Behind The Hedges All About Plans for the New Condos at the Village Latch

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village latch
All About Plans for the New Condos at the Village Latch
October 06, 2017
The plans to transform the historic Village Latch Inn into condos are now before the Southampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals. The owners, developer Steven Dubb of The Beechwood Organization and his partner George Benedict of Southampton, who paid $23 million for the property, are planning 24 townhomes on nearly five and a half acres at 101 Hill Street. At issue are considerations of density as well as environmental and other impacts on the community.  Also required would be permission from the ZBA to change the use of the property from one non-conforming use (as the Village Latch was built before current zoning) to another non-conforming use, the 24 home condominium. But, Steven Dubb told us, the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) study already performed on the property concluded that the project would have many benefits for Southampton, including minimal environmental, traffic and other impacts. After all, he pointed out, right now the property is a 67-room transient hotel. To change to 24 condos would involve less traffic and less noise. Dubb also pointed out that while his project would be more dense, at 4.6 units per acre, than the Whitefields property next door, at 1.8 units per acre (which went condo in the 1970s), it would be less dense than other newer condo developments in the village. The Irving on First Neck Lane, for example, has a density of 5.3 units per acre and Coopers Farm is 6.4 units per acre. So what’s next? Dubb says working with Whitefields owners to allay their concerns and satisfying the ZBA at their next meeting. We’ll keep you posted.
Gorgeous Sag Harbor Antique on an Acre Now $1 Million Cheaper
October 05, 2017
This late-Victorian antique house has been expanded and updated. Set on a generous acre plot, the house is 5000 square feet filled with period charm, including the gingerbread trim outside and the moldings indoors. Particularly noteworthy is the lovely new kitchen with Lacanche range and the master suite, with its own balcony, a tiled fireplace (which would have to go if we were the buyers), and a white marble bathroom with steam shower and sauna. There are four bedrooms in all, four baths, and two half baths. The lower level, which is walk-out, has been finished as a playroom, mudroom, and storage area. [caption id="attachment_64054" align="alignnone" width="747"] All photos via BHS[/caption] Asking price for the property, repped by Mark J. Baron and Jane Babcock at Brown Harris Stevens, is $4.75 million. 1.5 years ago, it was one million more. We think this is a great price now. With an unusually large plot of land, there's plenty of room for terraces, a 40' gunite pool with pool house, a separate garage and a spacious parking court. The large porches offer plenty of room for covered dining and relaxation as well. The one catch with this property is the location. Oakland Cemetery is across the street, which might put people off. Also, Jermain Ave is a busy cut-through street, so there's that too. Other than those issues (we personally think living next to a cemetery would be cool), this is a great property. For more, click here. 71 Jermain Avenue, Sag Harbor
Maz Crotty Moves to Sotheby's in Southampton
October 05, 2017
Maz Crotty, formerly of Nest Seekers, has moved on to Sotheby's International Realty in Southampton. Maz says, "I am very excited about the future! I will continue to provide the highest level of service to those selling, buying and renting properties in the Hamptons and Shelter Island." Originally from England, Maz lived between the Hamptons and NYC for ten years before moving here permanently. Her former career involved sales, operations and finance within the music, media and publishing industries in London and New York. In her free time, Maz cycles, swims, plays mean ping pong, not-so-mean poker and enjoys photography. Congrats, Maz!
de niro
Robert De Niro Wants to Rebuild His Montauk House
October 04, 2017
Legendary actor Robert De Niro has applied to the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals asking to tear down and rebuild his house on Old Montauk Highway. The house, built in the 1950s before zoning laws, is much closer to the ocean than would be allowed today. The property, about 1.5 acres, has been owned by De Niro since the 1980s. (He applied to build a much larger house about 20 years ago, but it never happened.) The property is on a steep slope terraced with retaining walls, and on the lowest level is a concrete pool added in 1969. The ZBA meeting minutes notes that "The existing residence is has a footprint of 1,920 sq. ft. and is one story on the northern (street) side and two stories as the grade drops to the south (waterfront) side of the property." [caption id="attachment_64035" align="alignnone" width="538"] Bing Maps[/caption] The property presents some unique issues because of the topography. Variances are required to build lower on the bluff than the 125' setback currently required. Also, as the minutes note, "Although the 20' wide flagstrip in the western portion of the property provides street frontage to Old Montauk Highway, the residence obtains its physical access from a serpentine driveway that spans two separate properties on the east side of the lot." De Niro plans to build a new house on the same basic footprint as the old and retain the pool and concrete patio around it. Normally, the ZBA would require the new home and pool be moved away from the ocean, but owing to the steep slope of the land, that would require excavation and disturbance of the natural bluff, so it's not optimal. We'll keep you posted.
