Bernie Madoff died on Wednesday at the age of 82 after serving nearly 11 years of a 150-year federal prison sentence for running the largest Ponzi schemes in history.
He died at the the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C., which may have well been a world away from his formal luxurious abodes, which included an oceanfront home in Montauk that just so happens to be on the market once.
The federal government seized the bungalow-style home at 216 Old Montauk Highway after Madoff’s $65 billion investment scam was revealed in December of 2008. While Madoff was on house arrest in his Manhattan penthouse for six months he never again went back to his seaside home.
Steven Roth, a real estate investor and the founder of Vornado Realty Trust, the largest commercial landlord in New York City, and his wife, theater producer Daryl Roth, bought the property for $9.41 million, $660,000 more than the asking price, in 2009, the same year Madoff pleaded guilty and began his sentence. The proceeds from the sale went into a victim compensation fund to bring some relief to the 24,000 people who lost money in Madoff’s longterm scam.
Since updated, the 3,000-square-foot home with 180 feet of beach frontage and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean is now listed at $17.9 million with Chris Coleman of Compass. It is worth noting that the house is situated within 150 feet of the beach — something that is no longer allowed under current zoning laws.
The 1.5-acre property, located just west of downtown Montauk and not far from Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, was previously listed for $21 million in 2018 with Corcoran. Later, the price was reduced to $19.9 million, but was taken off the market in May of 2019.
The Roths hired Thierry Despont, the renowned architect who worked for Bill Gates and Oscar de la Renta, to oversee the extensive renovation. He eliminated the 1980s-feel of the home that was still there when Madoff and his wife, Ruth, got the keys in 1982 after buying the property two years earlier for $250,000.
Forbes once quoted a realtor as saying the house was “a 1980s dump set in a fabulous location.”
Having been there ourselves back then, we would agree.
The updated two-story great room, which features a barrel-vaulted ceiling, a stone fireplace, and curved sitting area, overlooks the ocean through oversized glass doors.
“It’s right on the sand, and because you’re on the beach and looking forward, you’re not even aware of neighbors,” Daryl Roth told Architectural Digest in a 2013 spread about the renovation.
There are also ocean views from the gourmet eat-in kitchen (the old formica countertops in the Madoff residence are, thankfully, a distant memory now). Sliders offer direct access to the covered patio, where another large table allows for al fresco meals to the sound of the ocean.
There are three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms with two bedrooms on the first floor, both with ocean views. The second floor is dedicated to the master suite, which boasts a private oceanfront deck.
The master bathroom was overhauled as well with radiant heated Travertine floors and a spa-like onyx shower, and even has a separate balcony with an outdoor shower just in case you feel like showering outside instead.
A new free-form gunite pool, cabana, and wrap-around decking are located to the east of the covered patio.
The house sits on a 1.5-acre gated property.