The Most-Read Hamptons Real Estate Stories of 2023

top stories 2023

With the countdown to 2024 on, we are looking back at some of the past year’s biggest stories. This year’s most-read stories online prove once again that it’s not always the biggest sales that garner readers’ attention. Commercial real estate sales — especially in Montauk — continue to be popular with readers. As we usher in a new year, let’s first take a look back at the year that was. Here are the most-read stories in Hamptons real estate in 2023:

1) Michael Rubin’s $50M Hamptons House Was Backdrop for Star-Studded July 4th Bash

What goes on behind the hedges, really makes news on Behind The Hedges.

In celebration of the July Fourth holiday, a who’s who in the entertainment and sports worlds turned out for an extravagant party at the Bridgehampton home of Fanatics mogul Michael Rubin. It was our most viral story of the year.

Rubin hosted what has become his annual “white party” at his $50 million oceanfront home, bringing out the likes of Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Tom Brady, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, DJ Khaled and Kevin Hart. Entertainers Usher, Ne-Yo and Jack Harlow performed for more than 350 guests. Usher even led a round of “Happy Birthday” for Hart, who was about to turn 44.

Summer House,
The cast of “Summer House,” from left, Paige DeSorbo, Ciara Miller, Carl Radke, Lindsay Hubbard, Amanda Batula, Kyle Cooke, Danielle Olivera, Gabby Prescod, Chris Leoni, Mya Allen and Samantha Feher.Sasha Israel/Bravo

2) Cramped Hamptons ‘Summer House’ After Illegal Bedrooms Found

Summer House, the show about a group of friends spending summer in the Hamptons together, premiered its seventh season on Bravo in February, revealing one major kink in their summer plans — the discovery of illegal bedrooms meant less space. Just days before filming began in the Water Mill house for the 2022 summer season, Southampton Town officials realized there were more bedrooms than there were supposed to be. “The Hamptons: Known for old money, also old laws,” one of the castmates, Kyle Cooke, says during the narration as he and his wife, Amanda Batula, have a look around at their summer living quarters, the same $5 million house that was used for the previous season. “Our house just so happens to be zoned for five bedrooms — not nine.” Ryan J. Murphy, the Town Code Compliance & Emergency Management Administrator, gave the back story to Behind The Hedges — and it, of course, has nothing to do with old Hamptons laws.

East Hampton, LVMH, Bernard Arnault
Bernard Arnault, a French businessman and chairman and CEO of the French conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, better known as LVMH, has bought 1 Main Street in East Hampton or $22 million.Cartier

3) World’s Richest Man Buys Elie Tahari’s East Hampton Building

An East Hampton building long owned by the designer Elie Tahari and his son Jeremy Tahari was sold back for $22 million, the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield announced in April. The property at 1 Main Street, on the corner of Newtown Lane, was acquired by Bernard Arnault, the French billionaire businessman who is, according to Forbes, the richest person in the world, and is chairman and CEO of the French conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. He opened a Louis Vuitton store there this summer. It had been previously occupied by Cartier.

Boardy Barn, Hampton Bays
The former Boardy Barn will reopen as a place for revelry once again, but under a different name.Oliver Peterson

4) Boardy Barn Making a Come Back in Time for Summer? Sort Of

In April, when the new owners of the legendary Boardy Barn property in Hampton Bays, which sold last year, announced they were reopening the space, the story went viral. The Boardy Barn, closed since the pandemic, sold for $4 million back in 2021, following the death of one of the owners. Ever since, Boardy Barn fans have been missing summer Sundays there. But that changed when a post on Bar Stools Sports’ Instagram page announced the return of not only the Boardy Barn, but Saturday nights at the Drift Inn, a longtime summer hotspot, all under a new name and with new owners.

Gosman's, Montauk
Gosman’s, as seen in an aerial view from 2010, offers 48,145 square feet of space, a marina and dock, all listed at $45 million.

5) Gosman’s Dock in Montauk Listed for $45 Million

The Gosman’s real estate portfolio in Montauk, a family-owned business since 1943 on some of the most prime commercial property in the Hamptons, hit the market again in March. Often simply referred to as Gosman’s Dock, the portfolio consists of nine properties on 11.6 acres, on Montauk Harbor. There are four restaurants, six retail stores, a wholesale lobster and fish business and four staff housing properties, totaling 48,145 square feet of space, plus the dock and marina. There is also a large parking lot and some vacant land. Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in investment sales, financing, research and advisory services, has the exclusive listing at $45 million.