Elie Tahari Asks $45 Million for Sagaponack Oceanfront Property
October 03, 2017
This is one of the nicest oceanfront houses we know. It was designed in 1998 by HS2 Architecture for legendary ad man Jay Chiat, utilizing an antique barn, with gardens designed by Edwina von Gal. After Chiat's death, fashion tycoon Elie Tahari bought the place for $12.1 million in 2004. Now it's back on the market, repped by Ann Ciardullo and Keith Green at Sotheby's, and the asking price is $45 million. [caption id="attachment_64024" align="alignnone" width="750"] All photos via Sotheby's[/caption] The property features 2.5 acres, including 250 feet of beachfront. There's a 60 foot lap pool surrounded by olive trees, a lovely dining pergola, and even a basketball half-court. Inside, the great room features the old barn beams with an ocean view. There are only three bedrooms and three baths in the 4500 square feet; the master suite is pretty luxurious, though, with ocean views and an enormous tub. Too small? The listing notes that "An addition and expansion approved by the village zoning board and designed by Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects will yield a +/-10,000sf home with eight bedrooms and expansive entertaining and spa facilities. Plans are available to the buyer." That all sounds fabulous. We do think, though, $45 million is rather an ambitious ask, although having the plans approved by the village does add enormous value to the property. What do you think? For more, click here. 135 Crestview Lane, Sagaponack
Southampton Estate Section, Renovated, with Pool and Tennis? Yes Please
October 02, 2017
There is absolutely nothing not to like about this property on Herrick Road in Southampton Village, repped by Michaela Kezsler at Douglas Elliman. The plot is a little small at 0.9 of an acre, but it squeezes in the house, terraces shaded by pergolas (one featuring an outdoor kitchen), indoor/outdoor fireplaces, a saltwater pool with separate spa, pool house with bath and laundry, a detached garage, and a tennis court. [caption id="attachment_63995" align="alignnone" width="750"] All photos courtesy Elliman[/caption] The house, c. 1900, has been fully renovated. With a finished lower level, there's 6200 square feet of space, including seven bedrooms, seven baths, and two half baths. Especially notable are the simple modern kitchen with many floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors, the glass balustrade on the stairs, and the modern renovated baths. The lower level includes a media room, wine cellar, and gym, along with extra bedrooms and baths. Asking price for all this? $12 million. The asking price strikes us as a little high: it's higher than others in the region, but offers a larger plot with a tennis court. If you're a tennis maven, this might be the place for you. For more, click here. 124 Herrick Road, Southampton
white flower
Master Craftsmen: Lori Guyer & John Mehrman, White Flower Farmhouse
September 30, 2017
Something magical happens when two talents merge to become one creative force. Think Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Basquiat and Warhol; Gilbert & Sullivan, Simon & Garfunkel, Lennon-McCartney, Keith and Mick. Each member of these famous duos has his or her own brilliance, but few would deny the mysterious alchemy born of their bonds. So it is with White Flower Farmhouse owner and designer Lori Guyer and woodworker John Mehrman. The North Forkers have forged an excellent partnership capable of producing some of the finest custom furniture and unique home accessories available on the East End. But it took some years before their talents intersected—and even longer for them to find a common groove. Neither Guyer nor Mehrman started in the business where they now thrive. She was a graphic designer and art director for The Long Island Traveler-Watchman newspaper with a knack for finding vintage treasures, and he was a math teacher with an obsession for woodworking. Each transitioned into a new life and line of work, eventually finding a vital counterpart in the other. “I had three kids in three years,” Guyer says, explaining the catalyst for leaving the newspaper. Seeking new ways to make money—on her terms and, more importantly, schedule—she turned to a brand new online auction website where she could peddle her yard sale treasures. “eBay just started,” Guyer says. “I was selling any little vintage-y thing I could find.” To her surprise, people really responded to Guyer’s aesthetic, so she spent more time customizing her finds and upcycling them, long before that was a word. Along with selling online, her restyled, repainted and refurbished furniture was a big hit at local antique markets. “Literally, I would sell out every time,” Guyer says. Meanwhile, Mehrman was teaching math and heading toward a comfortable retirement. Along the way, his and Guyer’s daughters began attending school together. After some time selling online and at markets, Guyer opened her first shop