The Real Deal New York

Hamptonites: Tear down this mansion

New York City is in a constant state of construction, but for a while now, city-dwellers have been exporting their out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new attitude to the Hamptons. The lack of available lots for new construction means that perfectly good historic and “modest” homes are being razed faster than ever.

Recently, developer and interior designer James Michael Howard made room for a new 11,600-square-foot house in Bridgehampton by destroying an existing four-bedroom house from the 1980s. He paid $3.7 million to “Manchester by the Sea” director Kenneth Lonergan for the right. His new spec house will list for $11.9 million.

Lack of developable land means that historic or simply middle-class homes are disappearing from the Hamptons at a new found speed, according to the New York Times.

Older houses “don’t have the atmosphere people are looking for today and don’t have the light,” Howard told the Times. “Ceilings are low; windows are small.” Newer Hamptons houses have more volume, he added, with “quick and easy access to the outside and a lot of seating areas inside and outside.”

Corcoran’s Gary DePersia is listing Howard’s spec house along with eight other houses on teardown sites. “With the towns buying up open space, that diminishes further the available vacant lots, making teardowns even more viable and important for those who want to build a house.”

“The hedge fund guys buy houses for $40 million and knock them down,” Joe Farrell, a builder who counts about 100 teardowns among the 400 homes he has built in the Hamptons since 1996, told the Times. “People just want new now.”

[NYT]Christopher Cameron