John Paulson enters fight against “King of McMansions”

Hedge funder decries developer's plan for mansion in historic district in Southampton

From left: Joe Farrell and John Paulson
From left: Joe Farrell and John Paulson

Joe Farrell, a Hamptons builder dubbed “King of McMansions,” is stirring up a heated backlash with plans to construct a 5,531-square-foot home in a historic Southampton neighborhood.

Hedge fund manager John Paulson, who made his own billions betting on the national housing market collapse and shorting subprime mortgages in 2007, is the latest high-profile opponent to wade into a group of socialites, artists, developers and political family scions that have written letters to the area’s village review board. The home, they collectively say, threatens the character, “peace and tranquility” of the neighborhood.

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The project’s handful of backers, which includes four of the five closest neighbors to the site at 483 Hill Street, countered that Farrell has already made “significant concessions in shape, size, height, location and landscaping to the people most directly affected.”

The five-member Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review will decide on the matter later this month. Beau Robinson, village attorney for the board, told the Wall Street Journal that the group does not comment on pending matters.

Farrell’s Bridgehampton-based company has built roughly 350 homes over the past two decades, 95 percent of which have been in the Hamptons, the Journal reported. [WSJ]Julie Strickland