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Realty Check

By Zoe Langstrom - September 15, 2017

The Georgica Beach mansion Bill and Hillary Clinton rented in 2011 and 2012 has finally sold after being in contract for almost two years. With its formal furnishings, it must have made a welcome White House substitute for the former First Family. Owned by real estate developer Elie Hirschfeld, the 10,000 square-foot Lily Pond Lane abode sits on a generous acre, 200 feet of which front directly onto the ocean.  Hirschfeld bought the home in 1996 for $3.2 million and totally renovated it in 2002 down to its foundation. The property typically rents for circa $150,000 per month. The $29 million purchase price, down from the $32.2 ask, marks the highest sale so far this year in East Hampton. Listed by Rebekah Baker of Sotheby’s International Realty.

No Mulligan Needed Here
Hall of Fame golfer Raymond Floyd has listed his 10,000 square-foot Shingle-Style Southampton home, dubbed “Mulligan,” for $25M. The gracious estate is bursting with covered porches, brick patios, striped awnings, hydrangeas, specimen trees and rolling lawns. The 12-bedroom main abode offers mirrored gym, wine cellar, and living and dining rooms that open onto back porches overlooking the gardens teeming with fruit trees. There is a separate five-bedroom guest house. Alas, while the Captains Neck Lane compound encompasses 3.25 acres, there is no putting green. Not to worry, there’s a roomy pool and tennis court. And let’s not forget all the world-class courses a swing away. Listing is by Harald Grant of Sotheby’s International Realty.

Armed and Dangerous
Hamptonites escaped summer with no terrorist attacks, but we imagine partygoers felt safer with the deployment of Southampton Town’s 15-strong counter-terrorism squad whose members seemed to be on guard at the season’s every chichi soiree. There they were, as revelers sipped rosé, swathed in bulletproof vests and armed to the gills with automatic weapons – at such elite fundraisers as that for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the James Beard Foundation. While denying that there have been any actual threats, new police chief Steven Skrynecki told BloombergView that, with all the high-profile celebs and liberals in attendance, there was a risk of a lone wolf or even someone from the “ultra right” committing an act of terrorism. If that is true, East Hamptoners beware: your town does not have a counterterrorism unit. Yet.

Ch Ch Ch Changes
Long Island-raised Natalie Lewis has left Douglas Elliman to join Corcoran’s Westhampton Beach office. With a background in interior design and architecture, she has custom built and designed her own homes, an expertise that helps guide her clients. The former actress/model says that “her aesthetic vision helps buyers see the potential of any space.” Her sales awards include that of #2 Agent in Transactions in the Hamptons Region. She speaks fluent Spanish.

Douglas Elliman has named Carl Benincasa as regional vice president of sales for the Hamptons. Benincasa, who has served as an attorney for Southampton Town since 2012, boasts considerable experience in real estate law and the practical management of the real estate industry, particularly in the areas of planning and development. As a partner with Scarola, Benincasa and Mouzakitas, he has led his firm in the areas of acquisition and sales, zoning, financing, contract law and insurance issues relating to real estate.

Gioia DiPaolo has joined Sotheby’s International Realty’s Sag Harbor Office. With 21 years experience in the Hampton’s real estate market as a top producing agent and the last 5 years as Manager of Douglas Elliman, Sag Harbor, Gioia is well regarded by fellow agents and loyal repeat clients/customers. Gioia’s sense of diplomacy was fostered early on as a staff member of a United States Senator in Washington, D.C., her eye for detail and design was honed during her successful career as a clothing designer in Manhattan, selling to Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and the like.

The architects at Manhattan’s Leroy Street Studio have designed several Hamptons projects with the environment in mind. Their Cube House in Westhampton Beach was “conceived of as a floating cube perched on timber piles, hovering over the wetlands.” Located in a flood zone, the structure needed to be raised 11 feet above grade on thin stilts. At Shore House, a private villa in North Haven, they embedded part of the house into the hill, thus improving the property’s insulation and energy efficiency.  A cedar-clad retreat in Westhampton Beach was raised on timber piers to avoid flooding instead of eliminating sensitive tidal wetlands. The folks at Leroy chose to restore native plant life to return the site to its natural state.

Let There Be Light
Decommissioned in 1934, East Hampton’s Cedar Island Lighthouse has suffered at the hands of weather, fire and vandalism ever since. However, “Now, the group Friends of the Cedar Island Lighthouse and the Long Island chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society have plans to turn the county-owned structure into a two-room bed-and-breakfast,” according to the New York Times. Built in 1868, the handsome granite building was a beacon for whaling and other ships for decades. In August the Suffolk County Legislature approved $500,000 for renovations. Lee H. Skolnick Architecture and Design Partnership was granted $166,960 for the exterior work. Skolnick is hoping to get the commission for the interior too. If so, he told the Times: “We get the historic preservation, and then we get to do something really unusual inside that people will be excited to stay in.”

Gimme Shelter
New regulations on Shelter Island that limit the number of days to rent out one’s house to 14 have elicited resistance from some locals. Six homeowners are crying poverty and claiming they might have to abandon their homes for lack of rental income. “I’m paralyzed with anxiety about how to survive the winter,” Julia Weisenberg, one of the homeowners behind a lawsuit to repeal the law, told the New York Post. But those in favor of restricting potential rental revelers have expressed concern that the quaint island might “be another Montauk, and we don’t want that.”

Arrivederci La Parmigiana
After almost half a century, Southamptonites’s favorite trattoria, La Parmigiana, is up for sale. Celestino Gambino, who founded the upscale pizzeria in 1974, died in 2010, but his family just listed the 5,500 square-foot building with Wald Real Estate Associates for $6.85 million. Restaurant rights are included in the sale. Not to fret, you can still chow down on the establishment’s eggplant parmesan until a sales goes through.

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