guests. Expansive lawns, specimen trees and flowering gardens surround the pool and pool house. It's listed for $19 million with Corcoran's Gary DePersia, (631) 899-0242).
Properties packed with green technologies are rising up from the dunes and may soon contribute to the wave of the future. Sprawling ecologically engineered estates featuring everything from solar power to geothermal capabilities are attracting educated buyers.
One of the more pristine sites on the East End can be found tucked away in the Amagansett dunes, providing a logical setting for an eco-friendly estate. Here, the undisturbed dunescape and ocean views stretch for miles. Homes built in this area are unassuming and appear as indigenous to the landscape as the beach plums and plovers that surround them.
One such plan is an enclave that will consist of seven ecologically sound structures situated on 27 oceanfront acres. Two of the homes already exist, but five lots remain; zero-carbon modern mansions will come equipped with cutting-edge geothermal technology, infinity- edged pools, expansive ocean views and wide open spaces will be built. The unique properties are listed with certified eco-broker Lili Elsis of Prudential Douglas Elliman's Amagansett office. Homes are priced between $9 and $25 million (see pg. 26).
Recently listed in Sagaponack is the revived contemporary estate originally built by Philip Johnson, one of the country's preeminent modern architects known his famed "Glass House" in Darien, Conn. The Hamptons eight-bedroom oceanfront home was truly ahead of its time. Although it has been expanded and updated over time, the integrity of the original design has never been compromised. With 363 feet of oceanfront property on 3.6 acres, the grounds includes a putting green, tennis court and heated pool. Brown Harris Stevens in East Hampton has the listing. Neighboring homes list and sell in the $35 million-and-up range.
Mega-millions manses aren't the only items on people's lips. On the other end of the spectrum, buyers are reporting deals inland and west, such as at The Highlands, a residential community in Aquebogue, where sales remain strong. —Staff
HEADING FOR THE BEACH
Not even a slow season can undermine the beauty of East End. Some buyers simply gotta have it. Those who can afford it still seek the beach—or are content to cozy up to just about any body of water.
This last 12 months have bumped many a buyer up a notch, some from creek to bay and others from bay to ocean. The flip side to deflating values seems to be the opportunity for some to trade up. Brokers report that deals on beach homes and waterfront estates are accounting for the bulk of sales this past season. Vicky Reynolds of Norma Reynolds-Sotheby's International Realty says she is busy closing deals and that the bulk of her buyers want waterfront.
"Buyers are heading for the beach," says Reynolds, whose brokers always stand out because they wear white, celebrating the spirit of summer. She says sales in the $3 to $10 million range in Westhampton, Remsenburg and Quogue on the water are moving. Buyers once shut out by inflated prices and bidding frenzies are seizing today's values along this region's shoreline.
Today, one can purchase an estate on the ocean in Southampton for the $20 million in something that may have easily brought upward of $30 million in the recent past. The Corcoran Group has listed a 3,500-square-foot beach home at $23 million. A pool overlooking the oceanfront is literally steps away. What makes this 2.1-acre property possibly more alluring is an extra two-acre buildable parcel that includes plans for a spectacular dual-view estate.
In Montauk, a five-bedroom private co-op residence inside the newly refaced Panoramic View is priced at—would you believe it—close to $10 million. Set on 10 acres of accessible oceanfront bluffs with breathtaking views, this property is run resort-style (much like its neighbor, time-share Gurneys Inn), offering a concierge, spa facilities and cabana service on the beach. This panoramic area on Montauk's Gold Coast has drawn high-profile celebrities to its shore, including Robert DeNiro, Ralph Lauren and, until very recently, Bernard Madoff whose estate currently valued at $6 million was seized by U.S. Marshalls last month. Will it be sold soon? Likely, say brokers. —D.S.
The summer saw something of a celebrity sell-off as property after property attached to bold-faced names sprouted for-sale signs. This was especially true in Northwest Connecticut, starting with the $6.5 million New Milford estate owned by Joan Rivers (who has also listed her Upper East Side duplex penthouse—for $25 million). Rivers told the New York Times that she was looking to spend more time on the West Coast with her daughter, Melissa and her grandson, while squashing rumors that she was forced to sell due to money lost with Madoff. Whatever the reason for her East Coast exodus, Rivers' Litchfield County property is well suited for a buyer seeking privacy: The estate sits on 76 elevated acres with breathtaking views, a pond, pool, a stone caretaker's cottage and a barn with a studio.
Never one to mince words, the comedienne described the home she purchased in 2000 as, "The ugliest house I'd ever seen. It looked like a Denny's." Rivers had the squat modern structure transformed into the more traditional stone-and-clapboard country manse that was featured in Architectural Digest. It offers four bedrooms and loads of antique fixtures and furnishings, including century-old weathered beams, stone hearths and salvaged-wood floors. It's listed with Carolyn Klemm—something of a celebrity in her own right—of Klemm Real Estate.
Klemm is also the broker for musician Daryl Hall's $16-million upstate-New York home, a museum-quality Revolutionary War colonial on 245 acres. And she's representing the $9.3 million, circa-1900 Roxbury estate owned by TV honcho Douglas Cramer, who partnered with Aaron Spelling to produce such series as "Dynasty" and "The Love Boat." On 130 acres, the property features a pond with a waterfall, a pool, a guesthouse and a party barn. There is also an art barn for Cramer's collections (he was a founder of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art) and, of course, a lovely main house, which offers four bedrooms, a wine cellar and a gym.
In nearby Salisbury, a fantastic French country-style home on nearly 12 acres has popped on the market. The home was built in 1975 as part of the set for a film called Summerdog (see above).
Meanwhile, in Westport, a new listing offers acreage that has belonged to both Fred Astaire and Art Linkletter over the years (there's still a plaque by the pool dedicated to Linkletter). Called River House, the two-acre property has its own deepwater dock and a pretty pool and pool terrace. The interiors of the five-bedroom home are beautifully finished with cherry floors, exposed beams, stone fireplaces and loads of custom cabinetry in the library and kitchen. Rick Higgins of the Higgins Group in Fairfield has the $7,450,000 listing. —L.O.