On the East End, residential real estate wasn’t the only thing booming, so was the commercial market. While several of the top trades this year are wrapped up in the overall plan for Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, there was also plenty of other activity on the restaurant, hotel and industrial scene. Behind The Hedges used Suffolk County deed transfers available to compile this list, as well as consulting with brokers and brokerages.
The one caveat to the list is cannabis-growing company Columbia Care’s purchase of the Van de Wetering Greenhouses in Jamesport, which was announced in May. While the deal for the 34-acre facility is worth a reported $42 million, the purchase of 5784 Sound Avenue is being completed in phases and has not, as of yet, come through in the deed transfers, otherwise it certainly would have topped this year’s list (Update, March 2022: The first phase in the sale of Van de Wetering Greenhouses came in at $30 million, topping this list).
We will update this list if we discover any other large commercial sales that closed before the New Year. For now, here’s our top 21 commercial sales of ’21.
1) Bay Street Purchase, Sag Harbor | $18.2 million
Topping the list of the most expensive commercial properties to move on the market in 2021 was 2 Main Street in Sag Harbor Village, a property known to locals as Fort Apache. An entity tied to the Friends of Bay Street, a not-for-profit created to purchase a new home for the Sag Harbor-based theater, purchased the property in a deal done directly with the seller, Double Star Inc.’s Rose Cheng. The transaction occurred on August 31.
The not-for-profit purchased the nearby property at 22 Long Island Avenue back in 2020 and has plans to build a new, permanent home for the theater where the strip mall next to the bridge from North Haven currently sits. A number of other properties on Bridge and Rose Streets have also been purchased as part of the theater’s overall plan.
There have been talks about the building at Fort Apache — home to several businesses including K Pasa, Espresso Da Asporto takeout and Yummylicious — being purchased with Community Preservation Fund money for use as a park.
The five-acre Lake Montauk property, home to Rick’s Crabby Cowboy Cafe, was sold on April 14. The five-acre property at 435 East Lake Drive also has 14 rental units in three separate buildings, plus a separate house. The deed includes 6.75 acres of underwater land and 22 slips in the marina. Hal Zwick and Jeff Sztorc of Compass Commercial represented the buyer, Jeff Morton, who is also behind Morty’s Oyster Stand and Provisions Natural Foods Market & Cafe in Water Mill. Morton, who closed the deal under the limited liability corporation 435 East Lake Dr, also purchased the Ruschmeyer’s hotel and restaurant this spring (see further down on the list).
The Compass team also represented the seller, Rick Gibbs and his wife, Laurie Cancellieri, who have owned the property for more than 20 years.
The property was not officially on the market. In years past, it was listed at $14.75 million when it was marketed as having “the potential for a landmark resort on Lake Montauk.”
3) 51 Newtown Lane, East Hampton Village | $11.5 million
The two-story building at 51 Newtown Lane, with entrances from both Newtown Lane and Reutershan’s parking lot, changed hands in mid-November. With 8,000 square feet, it is one of the largest buildings in the village’s business district. Room & Board, a home furnishing store, has the main storefront on Newtown Lane, as well as an entrance in the back, where the clothing store A.L.C. also occupies space. Hal Zwick and Jeff Sztorc of Compass Commercial represented the buyer, listed as Double Star Inc. Peconic Bay Realty represented the seller, 51 Newtown Lane LLC.
4) 6 Leecon Court, Southampton | $11.17
A 1.55-acre parcel with a storage facility sold August 13. Metro Self Storage, an international self-storage company, already had a large facility at the end of the cul-de-sac and looks to be increasing its footprint. Metro Storage Southampton LLC purchased the building from N5 Southampton Development LLC for $11,172,523.
Ruschmeyer’s, a Montauk landmark and summer hotspot overlooking Fort Pond, went on the market, along with a nearby residential property that has been used as staff quarters, sold to Jeff Morton, who also scooped up Rick’s Crabby Cowboy (see above) for a combined $12.48 million. The commercial property at 161 Second House Road sold for $11.13 million on April 20 and the residence at 151 Second House Road sold on April 1 for $1.35 million, according to the deed transfers. Anthony C. Cerio and Mitchel Natter of Brown Harris Stevens represented the seller, Ruschmeyer Hospitality Group LLC, while Hal Zwick and Jeff Sztorc of Compass Commercial brought in the buyer, who technically bought the properties as limited liability corporations using the respective addresses.
