Harry Macklowe’s Hamptons Beachfront Home Hits Headwind

Harry Macklowe's East Hampton house, Hamptons
Harry Mackowe’s house on West End Avenue is for sale, but a buyer won’t be able to live there until a Certificate of Occupancy issue is resolved.
Doug Kuntz

Real estate developer Harry Macklowe, who recently put his East Hampton home on the market, has run into a few snags that are bound to impact any potential sale.

Apparently, his luxe property on exclusive West End Avenue near Georgica Pond, for which he is asking $38 million, has some outstanding Certificate of Occupancy issues that will directly impact the sale.

Soon after the home hit the market, The New York Post reported that the real estate developer and CEO of Macklowe Properties, neglected to get permission and permits from East Hampton Village to clear the land and built closer to the wetlands than was permissible. In the process, Macklowe was reportedly fined for more than 21 violations that have not yet been paid.

East Hampton Village Building Inspector Thomas Preiato informed the tabloid on March 3 that Macklowe could sell the property, but that the village would not permit the buyer to take occupancy because the C of O is no longer valid due to unpaid fines.

When asked for an update on the situation, Preilato told Behind The Hedges, “I’m not going to comment any further than I did, at the advice of our attorney, because we are still in litigation.”

Mayor Jerry Larsen echoed those sentiments:  “It’s under litigation so we shouldn’t really be talking,” he said,” and referred the question to East Hampton Village attorney Lisa Perillo. 

Perillo did not respond to two calls and an email.

Harry Macklowe's East Hampton house, Hamptons
Harry Macklowe’s property sits on Georgica Cove, just off Georgica Pond.Doug Kuntz

The village action against Macklowe is months old and does not impact selling the house, noted Paul Brennan, who represents the listing along with fellow Douglas Elliman broker Martha Gundersen.

“The litigation has been ongoing for a while, so that’s nothing new,” said Brennan. “Everybody’s acting like this is a brand new thing.” 

Surrounded by preserved land, the 2.71-acre property boasts ocean and pond views, 951 feet of pond frontage, and a waterside pool. Designed by Futterman Architecture, the 5,500-square-foot home features four bedrooms, four and a half baths and water views throughout.

Hhe purchased the property in 2017 for $10.35 million.

Macklowe, who did not reply to an email or phone call, is no stranger to controversy and publicly flouting the rules. 

Back in the 1980s, the developer got into similar trouble to the current East Hampton brouhaha, when he took down four buildings in Times Square in the middle of the night — hours before the city started enforcing a ban on demolishing single-room occupancy buildings — earning him a $2 million fine, which he did, indeed, pay.   

Macklowe Properties is famous for developing sleek buildings in New York City, such as the Metropolitan Tower, 432 Park Avenue, as well as ThreeTen East 53rd Street, a residential project completed in 2006. He also owns the General Motors Building, which he purchased in 2003, and personally invited Steve Jobs to build his Manhattan flagship Apple store there.

Current projects include TowerFifth, a mixed-use commercial project on 51st and 52nd streets and between Fifth and Madison avenues, 432 Park Avenue, a 96-story residential tower —  purported to be the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere – between 56th and 57th streets on Park Avenue and One Wall Street (on the corner of Broadway), a landmark 50-story limestone Art Deco tower that Macklowe Properties purchased in 2014 and has converted to a condominium residence. 

For Brennan, despite the current controversy, it’s business as usual.

“Everything is fine,” he said. “It’s on the market. We’re showing the house. Everything is great.” 

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