Gurney's Inn
March 28, 2007

Realty Takes

Here and There, Bits and Pieces

The market's not in that bad a shape. Sales down slightly, prices up, units down." That from George Simpson Suffolk Research honcho. For all five East End towns - his chart showed sales comps for the first two months of 2007 as compared to 2006/2005 - unit sales were down 38 percent, median price was up 17 percent, sales dollars were down 5 percent.

George also told us about his new website, a free service for property owners and agents. Visit for "the most accurate comparative pricing" of East End properties available. There are maps, a manual to download and Google-accurate locations. "Assessors might want to go there as well, avoiding grievance issues and the hurt to residents that inaccurate data can create," said Mr. Simpson.

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As promised, the details on the new ownership of the Houses of Sagaponack project - lots, architect, plans, homes - from Prudential Douglas Elliman's Tom MacNiven:

"Builder Richard Rheinhardt, of Reinhardt and O'Brien, and project architect Nilay Oza will build and direct going forward. Nilay has been involved in the project since day one and Rich has been instrumental in the construction of the Shigeru Ban/Dean Maltz house (sold recently), the Calvin Tsao/Zack McKown house (under construction and in contract at a record setting number) and the Henry Smith-Miller/Laurie Hawkinson house, which is slated for completion this fall and available through me (Prudential Douglas Elliman)."

The current pre-completion asking price is $3.75 million. It is the only house currently available for sale. Ed Petrie at Sothebys brought the new buyers to the table and will handle sales of future houses.

Praising Petrie, Tom said that he will still be available to work with interested parties on the "buy side" of transactions.

Something novel, actually cinematic, from Traci Robinson, Corcoran Sag Harbor, who writes about "the limited release in New York on April 13 of feature film . . . Lonely Hearts . . . written and directed by my brother, Todd Robinson starring John Travolta, Salma Hayek, James Gandolfini, Jared Ledo, Scott Caan and Laura Dern and based on events in the life of my grandfather, a homicide detective in Mineola. He was born and raised in Westhampton and retired there in the 1960s. Since it is a local tale, I thought you might have interest in it . . . [scenes were filmed] . . . at my grandfather's house in Westhampton, a location scene at the American Hotel and the final shot at Circle Beach, Sag Harbor with some local talent." Attached was an excellent review from Variety.

We hear the Dalenes, principals of Telemark Builders, have struck a deal with Prudential Douglas Elliman under the name Hamptons Luxury Homes which will go public as in on the stock market! Tell us more, guys.

From Karen Benvenuto of the Hamptons Realty Group, "I enjoy your 'Realty Takes' column every week. I've have always appreciated your straightforward style and perspective, based on experience."

Having said that "Realty Takes" has not recently recognized the Hamptons Realty Group among independently owned firms here on the East End . Karen adds, "Born of Blue Bay Realty. Stan Esposito opened Blue Bay Realty over 30 years ago. I'm pretty sure this qualifies us as the longest established independent real estate firm remaining under its original ownership. Stan is spending the winter at his home in the Dominican Republic. I'm still doing business out of our Springs location (the only real estate office in Springs) where it all began."

Thanks Karen for the reminder.

Melanie Ross - our local success story, the Cook/Pony genius behind the Corcoran buyout - wrote us from Florida, among other things she said, "good stories in some of the listings . . . like the one shared by Michael DeSario and Peter Turino at the Georgica/Briar Patch intersection. Beautiful acreage with an old Georgica Manse . . . borders 17 acres of Nature Conservancy, think it is divided into two or three parcels. House could have some history (not sure) and who wouldn't want to live in Georgica protected by acres of Nature Conservancy land . . ."

And finally some news (a lot more on this next week) from Prudential's Chris Chapin as to Pacific East (mentioned last week in these pages) and the lack of inventory in night club zoned properties - branded 424 in USE lingo - not only in East Hampton, but on the South Fork.

Chris wrote that, "The Pacific East building is by far the best property. The building itself is more than twice the size of the next largest. All the others are cramped and claustrophobic. Pacific East has two bars, a huge floor, an upstairs, and fire exits everywhere; of all the clubs, it is the only one with sufficient off-street parking. Watch for this venue to skyrocket in value over the coming years."

Yes, well, run, everybody and buy one . . . fast, because East End real estate is a very strange business.

The Independent offers a free New Listing of the Week (see page 33). Interested brokers should send a JPEG photo of the property and a WORD document with the listing information. We will feature one each week at no charge. Make sure to include a contact number!

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