For the umpteenth time, Steve Roth is hoping the stain of Bernie Madoff’s crimes won’t stop a rich buyer from taking their chances at the notorious Ponzi scheme’s former Montauk home.
The Vornado Realty Trust CEO and his wife, Daryl, have put the home at 216 Old Montauk Highway back on the market, Realtor.com reported. The owners are seeking $22.5 million for the property, a 25 percent increase from what they tried to sell it for only two years ago.
The home is sited only 150 feet from the Atlantic Ocean. The Roths have updated the house to include a living room with a stone fireplace, an eat-in kitchen with patio access, a primary bedroom that opens out to a terrace, an outdoor pool with cabana and a gym.
The couple enlisted designer Thierry Despont to update the 3,000-square-foot property. In 2018, they said they were looking to sell because they bought another place close to their East Hampton home for visitors.
The Roths shelled out $9.4 million in 2009 for the home in a sale handled by the U.S. Marshals Service. Proceeds from the sale went toward victims of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Madoff stole $65 billion and was sentenced to 150 years in prison, where he died in 2021.
Madoff reportedly purchased the home in 1980 for $250,000.
The couple has been struggling to sell the property for years, though. They first listed the property in 2018 for $21 million, cutting it to $19.9 million in 2019 and $17.9 million in 2020. The most recent listing price may have less to do with the property and more to do with the rising housing market around the region.
Many of Madoff’s former properties rose in value under the direction of new owners, not because of their connection to the late Ponzi schemer but because of other factors, like home renovations. His Manhattan penthouse — which sold for $8 million — was worth more than $13 million eight years, while his five-bedroom Palm Beach home that sold for $5.6 million grew to be worth more than $12 million.
Another likely factor in the steep appreciation of Madoff’s U.S. properties, however, is the federal government’s habit of lowballing sales of seized assets, which The Real Deal analyzed last year.
Only Madoff’s home in Cap d’Antibes, France, saw comparatively marginal growth in value.
[Realtor.com] — Holden Walter-Warner