Realty Check

By Barbara Baker - September 22, 2020

This year the shoulder season is no more, as droves of second homeowners and pandemic renters have opted to stay in place instead of return to the city.
Sales are up across all segments of the market, and we expect to see some eye-popping numbers by year’s end. And while the traffic continues to worsen, the influx has provided an economic boost. And fingers crossed, the added population will hopefully finally give cell phone providers a serious financial incentive to upgrade essential services.

Home Sweet Home
The East Hampton estate of Life Savers candy heiress June Noble Smith Larkin Gibson is on the market for a whopping $67 million. Located at 30 Spaeth Lane, just off Further Lane and within striking distance of the Maidstone Club, the property was initially priced at $72 million when it came to market but has since been reduced. It comes with a circa-1955 five-bedroom home designed by George Nelson and Gordon Chadwick and 7.7 glorious oceanfront acres, with 333 feet of water frontage. According to the listing, held by Peter Turino and Christopher Burnside of Brown Harris Stevens, the property is very wide and comes with a gross floor area buildability of 15,421 square feet. Designed in the classic shingle style, the house was built for Otto Lucien Spaeth and his wife, Eloise Spaeth. The prominent art collectors housed pieces by Pablo Picasso and Edward Hopper at one time.

Hey ‘Big Spender’
The final home of Broadway and dance legend Gwen Verdon is on the market for $8.95 million in Quogue. The 1.1-acre former U.S. Lifesaving Station, located at 84 Dune Road and listed with Enzo Morabito of Douglas Elliman, comes with 150 feet of oceanfront, a detached bungalow, heated Gunite pool, catwalk to the sandy beach, outdoor shower, wraparound mahogany porch, and lots of history. Originally built in 1870, and used as the Quogue Lifesaving Station until 1915, the five-bedroom, three-bath property was owned by Ms. Verdon until 2000. Updated and renovated with careful attention, details that have been saved and incorporated include the original “U.S. Life Saving Station” sign, a boat room, original flooring and other woodwork, and memorabilia including surfboat designs and antique uniform buttons. Ms. Verdon’s life story was recently made into the miniseries “Fosse/Verdon” starring Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell. Credited as “the best dancer to ever brighten Broadway,” the four-time Tony Award-winner memorably portrayed Lola in “Damn Yankees,” Roxie Hart in “Chicago” and the title role in “Sweet Charity.”

Million Dollar Beach House

Turf Wars
While real estate markets across the country have softened during the 2020 pandemic, the Hamptons have only gotten hotter. Premiering in late August, Netflix has given the region some serious exposure on screens across the nation with its newest reality real estate show, “Million Dollar Beach House.” Featuring five youngish agents from Nestseekers, the limited run series, shot back in the high season of 2020, offers a view into the world of luxury Hamptons real estate. Nestseeker CEO Eddie Shapiro served as an executive producer. The show has received rather negative reviews to date, including Variety who called it “flat and lacking the magic of its more glamorous West Coast cousin, Selling Sunset.” The Daily Beast called it a “Bro-y Nightmare.” This is clearly not the discreet world of the typical high-end Hamptons broker. No official word from Netflix yet on a second season renewal.

Another whopper of a house to hit the market is 115 Beach Lane in Wainscott. Priced at $52 million and represented by Gary DePersia of The Corcoran Group, the 2.55-acre property features a dramatic 11,000-square-foot modern with three separate pavilion spaces by Barnes Coy Architects, 230-plus feet of ocean frontage, uniquely shaped deck and infinity-edge pool, outdoor entertaining spaces galore, fireplaces, outdoor shower, and pretty much everything one would expect from a stun-worthy luxury build.

Fashionably Fierce in Florida
The stylish Miami home of iconic American designer Tommy Hilfiger could be yours for $24.5 million. Located at 605 Ocean Boulevard and represented by Oren Alexander and Isaac Lustgarten of Douglas Elliman, the Golden Beach-based estate sits on .63 oceanfront acres and features a 14,075-square-foot modern manse with 100 feet of secluded sandy beach. An Architectural Digest cover earner, the showstopper, designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard, has seven bedrooms, 8 full and four half-baths, gourmet kitchen, an elevator, two guest apartments, oceanfront infinity pool and beach cabana.

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