Everything You Need to Know About Hamptons Real Estate Right Now


Welcome back to the Hamptons and happy summer, all! If you fancy city people have been too busy running the world to pay attention to what’s been going on in Hamptons real estate (tsk, tsk, tsk), let’s get you up to speed before you hit the Jitney.

First off, there haven’t been any giant, recordbreaking sales so far this year. Probably the most eyewatering new listing price is the $85 million asked for seven acres on Chauncey Close, including a new house to be designed by Steven Gambrel and built by Jeffrey Colle. Yes, the same property that didn’t sell at $32 million. The best known new listing is Grey Gardens, the lovely East Hampton property made famous by the eponymous documentary. Listed for $20 million, the price quickly dropped $2 million. As for the quirkiest new listing, the winner must be Holly Lane, Water Mill. The listing is not on Holly Lane, it’s Holly Lane itself, the street. There’s about 1.25 acres of land, but it’s mighty narrow in parts and local homeowners have easements over it to reach their properties.

This being the Hamptons, where you can’t walk ten feet without tripping over a celebrity (oops, sorry, Mr. Spielberg), celebs have been moving in and moving out. The biggest news lately was a Behind the Hedges scoop that made worldwide headlines; to wit, Robert Downey Jr was the purchaser, last summer, of East Hampton’s beautiful Edward DeRose Windmill Cottage, c. 1885. It was listed with Peter Turino at Brown Harris Stevens, with a last ask of $11.9 million, although property records list a sale to Monona LLC last summer for $10.5 million. The property had been on and off the market over the past few years at various prices.

Also new Hamptons homeowners are Neil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka, who purchased a sprawling property on Hands Creek Road in East Hampton for $5.5 million. The house is known by some as the Orgy House, after the notorious Killing Kittens sex party of last summer was held there. We’re sure it’s all clean and fresh now, though. And yes, that was another Hedges scoop.

A celeb who’s just about had enough of the Hamptons is tennis great John McEnroe; his Squabble Lane, Southampton, home is in contract at $12.5 million. (Was it something we said, John?) Another seller was “Uptown Funk” songster Mark Ronson; he unloaded his cute contemporary beach house, just a block from the ocean in Amagansett, for $1.45 million.

Not selling but also moving is musical legend Paul Simon. He’s relocating  a guesthouse on his Montauk property away from the bluff edge. The cottage, built in 1950, was originally set farther back, but over the years, the land eroded (at a rate of about six inches per year) so that the building was only about 20 feet from the edge.

Of course, restaurants come and go in the Hamptons like the summer sun. Behind the Hedges recently broke the news that the property formerly known as Cyril’s, the longtime notorious bar/restaurant on the Napeague stretch, which closed a year ago, was in contract. Details are still sketchy but agent Lee Minetree told Hedges that a new restaurant is planned for the site.

Hedges also scooped the world with the information that Ruschmeyer’s, the Montauk landmark, had been sold. Ruschmeyer’s most lately offered 20 hotel rooms, a restaurant, and bar. We understand that everything is being refreshed for 2017, including the long-gone swimming pool.

For sale right now is the Lobster Inn in Shinnecock, asking $11.5 million. The waterfront property offers many options for a new owner: as a restaurant or developed as single family homes or townhouses. The zoning on the property would allow for 13 single-family homes and there is a variance in place for townhouses with the abandonment of restaurant use, though site plans or individual lots are not yet approved.

Finally, we come to the feel-good story of the past few months: the efforts to save the beloved Sag Harbor Cinema, which was devastated by fire in December. The nonprofit Sag Harbor Partnership is in contract to purchase the building from owner Gerald Mallow. Planned is a new not-for-profit Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center (SHCAC), which would be committed to education, outreach, and programming for the East End year-round. The landmark façade of the Cinema will replicate the original; the iconic “Sag Harbor” sign, which was saved from the fire, will be repaired and reinstated. Donations, however, are critical to the success of the project. Please give what you can at this link. And thank you.

Welcome back. It’s going to be a great summer!