Gurney's Inn
April 11, 2007

Realty Takes

The Mostly Chapin Column (A Good Deed Unpunished)

Chris Chapin is a long time broker who praises his colleagues. Not a word about himself. Professional generosity, by the way, is not the hallmark in this business unless you have a piece of the action. (In the '90s at Prudential's East Hampton Office - pre-Elliman - Mr. Chapin decided to specialize. He successfully became and advertised himself as a Land Broker, and now has a long list of agents as part of his land division.)

Chris wrote in about co-worker 23-year-old Justin Agnello with less than two years in the business: "He has more exclusives than 99 percent of the agents in the Hamptons. His territory covers the Northwest Woods of East Hampton extending to the Azurest, Ninevah, and Sag Harbor Hills neighborhoods of Sag Harbor. Currently, Justin represents a dozen properties. The average number of exclusive listings held by a real estate agent in the Hamptons is two . . . this means that there are hundreds of real estate agents in the Hamptons who have zero listings."

(Wait a minute! Can a bouquet for one agent, be poison ivy by others in the field?)

Believing Justin will be one of the "top Hamptons agents within a year," Chapin attributes "technology savvy" as one the keys to his success, writing that "Justin is a member of the 'Internet Generation' . . . electronically marketing a property in ways that most agents cannot even imagine. Also, he has learned the latest business practices in college and can put them to use."

I don't know, sure computer savvy, but to me here are the basics for this tough but rewarding business: smarts, hunger, honesty and hard work 24/7. (As a footnote, driving skills help.)

Mr. Chapin also tells about long time Prudential broker Lili Elsis, as "one of the best kept secrets in the industry." He says that Ms. Elsis, also out of their East Hampton office, is the leading ocean/waterfront broker in the business, selling five of such prime product within the recent year.

Now to the state of nightclub zoned properties - use code 424 - the pick-up promised from last week's column. This, too, is Chapin information. He writes (and I edit) that "East of the Shinnecock Canal, the number of properties zoned 'nightclub' has plummeted in the past quarter century. In 1980s, when I was working at Bay Street nightclub in Sag Harbor - now the Bay Street Theater - nightlife options were plentiful"

Gone as well are: LeMans, (now the building houses Pier One Imports); the Triple H, Conscience Point. The Hotel Saint James breathed its last breath in the 1980s. Water Mill's Danceteria, which burned down in 1987, is now the Citarella mall.

(On the Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton Turnpike is a building that for a good portion of the 20th-century was Pinckney's, then Ed's Music Inn, now Azucar Moreno, which is still zoned nightclub as is Tuckahoe Lane's The Tavern.)

In East Hampton: Wainscott's welcoming Montauk Highway discos were the Attic and the Swamp. The Attic site has not been used as a nightclub for years; the Swamp is now the Star Room. On Three Mile Harbor Road: a venue which has been a nightclub since before World War II as Mellowmouth, Hurrah's, Lobster-a-Go-Go, NV-Tsunami, and Resort (the Resort site may be changing zoning). In Amagansett: east of the Farmers' Market, a fairly new building, the restaurant Pacific East (subject of the Sean Combs/P. Diddy rumor which we wrote about last week).

So, outside of Montauk with only two "424" sites in eastern Southampton and the Star Room and Pacific East in East Hampton - we have four viable dancing spots east of the canal . . . down from a dozen in the 1980s. (Yo, Chris, what about The Millstone in Southampton. What a glorious place that was.)

Moving on, Gioia diPaolo, senior vice-president of The Corcoran Group announces E.J. Camp's Images Feature Intimate Celebrity Portraits And Sweeping Natural Landscapes opening Saturday, April 21, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 23 Westwood Drive, Sag Harbor .The opening night party will take place in a newly constructed waterfront home new to the market. Reads the press release, the home is "a perfect marriage of design, nature and lifestyle." There was more, but see for yourselves at web ID # 50117.

Yes, well, perhaps you can't dance, but you can always go to an opening and buy a house at the same time.

East End Real Estate is a very strange business.

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