Like New York City, the Hamptons real estate world has its own cast of colorful characters. Power players like developers Joe Farrell and Michael Davis — responsible for a slew of multi-million dollar spec homes — are without a doubt still on the scene. And top-level brokers like Corcoran’s Tim Davis and Susan Breitenbach and Sotheby’s International Realty’s Harald Grant remain as active as ever. Here are some of the newbies and some more familiar faces, who have big or controversial projects in the works this season.
Bespoke Real Estate
This boutique East End brokerage, launched by brothers and former Corcoran agents, Zach and Cody Vichinsky, 30 and 28 respectively, is the first outfit in the area to exclusively represent for-sale properties worth over $10 million. In addition, the brokerage only lists rental properties worth over $200,000 per season. The firm, which took a group of reporters on a property tour last month, launched in September from an office in Water Mill. The brothers say they use an approach that emphasizes technical land analysis. They also use stylized images captured by a photographer they poached from Architectural Digest. While some area brokers believe this exclusive approach is effective, others doubt that a new firm can thrive while turning away mid-range business.
Jay Bialsky, a frequent collaborator with Bespoke and the head of his eponymous development company, called JBialsky, is making his name at the top of the Hamptons luxury market by building spec homes in highly coveted locations. Bialsky, 48, started the firm more than 20 years ago and has steadily increased its prestige, though the core team has remained small, with six employees. So far his track record is strong: He’s fetching around $20 million per project. Bialsky’s pipeline includes two homes to be built on the former Wooldon Manor property. One is asking $30 million and is located at 20 Gin Lane, the other is at 24 Gin Lane and listed for $25 million. On Parsonage Lane in Sagaponack, the developer is mid-construction on three adjacent modern homes, together constituting a “compound” on 10 acres of reserve asking $59.9 million. His largest project to date is a nine-home Water Mill subdivision called Atlantic Green that was completed in 2001.
Estates by Jeffrey Collé
A well-established Hamptons’ developer who has worked with clients including Alec Baldwin, Donna Karan and Billy Joel, Collé has been back in the news battling with the East Hampton planning board over his subdivision at 55 Wainscott Hollow Road. The project, which will include seven new construction homes, is finally moving forward pending an environmental review. Collé bought the property in 2006 for $26 million from cosmetics magnate Ronald Lauder and originally planned to build a single mansion on the 40 acres. The homes will sit on lots ranging from a half acre to 2.5 acres, with the rest of the land remaining as reserve.