7) 511 Montauk Highway, Amagansett | $10.5 million
Cirillo’s Market I.G.A. was sold, as well as the building it is located in, to Domenic Papa, the owner of a Connecticut car dealership, this summer. Papa also purchased the Bellport Cirillo’s I.G.A. in a deal done directly between Papa and Fran Cirillo. The transaction between Prinnie Real Estate Corp and Mont-Am LLC closed on August 2.
8) 760 Montauk Highway, Water Mill | $8.7 million
Formerly known as the Water Mill Shoppes, a 3.6-acre parcel just north of the highway, traded July 12. There is 29,231 square feet of space between six buildings. Retailers that call The Mill home include SoulCycle, which has also been using an outdoor space during the pandemic, Provisions Natural Foods and Bistro Été. The property is located at a traffic light on Station Road with a large parking lot behind it. RD Management, a Manhattan-based shopping center developer, purchased the then-neglected shopping complex in 2014 for $7 million. The new owner, who bought it directly from the seller, is listed as Water Mill Center LLC.
The Menhaden, a stylish independent luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Greenport Village that opened nearly three years ago, was scooped up by a New England-based boutique real estate private equity firm in April. Atlantic Equity Partners, under AE Menhaden LLC, purchased the 16-room hotel from Dan and Kristen Pennessi of Tellus Capital LLC, who owned it under LykonVani GP LLC.
“We weren’t really looking to sell, and it was just a good deal that came along at the right time for us. It was pretty bittersweet for Kristen and I,” said Dan Pennessi in August, when the news broke.
10) 11 Bridge Street, Sag Harbor | $8 million
This property is wrapped up in the overall plan for Bay Street. Adam Potter, the chairman of Friends of Bay Street, told The Sag Harbor Express in March that he was in contract to buy the building that was home to Dodds & Eder and had plans to turn it into a convenience store. Robert Evjen of Douglas Elliman represented the seller, FRB1 LLC. Mala Sander of Corcoran represented the buyer, listed as 11 Bridge Street LLC in the deed transfer.
11) 95 Main Street, Sag Harbor | $7.6 million
A unique property, 95 Main Street includes 75 Washington Street with 8,800 square feet of mixed-use space in two buildings sold two weeks after it was listed with Lee V. Minetree of Saunders & Associates and got its asking price. The Main Street building has three commercial units and a pair of two-bedroom apartments, along with a one-bedroom apartment. Two duplex office/retail units are on Washington Street with a one-bedroom apartment and a two-bedroom apartment above. Minetree also brought the buyers.
Shelter Island’s storied Ram’s Head Inn sold for $7.59 million, an amount that did not include the business. Rams Head Inn LLC is the listed the new owner. Aandrea Carter of Kansas City, Missouri, is behind the limited liability company.
Linda and James Eklund, who had owned the restaurant for nearly 42 years under the Hathaway Realty Corp, last listed it for $8.995 million with Enzo Morabito of Douglas Elliman, but it appears to have closed as an off-market trade. The Ecklunds first listed the property for sale in 2017 for $11.9 million.
The Bridgehampton institution World Pie closed its doors for good in September, when the building sold in an off-market deal on September 27. “It’s true,” restaurateur Michael Mannino said a day later. “It’s bittersweet for me. We’ve had a 22-year run — it’s been a fantastic ride.
“It was just time to move on,” he added. “It’s time to do something different.”
A unique complex that includes the tallest building in East Hampton Village changed hands in early April. The storefront on the three-story, mixed-use building was home to Mary’s Marvelous at the time. Hampton Chutney, a beloved Amagansett takeout spot, relocated to the space in the fall. There are eight one-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors. The 0.38-acre property not only holds the 10,783-square-foot building, but another a four-bedroom house and a detached garage behind it on Pleasant Lane. Hal Zwick and Jeff Sztorc of Compass Commercial represented the buyer, Vault Development Partners. Anthony C. Cerio and Mitchel Natter of Brown Harris Stevens, who also sold the property for the first time in 80 years back in 2012 to the group, Newtown Railroad LLC, just sold it.
