The Real Deal New York

Hamptons Weekly Roundup: Historic Montauk house hits the market, Tina Brown sells Quogue home … & more

August 17, 2016 05:50PM
By Cathaleen Chen

Tina Brown, Naomi Watts and the Shingle Style house at

From left: Tina Brown, Naomi Watts and the Shingle Style house at 153 Deforest Road

Landmark Montauk “Shingle Style” house hits the market for $18.5M

Here’s a quick history lesson: When developer Arthur Benson bought pretty much all of Montauk back in 1879, he created a private club for himself and six of his friends. The resulting seven houses — dubbed the Seven Sisters — along with a central clubhouse now hold historical and architectural importance. (For those who appreciate some good architectural name dropping, they were designed by the esteemed firm McKim, Mead & White and “sited” by Central Park design master Frederick Law Olmsted.) Now one of those “sisters” has hit the market for $18.5 million. The home was originally owned by William Andrews, the founder of Grolier Club, a private bibliophile club on East 60th Street. The 3,800-square-foot home was rebuilt in the 1990s and is being marketed by Douglas Elliman. Meanwhile, in June, the East Hampton Star reported that hotelier Sean MacPherson — whose portfolio of hotels includes the trendy Crow’s Nest in Montauk — had a plan before the local zoning board to reconstruct the clubhouse, which burned down in the 1930s, as a private home. [Curbed] & [EHS]

Tina Brown and Sir Harold Evans bid farewell to Quogue home

Summer may be ending early for one media power couple in the Hamptons. Former publishing executive Sir Harold Evans and Tina Brown — former editor of Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and the Daily Beast — just sold their long-time Quogue home for nearly $8.6 million, 27East reported. The 6,000-square-foot oceanfront Dune Road property has a guesthouse as well. Evans and Brown have had a long love affair with the South Fork. In 1981, they were married at the famed East Hampton home known as Grey Gardens — where Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ reclusive relatives once lived. They bought their Quogue residence three years later in 1984. The house was first listed for $12 million in 2014. [27East] & [Curbed]

Montauk Yacht Club owner Andrew Farkas hits social scene

Fresh off a divorce, real estate mogul Andrew Farkas, the founder of real estate merchant bank Island Capital Group, seems to be on the single’s scene, at least according to the New York Post. Farkas — whose firm owns controlling interests in $180 billion in assets (including the East End’s Montauk Yacht Club) — was recently spotted with a 22-year-old college student from his alma mater, Harvard, on the East End. The mogul has a home in North Haven and his ex-wife Sandi recently bought a house in Sag Harbor. The former couple also recently listed their Upper East Side townhouse for $42.5 million. [TRD]

For one Sag Harbor property owner, it’s go big and go home

Sag Harbor Village officials are allowing a new house to continue its application approval process — despite the fact that it’s larger than the limit of 4,000 square feet that the town set in March. The owner wants to build a roughly 5,300-square-foot home in the increasingly popular Ninevah Beach neighborhood. Speaking in front of the village board, the homeowner’s architect Peter Cook argued that because the proposed home is on two merged lots that total 44,751 square feet it should be allowed to move forward. Cook said that the space could easily fit two 3,700-square-foot houses. He said the home was in keeping with the scale of the neighborhood. Opponents, however, disagreed, saying that average home sizes are far smaller and that allowing an exception to the new size limits sets a dangerous precedent. But the house still needs a thumbs-up from the Architectural Review Board. Until then the battle continues.  [East Hampton Star]

In stuffier news … bonds away for East Hampton!

It may not be as glamorous as a high-profile celebrity home buy, but a move by East Hampton to sell $23 million of bonds could impact real estate values in the tony town. The bond offering follows an upgrade in the town’s investment grade, making it cheaper to borrow money. Some of that money is going to upgrades for beaches, improvements to a dock in Montauk and the purchase of storage sheds for lifeguards. But if the economy sours, the town — which draws on its tax revenue to pay off the bonds — could be financially pinched. And there are still plenty of wild cards for the economy and housing markets, especially with an expected drop of Wall Street bonuses this year. “What does that mean for the purchasing of second homes and property values?” Howard Cure, head of municipal research in New York at Evercore Wealth Management was quoted saying by Bloomberg. “How vulnerable is East Hampton to declines in the New York metropolitan area economy?” [Bloomberg]

Watts and Schreiber plunk down $5.4M for Montauk house

Hollywood couple Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber recently acquired a 3,500-square-foot Montauk home on a half-acre property with ocean views. The move comes months after the award-winning actors, who have two sons together, listed their larger 5,302-square-foot Amagansett residence for $5.85 million. That property is still on the market, but at the reduced priced of $5.25 million. How much time the duo actually spends at the new Montauk house remains to be seen given their busy acting schedules. Schreiber plays the lead role in Showtime’s hit show “Ray Donovan,” while Watts is in the midst of several projects. But they have a relatively new NYC abode — recently featured by Architectural Digest — if they can’t make it to the East End. [Realtor] & [Architectural Digest]

East Enders insist the North Fork will never be the Hamptons

The North Fork will never turn into the kind of ultra-trendy, ultra-wealthy and ultra-crowded haven that the South Fork has become, a panel of East End builders, brokers, and designers concluded. “People ask me all the time, ‘Is the North Fork going to turn into the Hamptons?’ Absolutely not, because the people who are coming over from the Hamptons are coming because they want the North Fork to remain the way it is,” Brown Harris Stevens broker Marcia Altman told Hamptons Magazine. Still, homeowners there are selling for big profits and more South Fork residents are switching forks. “If I am going to put my money somewhere, I would prefer to put it in one of these up-and-coming areas than something that has already popped,” Altman said. [HM]

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