King of the Road
Want to purchase your own private road? It’s a very exclusive thoroughfare in a prime location south of the highway in Water Mill, just off tony Cobb Road. The hedge-bordered and tree canopied lane, which is listed at $2.5M by Paul Brennan of Douglas Elliman, is not only quite picturesque but also leads to Mecox Bay where the new owner has the right to build a dock.
Chances are, however, that you don’t want to buy it . . . unless you’re one of the 20 homeowners whose properties radiate off the road or are a close-by neighbor who wants bay access.
The road, called Holly Lane, has been owned by the Padula family for more than 50 years. But while the heirs lay claim to the fee Title of the 1.25-acre parcel, the road’s homeowners are allowed easements to access it. Which begs the question: If they can partake of the road to their hearts’ content, why pony up to pay for it?
The situation is so unusual that Brennan admits he’s never heard the likes of it before. “Somehow a lawyer screwed things up back then,” says Brennan, who maintains that at the time it should have been bought by the homeowners’ association. While a group of homeowners offered to buy it three years ago, heir Warren Padula, refused the offer, which was far below today’s ask.
There’s a very good reason, according to Brennan, that the current homeowners should do it now: control of the aesthetics. An owner can do with the road what he will from taking down the imposing white entry gate to altering the landscaping to “painting the road pink,” say Brennan. “It’s pretty straightforward. If someone besides the homeowners comes and buys it, then they’ll all be sorry they didn’t.”
WHO’S WHO OF HOLLY LANE
A drive to the end of the lane reveals the imposing home that once commanded the entire area. With its grand columns and sweeping lawns spreading down to the bay, the edifice resembles a Southern plantation. That property was purchased in 1959 by Alfred Padula, and the road then was simply his (very long) driveway.
A nearby waterfront property belongs to Kris Fuchs, a philanthropist and former co-founder of Suite NY, a luxury furnishings showroom, who is known for holding pie-eating contests with confections from Tate’s Bake Shop.
At the moment two of the association’s 20 properties are for sale. The sprawling new house at 10 Holly Lane, is described in its listing by Scott Bartlett of Douglas Elliman, as “classic architecture combined with striking Belgian-inspired modern interiors . . . in a park-like private setting with mature landscaping.” Other features include hand-bleached wide-plank oak floors and a 50-foot pergola “to allow for spectacular outdoor entertaining.” $9.75M
The 1.5-acre property at number 64, offers 500 feet of water frontage on both Mecox Bay and Meyer’s Pond. The property features an east-facing sunroom, boat dock, pool, pool house and stunning estuary views. Listed by Tim Davis of Corcoran. $23M