15) People’s United Bank, 17 Main Street, Sag Harbor | $6.875 million
The building, home to the People’s United Bank, was purchased by a group of investors led by Rose Cheng, according to The Sag Harbor Express, not long after Cheng sold the brick commercial building at 2 Main Street to the Bay Street supporters. The seller was listed as Double Star Inc., a corporation formed in 2004 whose chief executive officer is Cheng. The deal closed September 7.
16) The Bentley, 161 Hills Station Road, Southampton | $6.1 million
The Bentley, a hotel in Shinnecock Hills that offers 40 one-bedroom units across two buildings, along with a pool, sold on September 23. The 2.6-parcel is located just off Sunrise Highway, behind Gas Hampton, Lee V. Minetree of Saunders & Associates represented the seller, Southampton Hospitality LLC, and the buyer, listed only as Southampton Hotel Realty LLC. The last ask was $8 million.
17) 2835 Shipyard Lane, East Marion | $6 million
A long-abandoned old oyster factory on 18 waterfront acres sold this summer, after a legal battle that spans nearly 15 years. FTKS Holdings LLC purchased the property on August 19. A 28-building spa and wellness center with a 114-room hotel and a 195-seat restaurant, as well as other amenities, was proposed there in 2014, according to The Suffolk Times.
18) 1151 Old Country Road, Riverhead | $5.8 million
The massive Toys “R” Us building along Route 58 has been vacant since 2018 when the toy company declared bankruptcy. With a 45,085-square-foot building, various proposals have been floated for the property over the years, including converting the space and making way for a Raymour & Flanigan furniture store. In January of 2021, the Riverhead Town Board approved a proposal for a Lidl supermarket, The Riverhead News-Review reported. Days later, on January 21, LUS Licensing LLC officially purchased the property and the store opened June 30.
19) 715 Roanoke Avenue, Riverhead | $5.5 million
Peconic Management Group sold the medical complex on April 8 for $5,525,825 to be exact. There are two buildings on the 1.15-acre property, a 5,700-square-foot one built in 2012 and a 1,480-square-foot one that dates to 2015. Precision Riverhead LLC was the purchaser. The PrecisionCare building holds Orthopedic Associates of Long Island, a division of PrecisionCare, The Smilist Dental, Long Island Bariatric, among other medical specialists.
Taylor K. Vecsey
20) 1 Mariner Drive, Southampton | $5.125 million
The former Berkoski Ice Factory on a 1.9-acre parcel at the corner of David White’s Lane and Mariner Drive, offers 24,000 square feet of industrial/warehouse space on the ground level, and that’s not even counting the partial second level and mezzanines, according to the listing. Hal Zwick and Jeff Sztorc of Compass Commercial represented both the seller, One Mariner Drive Family LP, and the buyer, Mariner One Southampton LLC, in the deal that closed June 24. The space is now available for lease.
21) 136 Main Street, Amagansett | $5.6 million
Honorable Mention: 117 Main Street, Sag Harbor | $5 million
The Latham House, built around 1790, is one of Sag Harbor’s most iconic Main Street buildings. With three levels, there is a retail space on the ground floor and a two-story residential portion. Brown Harris Stevens represented both sides of the deal. Anthony C. Cerio and Mitchel Natter were the listing brokers and Sarah Ferguson and Juliana Frei represented the buyer. Stephanie Louise, who is also a Brown Harris Stevens agent, was the seller. The buyer was listed as Jacks Coffee 117 Main Street. No sign of Jack’s Coffee here yet. LoveShackFancy, a boutique, still occupies the ground floor.
The residence, which also has a Church Street entrance, is now for rent with Ferguson and Frei. The listing boasts “stunning details throughout, with exposed wood beams, seven custom brick fireplaces (one gas one works) and hardwood flooring.” There is also a heated gunite pool in the back.
Behind The Hedges will update this list if we discover any other large commercial sales that closed before the New Year.