in Wading River, but it was a small operation within someone else’s venue. So when word spread and business improved, she moved White Flower Farmhouse to Peconic. “Then it got established,” Guyer recalls. “People started coming.” Eleven years later, in 2011, Guyer outgrew her space again and moved to White Flower’s current location, at 53995 Main Road in Southold. “During the process, people asked for decorating advice,” Guyer says, explaining how White Flower Farmhouse evolved from a retail business into a full-service shop, offering interior design consultation and custom furnishings for a discerning clientele. As more people came to Guyer asking for items she didn’t have, she would work with them to find new ideas and solutions. It quickly became clear she needed a true craftsman who could implement the beautiful things she envisioned. “I had a hard time finding somebody who knew how to make a farm table that looked good with structural integrity,” Guyer recalls. She went through several carpenters and craftsmen before finding the right partner. Lucky for her, Mehrman retired in 2008 and—because their daughters were school chums—she had already come to him for tips, repairs and ideas in the past. “I’m sort of a wood mechanic,” Mehrman says, acknowledging his ability to make just about anything. But only Guyer’s vision steered him toward the often rough-hewn pieces he’s now regularly asked to make. As Guyer remembers it, the first farm table Mehrman made was far from what she wanted. “It looked like a brand new table,” she laughs, explaining how the perfectionist had zero understanding of the vintage aesthetic they’re now famous for. “He planed and sanded off all the patina.” Seeing Mehrman’s confusion, Guyer told him, “Leave the beautiful saw marks. Leave the scratches, the dents.” It took more cajoling, including some encouragement from Mehrman’s wife, but eventually he came to see beauty in imperfection. “He realized there’s something to be said about leaving the surface of the table,” Guyer says. They now work together on all sorts of projects, using their combined genius to devise various designs, from concept to construction to final finishes. And while their furniture may embrace an imperfect look, both Guyer and Mehrman attest to the value of perfectly sound structure. “He’s a mathematician,” Guyer says, describing Mehrman’s heirloom-quality creations. “You could pass it down from generation to generation—it’s going to last.” Not far from White Flower Farmhouse, Mehrman’s home and workshop in Peconic is a testament to his deep obsession with wood. Along with a garage full of power tools and massive electric saws, his property has a mill and more than 25,000 board feet of lumber—delivered, reclaimed or cut on site—stashed in several outbuildings. “It’s my sickness, my addiction,” Mehrman says, noting that, for him, working with Guyer is less about money than it is about the joy of creating “functional art” for people who appreciate it. “It’s [about] providing something they’re really happy with,” he says, adding later, “I like what I’m doing.” Guyer and Mehrman’s tables and other unique and vintage-inspired designs can be found at homes and hotspots all over the North Fork, including Greenport Harbor Brewery in Peconic, Aldo’s Coffee Company in Greenport, Peconic Cellar Door winery and Bedell Cellars’ The Tap Room at Corey Creek in Southold.
a frame
Funky Double A Frame in Hampton Bays with Private Beach Access
September 29, 2017
We love A frame houses. They peaked in popularity between the mid-1950s and 1970s, when the idea of a modern weekend home was enticing to the newly moneyed middle class. They were most popular in the mountains, we think, because the steep roof pitch enabled it to shed snow easily, but they were also built in beach areas because they were affordable. One of the best known A frames is the Elizabeth Reese House, built in Sagaponack by Andrew Geller in 1955. Published in the New York Times, this design helped popularize the A frame. [caption id="attachment_63978" align="alignnone" width="750"] All photos via Elliman[/caption] There aren't that many of them left now: many were bulldozed for more traditional styles, but we still love their fun, funky midcentury optimism. This example could be called a double A frame, which makes for some interesting loftlike interiors. Yes, it could use some updating--how about a fun new kitchen with retro colored appliances--but seems basically fine as is. In all, there are three bedrooms and two baths in 1700 square feet. The lot size is 0.34 of an acre. One of the best parts of the property, repped by Constance Porto, Anne Marie Francavilla, and Carol Pugliese at Elliman, is the private deeded right of way to the Shinnecock bay beach. The house, which is surrounded by decks, also boasts water views. Asking price is $849,000. For more, click here17A Hampton Harbor Road, Hampton Bays
georgica house
Why Hasn't Anyone Bought This Georgica House in Four Years?
