Sitting in a model home at the Hampton Boathouses, Mitchell Rechler was looking out at the Shinnecock Canal, taking in the very view that makes the newly built townhome development from Rechler Equity Partners so special.
“Really, there is no quality rental type of product that’s at a reasonable price on the water anywhere in the Hamptons region,” Rechler says. “To have views of the canal, to have amenities that include a swimming pool, a clubhouse, a gym with Peloton bikes”—as well as a massage room and 18 boat slips for lease — “there is really very little available like that.”
Truly an understatement when it comes to the South Fork year-round rental market. Yes, you’ve read that right: Once completed, all 37 luxury townhomes located along the east side of the canal, with water views from the private patios and balconies of each home, will be exclusively for lease.
It is a change from the original plan to sell the two- and three-bedroom units at the Hampton Boathouses, one that came about because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are working closely with Enzo Morabito and his team at Douglas Elliman, and we were all watching carefully once COVID hit what was happening with the mass migration out of Manhattan into the East End and the huge demand for rentals,” Rechler explains. By late spring or early summer, “We all agreed that given this market, this would be the best, where the highest demand would be met.”
The East End real estate market has been moving at a feverish pace to meet demand as New York City residents flee for more space as the coronavirus continues to spread. Yet not everyone is ready or able to delve into home ownership.
“There are people who may not necessarily want to commit to purchasing a place out here or have thought about the idea of purchasing in the long run but might like to dip their toe, so to speak, in the Hamptons market and would like to rent instead and see if they like being out here,” Rechler says. “Other people who may not want to make that full-time commitment to buying a place because they are not happy living in New York City but are hoping down the road things might change in the future—this just gives that type of person a lot more flexibility and not [have to] make as big of a commitment as compared to purchasing.”
Rent for a two-bedroom townhome starts at $8,000 per month, while the three-bedroom starts at $10,676 per month. (The townhouses were supposed to start selling at $1.495 million.) Each unit ranges in size from 1,605 square feet to 2,640 square feet.
Applications for the first four townhomes were immediately available when the announcement was made two weeks ago. The first tenant is moving into a three-bedroom townhome on Sunday, November 1. Another six townhomes are now available, and six more will be up for lease by the end of November.
Since the announcement, momentum is building. “We are having conversations with plenty of people who are in Manhattan and are looking for an alternative,” Rechler says of the interest. “Other people who have rented, during the summer, and essentially had to leave the house they were renting because of the owners came back from where they are.”
Plus, leasing in a full-service community has its perks. Refuse removal and snow plowing are taken care of, and landscaping is never a concern.
The location also surely has its benefits. Situated on Old Boathouse Lane, it is minutes from the Long Island Rail Road station in Hampton Bays and Sunrise Highway. It is not far from Southampton Village, but, being west of the canal in terms of traffic means avoiding gridlock woes.
Construction began about two years ago, Rechler says, and the first 18 units mark the end of the first phase. Another 12 units, to be completed as part of phase two, are expected to be done in summer or early fall of 2021. The entire project is not slated for completion until early 2022.
Once completed, all seven shingle-style buildings will have large windows and French sliding doors, creating light-filled spaces. Oil-finished, wide-plank white oak engineered hardwood floors, custom shiplap at the entry ceilings and gas fireplaces lend themselves to typical Hamptons style.
“We built these as class A quality for-sale units, so you’re really getting first-class construction, with first-class finishes in each of the units,” Rechler says.
Each unit has an eat-in kitchen with custom inset Shaker-style cabinetry with wood bead details and soft-close hardware, Sub-Zero refrigerators, Wolf gas ranges with vented hoods, and Bosch dishwashers. There are natural stone slab countertops, including on a kitchen island, and white subway tile backsplashes.
A spacious en suite master bathroom has Mosaic Carrara marble floors and countertops, a wood vanity with double sinks, walk-in showers, freestanding tubs, and even mirrors with LED edge lighting. There are decorative crown, base and window and door moldings. Recessed lighting with Decora switches and receptacles give a modern feel. High-efficiency multi-zone heating and cooling systems for individual climate control give each tenant control. Each unit also has full-size washers and gas dryers.
With so many people still working remotely, the two fully furnished model homes have been staged in a way that showcases the ability to have a work/life balance at home. The clubhouse also has space for people to work.
Full concierge services will also be available to renters once the Rechlers’ other project, at the Hampton Bays landmark Canoe Place Inn, just west of the canal, is finished. The projected date for completion of the hotel there is the first quarter of 2022, and offerings available to Boathouse renters will include VIP priority dining reservations, use of hotel amenities and more.
“The building is looking great. We’re coming along with construction, working on hiring a manager to run the hotel and the entire facility,” Rechler says. “It’s going to be something very, very special.”
Information about the Hampton Boathouses or to make an appointment for a tour is available at hamptonboathouses.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 631-594-5790 and ask to speak with Ellen Cea or Michael Loeffer.