With a Dollop of Hamptons Gossip
Who’s the Mystery Buyer?
At time of writing, we nosy sorts know that Matt Lauer has found a buyer for Strongheart, the gorgeous old North Haven estate he himself purchased from Richard Gere for $36.5 million in 2016. Lauer’s last ask for the property was $43.99 million, listed with Corcoran’s Susan Breitenbach. We’ve heard that a certain entertainment host/mogul was interested in Strongheart, but so far everyone involved is keeping mum. Well, that’s no fun.
Welcome to the Hamptons, Stewart and Jen!
Two deep-pocketed entrepreneurs have picked up the lovely old Grosvenor Atterbury on Coopers Neck Lane in Southampton’s estate section. Basically three doors from the Atlantic Ocean, the house sold for $32.2 million to Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and CEO of messaging company Slack, and Jen Rubio, co-founder and CEO of Away, a luggage manufacturer. The property was repped by Bespoke Real Estate and Christopher Burnside at Brown Harris Stevens. Harald Grant of Sotheby’s brought the buyers.
Grosvenor Atterbury designed this house in 1910, the epitome of a Southampton estate, from the rolling green lawns to the rambling old house. The property was originally listed for sale back in 2007 for $24 million and spent the next few years on and off the market, generally with the price dropping. In 2015, the house sold for $15 million, and in 2019, the house sold for $11.6 million to Damian Walentas, the real-estate developer who built most of Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood.
Walentas renovated the interior into a modern minimalist style. He also enlarged the house from its formerly skimpy 14,000 square feet to 17,500 square feet. Now, the house sports 11 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, and 2 powder rooms as well as a new solarium, apparently dedicated to fitness. Walentas also added a tennis court, new garage and pool house. He removed the old pool and pool house, moving the pool closer to the house. Walentas plans to donate his profit from the sale to the University of Virginia, his alma mater.
Speaking of Developers…
Let’s chat about Carl Fisher! Seems like he’s always popping up in East End news. East Hampton purchased his own Montauk house for the Montauk Historical Society. Just recently a very cute original Carl Fisher Tudor mini-compound has been listed in Montauk. Back when Fisher was in the throes of his grandiose plans for Montauk, he built modest homes in a section of town still known as Shepherds Neck, complete with grazing sheep, for the maids, porters, and croupiers to work in his establishments.
No doubt Fisher would be amazed to find out that the asking price for the house, $2.15 million, is almost as much as he paid for the entire town in 1925. Today these quaint old buildings are prized. The property, which has been recently renovated, is available via Victoria Blanco Freel at Brown Harris Stevens. There are 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, in two cottages set on 0.33 of an acre.
The updated grounds include multiple patios and sitting areas outside, as well as a new Gunite pool, an outdoor shower and a shed for surfboards, beach chairs, bikes, and fishing poles. Both cottages feel airy and light, with fresh white paint, new kitchens and baths, and multiple sleeping areas.
Auf Weidersehen, Helmut — Oh, You’re Here for Two More Years?
Fashion designer Helmut Lang has sold the last two parcels of his oceanfront East Hampton estate to his neighbors. But handily, Lang has the right to remain in the house for two more years. Nice!
Back in 1999, Lang purchased three oceanfront parcels on Tyson Lane. He paid $15.5 million for them, reportedly outbidding Jerry Seinfeld for the property. Two of the parcels are oceanfront, although strictly speaking, there are 8 acres of dunes in front of the parcels that belong to the Nature Conservancy.
In 2020, one parcel, a vacant flag lot, 0.84 of an acre, not oceanfront, was sold to his next door neighbor, John B. Hess of the eponymous energy company, for $9 million. The two other parcels have just recently been sold to Hess and to another neighbor, Howard Marks. They add up to about $70 million. Marks, of Oaktree Capital, paid about $40 million for 1.6 acres of land, with three outbuildings on it, including a guest house and a garage. Marks now owns an impressive 8.3 acres.
Hess paid around $30 million for about 1.1 acres, which includes Lang’s main house on it, and is apparently OK with Lang continuing to occupy the house for the next two years. Depending on what Hess wants to do with the property — build another house? — two years is actually not much time when it comes to East Hampton Village approvals for building work. Hess’s combined landholdings add up to 5.1 acres.
A New Hostelry in Southold
Want to avoid East End traffic summer? You don’t have to drive or take the train to The Shoals in Southold. You can arrive via your boat. The Shoals, which includes 20 suites and 20 boat slips, is located on Peconic Bay. As a marina-front property, or boatel, it is complete with docks for guests. Stay for a day or longer, and check out nearby beaches, restaurants and vineyards — all the best the North Fork has to offer. Just faster, via water.
Hamptons Hot Streak Continues in Hotel Sector
KSL Capital Partners has just purchased the 96-key Marram in Montauk for $78.5 million from Bridgeton Holdings. Bridgeton listed the resort at 21 Oceanview Terrace late last year. Limited supply and heavy zoning restrictions mean that no new hotels are being built in the area, which makes the sector attractive to investment dollars.
In 2018, Bridgeton acquired the former 1960s Atlantic Terrace Motel for $32.5 million. It renovated the property, adding a new on-site café. After opening the new facility, the town of East Hampton sued the resort for converting a bar and snack areas to a full-service restaurant; the suit was settled last year.
Holiday House Hamptons
Following up on the success of last summer’s Table Top event at Topping Rose, Holiday House is once again coming together in a benefit for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Join Holiday House founder and breast cancer survivor Iris Danker for an evening of tablescape décor, created by top designers in the industry. Crafted cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres will be served at the casually chic Topping Rose located in Bridgehampton. This annual event will be held on Wednesday, July 20. Tickets can be purchased in advance at HolidayHouseHamptons.com.
“A Family Affair”
Al and Mary Gianquinto, founders of Plum Builders and the creators of The Modern Barn® are handing over the reins of all major building operations to their son Oliver Gianquinto. The 5th generation Modern Barn® at 12 Eileen’s Path in East Hampton is soon to be completed with “Ollie” at the helm. Oliver is a graduate of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Growing up in the Hamptons building industry, Oliver has a special appreciation for the area and an encyclopedic knowledge of the building process. “Our control over the build and design process contributes to the level of customization and value that no other builder can offer,” he says. Oliver continues to bring the tradition of trust and confidence for the next generation of luxury Hamptons homes by Plum Builders.