Embattled education entrepreneur Chris Whittle may soon lose his expansive waterfront compound on East Hampton’s Georgica Pond. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s office has scheduled an auction for the property, which he has been trying to unload since 2014, for Tuesday, April 13.
In February, Whittle relisted his 11.2-acre property at 90 and 100 Briar Patch Road at $95 million with Bespoke Real Estate, slashing the asking price by 32.1% from the original list price of $140 million in 2014.
Whittle, the founder of Avenues: The World School, owes approximately $6.7 million to Avenues Global Holdings, the company that now owns the private schools, according to The Real Deal. Avenues has been trying to force a sale of the estate since 2019.
Legal notice of the proposed sale of appeared states bids will be accepted at the sheriff’s office in Yaphank on April 13 at 11 a.m. At least 10% is due at the conclusion of the bidding and the rest is due by 4 p.m.
This is not the first time an auction, of sorts, has been scheduled for the estate. In 2017, an auction was scheduled to satisfy a $3.9 million judgement obtained by Dubai-based billionaire Sunny Varkey that resulted in a lien against the estate, The New York Post reported at the time.
Varkey, then the chairman of GEMS, for-profit schools in the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and his native India, had lent Whittle nearly $4 million.
It was not clear what happened in that situation.
Whittle made $185 million from Time Inc. when he sold it half of Whittle Communications in 1989, and tried to use the money for an education company called the Edison Project, which planned to start a network of 1,000 private schools.
In 2012, he did successfully open the Avenues: the World School, which specialized in teaching kids a second language at exclusive prep schools, along with Alan Greenberg, a communications executive, and Benno Schmidt, a former president of Yale University.
Whittle stepped down as its chairman in 2015, but is apart of a third venture.
The two separate lots up for bidding hold five structures with a total of 13,800 square feet of living space and 1,155 feet of water frontage.
Known as the Shephard Krech House, the main residence was built in 1931, by notable early 20th-century architect Arthur C. Jackson, who designed Lasata, the East Hampton estate where a young Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis spent her summers. Though it has been renovated over the years, it has maintained its old-world charm.
The 10,300-square-foot home was designed to entertain, according to Bespoke Real Estate, which still has the listing available on its website.
It is unclear what would happen if the property was sold before the public sale on April 13.
Whittle could not be reached for comment.
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