Model and reality star Kelly Killoren Bensimon’s latest career, as a real estate agent, is possibly even more successful than the other two. The former star of the Real Housewives of New York City and former editor of Elle Accessories has been a member of the Holly Parker Team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate since 2019. This year, she has sold $70 million worth of property, appeared on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, and has $90 million in listings in New York City, the Hamptons, Florida, and even Paris. Now, she is striking out on her own. “I’m so excited to launch Kelly Killoren Bensimon with Douglas Elliman which is a natural progression,” says Bensimon. “Douglas Elliman has proven to be a strategic partner. They are trailblazers in social media, marketing, personal branding, publicity and technology as well as a growing platform with necessary resources to support the growth of my global business. Their connectivity in Europe and across the USA is crucial to my national and international brand. I’m humbled to work with this caliber of publicly traded real estate industry leader.”
Ooops, They Did It Again
Partners in life and work, Bernt Heiberg and Williams Cummings, principals of New York- and Oslo-based Heiberg Cummings Design, just love waving their Scandi magic wands. Their latest project is The Landing, exclusively represented by Saunders agent Stacey Cohen for $4.75 million. The Landing is Heiberg Cummings’ first project on Shelter Island. It’s a boater’s dream, with its own deep-water dock, and, facing west, boasts sensational sunset views from the main rooms.
Set on an acre, the four-bedroom farmhouse has been redone in the exquisite taste the duo is known for, with texture to enliven the mostly monochrome palette. Natural vintage features, such as the reclaimed barnwood floors, complement industrial style, such as the repurposed workbench serving as a kitchen island.
Signature Heiberg Cummings touches, such as the beachy landscaping, exterior gas lights, and outdoor bathtub, enliven the gardens. There’s also a waterside 55’ heated saltwater gunite pool with automatic cover, a pool house with skylit bar, and a fire pit. We can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next.
Fordune in the News
It finally sold. Yep, the largest, most expensive single parcel of land in the Hamptons, known as Jule Pond or Fordune, finally sold for a staggering $105 million. Of course, it took four years to trade, as well as a number of price cuts. Originally the property was asking $175 million. Considering seller Brenda Earl bought the place in 2002 for just $22 million, she made a good profit.
The Water Mill property boasts the longest stretch of private oceanfront in the area — nearly a quarter mile — and a gigantic 42 acres of land. Weighing in at a massive 20,000 square feet, the main house was built by Henry Ford II (grandson of the Ford founder) and erstwhile wife Anne in the late 1950s at a cost of $2.3 million (about $22 million today).
The unnamed buyer hails from a family of American real estate tycoons not based in New York. Considering the giant property could potentially be subdivided, we wonder if said “American real estate family” plans a development there?
Bespoke Real Estate in Water Mill and Ellen Stern at Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty in Rye had the co-exclusive on 90 Jule Pond Drive. Hedgerow Exclusive, a Bridgehampton-based brokerage, advised Stern in the process.
Price it right and buyers will come. This property, also in the Fordune area, took just two weeks to go into contract, with a last ask of $13.95 million. Repped by Pat Petrillo and Dawn Petrillo at Sotheby’s International Realty, the 2.2 acres of rolling green lawns and mature garden overlook open space, farm fields, and the ocean. There’s also deeded access to a pristine stretch of private beach exclusively for Fordune residents.
The house itself, built in 1999, looks fresh and not at all dated. There’s about 8,000 square feet of space, with five bedrooms and six baths. Out back is a 72-foot screen porch, while the lower level contains a media room, a staff bedroom and bath, a laundry room, a massage room, and lots of storage. There’s also a 2.5-car garage that accommodates a golf cart for effortless trips to the beach, and a 50-foot gunite pool placed in full sun. Congrats to the buyers.
Also, in Water Mill (so much news for a tiny hamlet), Donald Trump’s disgraced former campaign manager Paul Manafort has sold his house for slightly more than its asking price. The property, off Jobs Lane in Water Mill, sold for $10.1 million. Susan Breitenbach at Corcoran was the listing agent.
The house itself is a teardown, so the $10 million or so is just for the land, of which there’s 2.37 non-waterfront acres near the bay and ocean. Manafort and wife Kathleen purchased the land in 1994 for just $400,000. But over the years, Manafort spent more than $6 million on renovations and improvements. Outside alone, there’s a tennis court, a swimming pool and spa, two-story pool house, half basketball court, formal gardens and a putting green.
Manafort was sentenced to prison in 2019 and the federal government seized his properties, but President Trump pardoned him last December. In February, a federal judge ruled that Manafort could keep the properties not yet sold by the government, including this one.
The home for more than 50 years of legendary TV personality, author, and raconteur Dick Cavett has sold after four years on the market and many price cuts. One of the Montauk Association houses known as the Seven Sisters, built by McKim, Mead and White, Tick Hall, was first listed back in 2017 for a cool $62 million; the price was then cut to $48.5 million. Finally, it was chopped to $28.5 million; the transaction closed last week for $23.6 million, the highest price in Montauk so far this year. Chris Coleman of Compass had the listing. Krae Van Sickle and Lyla Carter of Saunders represented the buyer.
The 20-acre spread, borders another 170 acres of parkland and includes the 6,500-square-foot residence with over 900 feet of ocean frontage. There’s a private walkway to the sandy ocean beach known as “Cavett’s Cove,” along with a freshwater pond and a lagoon-like swimming pool.
Tick Hall was built in 1882 for Alexander E. Orr, a businessman who was president of New York’s Transit Commission. Tick Hall is the only one of the Seven Sisters with direct ocean frontage. In the 1920s, owner Harrison Tweed bought all the available land down to the ocean, plus additional acreage behind the house. His friends thought he was crazy to blow five dollars per acre on the land.
Cavett purchased from the Tweed family in the late 60s. But sadly, in 1997, Tick Hall caught fire while the roof was being repaired and burned to the ground in a shockingly short amount of time. Cavett and wife Carrie Nye were determined to rebuild exactly how the house had been, and they did, now with up-to-date plumbing and electrical to code. Hopefully the new owners of this wonderful house will love it as much as they did.
Where is the Love?
Not feeling the love so much are Jessie Ding, a vice president at Goldman Sachs, and Ning Jin, a hedge funder. They recently acquired a newly built home on Southampton’s tony Ox Pasture Lane for $21.4 million. Great, right? Except that they’re suing the Southampton Village Board of Architectural Review & Historic Preservation for not approving their plans for a “grand house” on the site of the Southampton Art Deco landmark mansion known as Four Fountains, which they scooped up in late 2019 for $22 million and demolished just a week later.
What the couple tore down was described in a former listing thus: “An heirloom American Art Deco majestic jewel estate [that] has reigned in Southampton for nearly a century. Built in 1928 for Lucian and Ethel Tyng by world-famous architects Peabody, Wilson & Brown….” Subsequent owners include architect Archibald Brown, who loved the house so much he purchased it, as well as the late and chief of CBS, William S. Paley.
Many in the architecture and design field were outraged when the house was demolished. Farewell, Four Fountains. We’ll be interested to see what Ding and Jin put up in its place.