‘LeBron James of Short Selling,’ Neighbor Both Unload East Hampton Homes for $60M

A row of Further Lane oceanfront properties in East Hampton, including the house James Chanos sold in February, second from right, for nearly $60 million. The house furthest to the right, at 30 Spaeth Lane, just closed on March 15 for a reported $60 million.

The first quarter of 2021 has not even closed yet and already we are seeing what could be some of the highest-priced Hamptons home sales of the year — and two of them are neighboring properties.

Topping the list so far are two $60 million oceanfront trades on properties off of East Hampton’s famed Further Lane, while a waterfront estate in Wainscott, last asking $56 million, is in contract.

Billionaire investor James Chanos, sold his three-acre property at 70 Further Lane for $59.5 million on February 5, according to the deed transfers this month, in what appears to be an off-market transaction. More recently, an oceanfront house next door at 30 Spaeth Lane, originally listed for $72 million, sold for $60 million, Hamptons Market Data reported. The last asking price was $67 million.

Listed with Peter Turino and Christopher Burnside of Brown Harris Stevens, the deal for the 7.7-acre property with a six-bedroom, five-bathroom house — that some may say is a teardown — closed on March 15. We hear Turino and Burnside are involved in the sale of Chanos’ property, as well.

Brown Harris Stevens declined to comment.

Chanos is the founder of Kynikos Associates, a firm specializing in short selling, perhaps best known for predicting the collapse of Enron. He’s been dubbed the “Darth Vader of Wall Street”, the “Catastrophe Capitalist” and the “LeBron James of short selling.”

A feud with another hedge-fund neighbor, over actual hedges, made tristate area headlines in 2007. The hedges lined a path to the beach that also separated Chanos’s property from that of Marc Spilker, a Goldman Sachs managing director, The New York Post reported at the time. It led to him sending a, somewhat famous, email to Spilker and his associates at Goldman Sachs over Spilker’s alleged sense of entitlement.

“I hope this is not a harbinger of how other Goldman senior executives may act when the markets become ‘just not lucrative enough for us!'” he wrote.

ABC reported in 2009 that Chanos paid $2.6 million for his home in 1991 — not a bad return considering the $59.5 million selling price. The buyer remains unknown as he or she was shielded under an LLC called 70 Further Lane Holdings.

The midcentury modern home at 30 Spaeth Lane had belonged to the estate of June Noble Smith Larkin Gibson, the Life Savers candy heiress, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal when the home went on the market in August of 2020.

Gibson, whose father, Edward J. Noble, founded not only the candy company but the television network ABC, died in June at the age of 98. She owned the midcentury modern home since the late 1960s.

According to the WSJ, the home was built around 1955 — and may be considered a teardown — for the late Otto Lucien Spaeth and his wife Eloise Spaeth, prominent art collectors where the small road, off of Further Lane got its name. Architects George Nelson and Gordon Chadwick, who was said to be a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed the shingle-style house with “an unusual undulating shingle wall on the rear side,” according to the Brown Harris Stevens listing at the time.

It is worth noting that 290 Further Lane, further east toward Amagansett, sold at the end of December 2020 for $57 million, in what turned out to be the third priciest sale of 2020.

Another high-end property, Burnt Point, most recently listed for $56 million with Bespoke Real Estate, is also in contract, WSJ reported. Billionaire former pharmaceuticals entrepreneur Stewart Rahr’s waterfront estate on a private peninsula at 38 Mathews Lane, was first listed the home for $95 million in 2015, with several price reductions over the past six years.

The last asking price on Stewart Rahr’s estate, Burnt Point, was $56 million.Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate

The 25,000-square-foot Gambrel-style mansion, custom designed by Francis Fleetwood, sits on 25 secluded acres on Georgica Pond, and boasts sweeping water views on three sides of the pond, as well as the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. Built in 2000, the home, with interior architectural details by Brian O’Keefe and the interior design work of Marjorie Shushan, has been featured in Architectural Digest. There are eight bedrooms, 10 full and four half bathrooms, and a separate guest wing, connected to the main house by an interior breezeway of Cotswold stone.

There are also several garage structures, such as a heated four-car garage on the lower level of the main home, and two garages house mechanical systems connected to the main home through underground tunnels.

The expansive grounds include a private dock, waterside pool with spa, gazebo, a sunken tennis court with a viewing pavilion, and a professional greenhouse complete with a potting room.

Rahr has owned Burnt Point since 2005, when he purchased it for approximately $40 million.

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