September 28, 2017
We don't get it. A charming vintage Georgica house (c. 1900) set on 1.1 acres of prime  land. Pretty landscaping, a cool round pool, but no one wants it. This house wowed us back in 2013, when it first hit the market asking $10.5M. It didn’t wow the buyers, and the price gradually dropped close to what the owner, writer Barbara Goldsmith, paid for the place back in 2006: $7.5M. [caption id="attachment_63963" align="alignnone" width="640"] All photos via Compass[/caption] Unfortunately Ms. Goldsmith passed away last year, and now the property, repped by Ed Petrie, James Petrie, and Julie Wolfe at Compass, is a mere $5.395 million, about half what it was asking four years ago. Yes, some of the interiors need a bit of updating, but nothing really serious. Come on, people. The house is a 5000 square foot traditional style with five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. The interiors, decorated by Mica Ertegun, are gracious and elegant yet accessible. We love the kitchen with a Garland stove (for serious cooks) and a black stainless range hood. Outside, the pool really does look (at least in the picture) like a natural pond. Next to it is a pool house with a bar with refrigerator and icemaker, a bathroom and changing room, and a heated outdoor rain shower. Over the detached garage is a two bedroom cottage with its own generator. What are you waiting for, rich folks? We're getting close to land value here. For more, click here. 86 Georgica Road, East Hampton.
whaling captain
See How This Whaling Captain's Historic Home Was Transformed
September 27, 2017
This historic whaling captain's home first hit the market back in 2013, when it was in need of restoration but had many cool original details retained. It was the home of Shamgar Huntington Slate (say that three times fast), captain of the whaleship Neptune in 1841 and owner of this residence. ("Shamgar": a name you don't hear much these days.) In 2013 the place was almost original condition, with original millwork, random-width pumpkin pine flooring, two parlors, three original staircases, three bedrooms and two and a half baths. Total square footage was 2555 and the land is 0.34 of an acre. An enterprising person purchased the property for $1.7 million not too long after the property hit the market. Now it's 2017 and somewhere, ol' Shamgar is smiling. (Probably Macao, where he is apparently buried.) What a transformation! The project was supervised by Jason Thomas (architect) and Declan Murray (builder). The house is now 4500 square feet--it was added on to in the rear and the lower level was finished. There are five bedrooms, including a large master, and 5.5 baths. Of course there's a new kitchen (oddly not shown), and outside, there's a sweet new picket fence, landscaping, and a spanky new gunite pool along with a cute pool house. Of course, none of this is cheap. The property, repped by David Cox at Corcoran, is asking $6.325 million. And of course the new owner, besides enjoying all the latest amenities including smart house technology, gets bragging rights to living in a whaling captain's home. We suggest naming the place Shamgar House. Or Casa Shamgar. Or Slate House. For more, click here. 245 Main Street, Sag Harbor
colson whitehead
Prizewinning Author Colson Whitehead Buys in East Hampton
September 26, 2017
Colson Whitehead, whose novel The Underground Railroad won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, has just scored another trophy: this modern house in the Northwest Woods of East Hampton. We have reliable intel that he and his wife, literary agent Julie Barer, were the purchasers of 107 Swamp Road. (And we're the first with this info, just as with Beyonce and Jay-Z, just in case you're wondering coughTruliacough.) [caption id="attachment_63922" align="alignnone" width="750"] All photos via Sotheby's[/caption] The minimalist design of the house is warmed up by two offices filled with bookshelves, perfect for the new owners. While the simple kitchen and bathrooms complement the house design, we do think the previous owner's decorating attempts (too many French style antiques) let the place down. May we suggest a Saarinen marble topped table and chairs for the kitchen, Colson and Julie, rather than the inappropriate Louis XVI chair and Regency table? The 4000 square foot house, with four bedrooms and three baths, is set on two acres of land. Large windows take in views of the gardens, with lawns and attractive grasses, and there's a nice pool with a lounging area out back. Last asking price for the property, repped by Marilyn Clark and Eve Combemale at Sotheby's, was $2.25 million. Welcome to the Hamptons, Whiteheads! For more, click here107 Swamp Road, East Hampton
Sag Harbor New Build
All White Is All Right in a Sleek, Simple Sag Harbor New Build
September 25, 2017
This Sag Harbor new build combines the good looks of a classic village home on the exterior with a simple modern interior. It's very spacious for a village home, too: 4200 square feet with five bedrooms and 5.5 baths. The 0.24 acre plot is also generous as they go, and sports a nice gunite pool. Another great outdoor feature is the covered terrace with fireplace. [caption id="attachment_63908" align="alignnone" width="750"] All photos via Sotheby's[/caption] There are two more fireplaces inside, in the great room and master bedroom. The kitchen and baths are all simple white marble, cabinetry, and tile. Asking price for the property, repped by Patrick Mclaughlin and Gioia DiPaolo at Sotheby's, is $3.795 million, which we think is reasonable, given the move-in condition and great features. The location is good, too, with an easy walk to Havens Beach or downtown shops and restaurants. What do you think of the place? Let us know in the comments. For more, click here. 11 Eastville Avenue, Sag Harbor