“Unsellable” Water Mill home flops at auction

“Island in the Sky” was listed with $3M reserve

984 Noyac Path
984 Noyac Path (Google Maps, Getty)

UPDATED Feb. 7, 2023, 5:25 p.m.

Sotheby’s thought it had found a way to sell an “unsellable” home: auction it with a starting price so low that the land alone is worth a bid.

The former Hamptons home of late Japanese sculptor Setsuo Ito was scheduled to be auctioned last week with a $3 million reserve bid — significantly lower than its listed price of $8 million. But when the submitted bids were all short of the reserve price, the seller rejected them and decided to relist the property for $2.95 million, sources said.

An auction listing that on Friday had proclaimed the property “in contract” has since been taken down. A promotional video remains online.

Dubbed the “Island in the Sky,” the 12,000-square-foot property at 984 Noyac Path is known for its quirks, including serving as the backdrop for the music video of late rapper Notorious B.I.G. ‘s hit single “Juicy” in 1994.

Built in 1993, the property sits on one of the highest elevation points in the area and is surrounded by forest. Ito chose the spot after climbing a hilltop in the area to view a stunning sunset, he told the New York Times in 1994.

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Perhaps the home’s most notable feature is the arrow-shaped pool with an adjacent two-tiered, open steel cage cabana.The five-bedroom, five-bathroom home also has an open gas fireplace, chef’s kitchen, dining atrium, rooftop deck, gym, media room and attached garage.

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Its appeal was, to put it mildly, not universal.

The interior style was described by Laura Euler in The Real Deal as “1980s mall” in her 2021 roundup of unsellable South Fork homes.

“The atrium resembles a food court,” she wrote. “Who doesn’t want to feel like they’ve just treated themselves to some Panda Express while sitting in their Hamptons home?”

Between its aesthetic and its asking price, the home struggled to find a buyer. Ito first put the house on the market in 2007 for a preposterous $30 million. By 2011, he had reduced the price to $10 million, but still there were no takers. Eventually it sold at auction in 2012 for $3 million.

The owner recently spent $1 million on renovations and packaged the original nine-acre lot with the neighboring lot’s six acres.

Sotheby’s International’s Angela Boyer-Stump had the listing. She declined to comment.

Correction: Citing information posted on the auction listing, an earlier version of this story erroneously stated that the property was in contract.

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