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With A Dollop Of Hamptons Gossip
By Barbara Baker - June 3, 2019


The passing of Gus and Judith Leiber last year has opened up the possibility of ownership of their lovely home and impressive grounds in Springs. Purchased in 1956 by the famed handbag designer and venerable abstract artist, the spectacular spread comprises a 4,500-square-foot shingle-style home built in 1910, with three fireplaces, four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths, plus pool, pool house, light-drenched 860-square-foot artist’s studio, glass conservatory, and multiple glorious gardens. Represented by Robert Brody, Leslie Hillel and Judith Mendoza of Halstead, the $3.9 million property sits on 2.16 acres. Made famous by her crystal minaudières, often encrusted with Swarovski crystals and frequently in the shape of animals, Ms. Leiber’s bags cost up to several thousand dollars and have been carried by a number of First Ladies, from Mamie Eisenhower to Hilary Clinton. Mr. Leiber, named “Gerson” and known as “Gus,” was a painter, lithographer and sculptor whose works are in the permanent collections at the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The two, who married in 1946, died within hours of each other last April and are buried together at the Shaarey Pardes Cemetery in Springs. 


You know the one, that giant white Georgian clapboard mansion on the corner of Woods Lane and Main Street in East Hampton with its window boxes adorned with red geraniums in the summer and brightened by elegant white lights during the holidays. It’s for sale, to the tune of $12.5 million. Represented by Douglas Brown and Paul Brennan of Douglas Elliman, the property of the late Fred Mengoni, an Italian-born real estate developer, offers much more than what it appears to be. In addition to being the “you’ve truly arrived” East Hampton Village destination, the nearly 3-acre property offers up a variety of surprises. There’s an entire “hidden” swath to the side and back of the surprisingly expansive property, which is not immediately visible from either Woods or Main. Notable features of the tree-lined property include a pool, pool house, tennis, garage, barn, gazebo and cherry tree allée. And inside the immaculate and quite seldom-used circa-1900, 7,600-square-foot estate, there are seven bedrooms, six full bathrooms and two half-bathrooms, numerous unique fireplaces, loads of imported marble, a pristine chef’s kitchen, guest wings and even a pub-style tavern with rosewood bar. 


The fetching Remsenburg home once owned by  a member of the Entenmann’s family is for sale for $7.5 million, represented by James Saladino and Elaine Hammond of Compass. The waterfront retreat at 28 Ring Neck Road, designed by architect Jay Sears, faces south on Moriches Bay for full sight lines as the sun dunks into the horizon. Expansive views are available from most rooms, and a series of outdoor decks and balconies. The property comes with 186 feet of new bulk heading and a 10-foot mahogany walkway to the water, plus a 14,000 pound high-tide boat lift and jet ski ramps. Additional features include a pool with swim-up bar, pool house, outdoor shower, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and exterior LED landscape lighting. The 9,700-square-foot traditional shingle-style comes with six bedrooms and seven-and-a-half baths and occupies nine-tenths of an acre. It’s protected by a private gated entrance as well as mature landscaping and specimen trees. 


What is perhaps the most memorable and unique home in all of the Hamptons is also on the market, albeit at a much more reasonable price than has been listed in the past. Now priced at just under $8 million (instead of a sky-high aspirational ask of $28 million back in 2013) and represented by Paul Brennan of Douglas Elliman, 5 Paumonok Lane in Bridgehampton is an unforgettable homage to Chinese architecture. Inspired by a love of Asian design, the 5-acre Bridgehampton compound boasts a languid landscape designed by artist Jian Guo Xu featuring thousands of varieties of trees, shrubs and plants — including bamboo, weeping and cherry blossom cultivars; a replica of a 15th-century temple, complete with 40-foot mural painted by a Tibetan artist and 500-year-old entrance doors from the Ming Dynasty, as well as the requisite Buddha; a meandering koi pond with footbridge; tiled paths; two pools; a gazebo; dozens of sculpture and Zen gardens; and a 10,000-square-foot main house chock-full of art and collectibles. Additionally, the seven bedroom home has a master suite with his-and-her bathrooms, entertainment areas and a wine cellar. 


It’s been reported that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his partner Sandra Lee have put one of their homes on the market. The property in question includes a circa-1950s 4,169-square-foot Colonial with six bedrooms and five-and-a-half baths in New Castle that has a duck pond on the grounds. Priced at $2.3 million, the Bittersweet Lane residence is one of three that the couple currently owns — including a home in the Hamptons and a pad in Battery Park City. They are currently also in use of the Governor’s Mansion in Albany. 


Douglas Elliman announced recently that its executive leadership in the Hamptons now includes Todd Bourgard as Regional Executive Manager of Sales and Melody Newberry as Regional Vice President of Marketing and Operations. Bourgard, a licensed broker who manages the firm’s West-of-the-Canal offices, assumes management of the sales strategy and agent support and mentorship. Newberry, who has led the company’s marketing department out East, now oversees operational and administrative functions of Douglas Elliman’s nine South Fork offices. Elliman’s former Regional Vice President of Sales, Carl Benincasa, a former Southampton Town Assistant Attorney, has returned to his legal roots and has hung out his own shingle to practice law. 

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