East Hampton Village, Maidstone Hotel
The Maidstone Hotel and restaurant in East Hampton Village was sold in early April after an off-market deal took 10 months to close.Courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens

6) Famed East Hampton Hotel and Restaurant Has Been Sold

The iconic Maidstone Hotel property sold in an off-market deal back in April for $12,525,000 after 10 months of negotiations. The Cerio Natter Team at Brown Harris Stevens. facilitated the deal, along with Jonathan Solomon, the principal broker at Luxury New York Group LLC, based in Manhattan, who represented the sellers. The buyers of the inn and restaurant are Irwin D. Simon, the chairman and CEO of Tilray Brands, Inc. who also recently bought Montauk Brewing and is also a partner in the Lobster Roll restaurants, and the hotelier and restauranteur Mayank Dwivedi.

Montauk, commercial, restaurant
The commercial property at 148 South Emerson Avenue Ext. in Montauk sold for $9.25 million in November 2022.Courtesy of Compass

7) Prime Montauk Restaurant Location Quietly Sold

A former oceanfront hotspot in downtown Montauk quietly changed hands in late 2022. Suffolk County deed transfers revealed in March that 148 South Emerson Avenue Extension, best known as the nightclub Sloppy Tuna and Nick’s on the Beach, traded for $9.25 million on November 8, 2022. Chris Coleman of Compass represented both sides of the deal for the 5,284-square-foot property, which sits on a 0.13-acre beachfront parcel in the center of Montauk.

Montauk, Bernie Madoff, 2023, most-read stories
Bernie Madoff’s former home enjoys 180 feet of ocean frontage, and is 150 feet from the sandy beach, much closer than current zoning allows.Chris Foster/The Corcoran Group

8) Final Figure: Bernie Madoff’s Montauk Home Sold and Closed

The disgraced financier’s former Montauk home sold for $14 million earlier this year, and when the exact amount was revealed in the Suffolk County deeds, it of course attracted attention. The bungalow-style house at 216 Old Montauk Highway was seized by the federal government after Madoff’s arrest in December 2008 and was then sold to help compensate victims of his massive Ponzi scheme. 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, sold to a  limited liability company called Froggy Dunes purchased the property on March 20. Bespoke Real Estate and Tim Davis of the Corcoran Group had the co-exclusive. The Roths bought the property for $9.41 million in 2009, which was $660,000 more than the asking price at the time. The proceeds from that sale went into a victim compensation fund to bring some relief to the 24,000 people who lost money in Madoff’s scam.

Hamptons, East Hampton estate, most-read stories of 2023
The compound at 32 & 26 Windmill Lane, as seen in a 2020 photo, sold in January 2023 for a combined $91.5 million.Courtesy of Douglas Elliman Photography

9) Hamptons Oceanfront Compound Sold for $91.5 Million

In March, Hedges reported the sale of an East Hampton oceanfront compound that sold for $91.5 million in an off-market deal in January 2023. It remains the highest-known trade of the year,  raking in more than double what it sold for just three years ago. The 6.7-acre estate, at the end of a private road off the famed Further Lane, last sold in April 2020 for $45 million, which at the time was the largest sale on record in the Hamptons since 2016.

Montauk Yacht Club
The Montauk Yacht Club lighthouse, deactivated in 2011, is part of the Montauk Yacht Club property that traded in 2022.Montauk Yacht Club

10) The Montauk Yacht Club Makes Its Return

The iconic Montauk Yacht Club marked an official return over Memorial Day weekend. Safe Harbor Marinas, which owns and operates the world’s largest boating network, bought what had most recently been Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina in July 2022 and had just completed “nine months of investment and preparation,” according to a statement. It’s no wonder that the club, created on Star Island in 1928 by Carl Fisher, who developed much of Montauk, garnered much attention. Fisher’s 60-foot tall replica of the Montauk Lighthouse remains on the Lake Montauk property, which boasts 107 guest rooms and villas, three pools, two restaurants, indoor and outdoor bars, tennis and pickleball courts, a private beach and more than 200 boat slips.