The Real Deal New York

Hamptons Weekly Roundup: “The View” co-host picks Sag Harbor over East Hampton, no more yoga for Montauk Surf Lodge … & more

July 27, 2016 04:00PM
By Cathaleen Chen

Hamptons Roundup Georgica Pond Main

Georgica Pond residents Steven Spielberg and Harry Macklowe

Demand for luxury properties drops while mid-tier homes make gains

Hamptons sellers beware. The East End saw its fourth straight double-digit sales drop in the second quarter as year-over-year sales plummeted 21 percent for a total of 561 transactions, according to a Douglas Elliman report. Jonathan Miller, the report’s author, attributed that decline to softening at the top of the market. Miller noted, however, that this slower stretch followed an extraordinary three-year period marked by a growing global appetite for luxury properties.

“The pent up demand has been satiated,” Miller said. Now, he said, volatility in stock markets from Britain to China, and uncertainty about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, are contributing to slower sales. Meanwhile, the market share of residential properties valued in the $1 million-to-$5 million price range has grown on the East End in recent years. Bur experts say that stock market jitters could reverse that because buyers in that price range often rely on Wall Street bonuses and robust financial markets to make purchases. [TRD] & [TRD] 

McMansion runoff is destroying the Hamptons famed Georgica Pond

The 190-acre Georgica Pond — which is encircled by 74 multi-million-dollar mansions — is not the selling point it once was. The famed East Hampton lagoon has become a cesspool of pesticides, nitrogen and phosphorous — pollution that accumulated from runoff water used to irrigate the manicured gardens and the household wastewater of the area’s wealthy residents. The pond sits near the Hamptons homes of celebrities like Steven Spielberg and real estate titan Harry Macklowe. When a Jack Russell terrier reportedly died in 2012 after drinking the pond’s water, a wealthy group of residents formed Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation to address the conditions, but problems still persist. “We are at a tipping point. We need to take a hard look at the future in order to have sustainable clean water for future generations,” East Hampton trustee Rick Drew told the New York Post. [LLNYC]

Montauk Surf Lodge barred from offering free yoga

What’s the opposite of namaste? Because of zoning issues, Surf Lodge, the popular hotel in Montauk, has been forced to shut down its free workout series, which boasts classes by Noah Neiman of Barry’s Bootcamp and Madonna’s former trainer Nicole Winhoffer. “Adding a yoga studio is not permitted,” East Hampton town attorney Michael Sendlenski told Page Six. “It’s in a residential district and it’s a pre-existing hotel and restaurant use there.” The good news is that the hotel can still offer classes to hotel guests. [Page Six]

“The View” co-host Joy Behar heads to Sag Harbor

Comedian Joy Behar is reportedly moving to Sag Harbor, but she has yet to sell her East Hampton home. The 4,000-square-foot, four-bedroom house, which sits on Roberts Lane, is listed for $3.5 million, down from $3.8 million. Sotheby’s International Realty broker Beate Moore is listing the property, which sits on just under an acre of land and has a pool and outdoor fireplace, according to the New York Post. Sounds like a good spot for entertaining her buds from “The View” like Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg. [NYP]

Godiva CEO lands a sweet $3.6M Water Mill home

Mohamed Elsarky, chief chocolatier of Godiva, and his wife, Irma, recently purchased a 2.2-acre estate in Water Mill. The house on Tanager Lane has six bedrooms, eight bathrooms and two living rooms. Downstairs, a lounge with a long bar and dance floor makes for ample entertainment space. The property also has a pool and outdoor fireplace. [27East]

Hedge funder rents Southampton mansion for $650K a month

With no buyers biting on his 10-acre Southampton compound, the German business mogul Jurgen Friedrich, who founded the European operations of Esprit Holdings, opted to rent out the 18,000-square-foot manor, dubbed the Linden estate, to retired billionaire hedge fund manager Julian Robertson. The 12-bedroom, 12-bathroom mansion — which was designed by architect Grosvenor Atterbury — is fetching a cool $650,000 a month. Located at 160 Ox Pasture Road, it has been on and off the market since at least 2008, with asking prices ranging from $49 million to $59.5 million. According to news reports, Friedrich bought the home for a mere $8.5 million in 2002. [NYP]

Sag Harbor library reopens after a four-year renovation

Sag Harbor is tending to its bookish roots. The legendary literary haven is now home to a new and expanded John Jermain Memorial Library. The facility, which closed in 2012 for a $16.5 million renovation, is now 7,000 square feet larger, has more parking and a new humidity and temperature-controlled historic archive. No doubt literary luminaries like John Steinberg and James Fenimore Cooper, who penned some of their most famous works in Sag Harbor, would be proud.  [East Hampton Star]

Green light for Riverside’s revitalization spurs investment

After decades of neglect, Riverside, an economically deprived hamlet in Southampton, may finally get its makeover. Downtown Riverside — which sits a stone’s throw from some of the most valuable real estate in the country — is known for flagrant prostitution and drug dealing. But a new and ambitious plan to redevelop roughly 470 acres took a major step forward with the town council’s unanimous approval of a rezoning that could pave the way for 2,300 new housing units, more than 133,000 square feet of retail and 62,00 square feet of office space. But there’s a catch: Construction cannot begin until a new sewage treatment plant is built, and the town does not yet have financing lined up. In addition, the redevelopment will take time. Once shovels are in the ground, the project is expected to take 10 to 12 years to complete. Still, the plan already seems to be spurring investment. Since the beginning of 2016, six major properties totaling nearly 20 acres have sold or gone into contract. [TRD]

‘Sprayathon’ party host presents his side of the story

And the saga continues. Brett Barna, who threw a now-infamous Hamptons party over the July Fourth weekend at a house he rented on Airbnb, has come forward with his own version of events. The former hedge funder, who was fired from his job at Moore Capital Management in the aftermath of the party — a charity event for an animal rescue group — said there was no damage to the shingled house. He also claimed guests were not even allowed into the main house. After the party, Barna said homeowner Omar Amanat sent threatening messages demanding cash in addition to their $27,000 Airbnb agreement. In a twist, Amanat was arrested last week on fraud charges unrelated to the Hamptons incident. [NYT]

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