June 13, 2007
A New Book, Montauk Scuttlebutt and Newcomers
Last week, we mentioned that Lori Barbaria, the top sales agent for Prudential Douglas-Elliman Real Estate in the Hamptons and all of Long Island, has written a book which sounds like How to be Lori Barbaria. (I wish I had read that years ago. How bad can it be raking in those heavy-duty commissions?) In any case:
"Sylvester & Company on Main Street in Sag Harbor invites you on June 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. to the breakout, champagne and tasty book celebration of: ABRACADABRA – Create As You Speak, written by Lori Barbaria. Come and get a signed copy, along with many blessings for living a most magical life."
Good luck, Lori. Your magical success surely is no accident.
Big deals going on in Montauk and the real estate gossip has grabbed the natives' interest, as well. We picked up a buzz at The Dock, a local "resort" (owned by the Watsons, a huge family of siblings and cousins, where it is hard to tell one from the other, they all look so much alike). Residents of all ages drop by to relax. They all seem to know each other, friendly greetings, happy these days to see a familiar face. (If you are lucky you will run into former Assemblyman and local Vietnam war hero, John Behan, who may be presiding at a small table near the window at lunchtime.) So, at The Dock they were buzzing about the alleged Gosman sale:
"No, that fell through," says one insider.
"No, not talking about the first deal," says another. "There's a second."
"That one fell through, too," insists yet another guy, calling out before climbing into his truck parked outside.
Donald Trump is mentioned. $55 million is mentioned. People have big ideas: the town will never let anyone do anything with it, is echoed.
"It's going to family members," says a listener, sitting at the bar.
His is the final comment. With many shrugs that say "Hmmph!" They move on to the Montauk Yacht Club sale, noting:
"A minimum of 85-footers the new owners have placed."
"How many of those are still around?" an old-timer asks shaking his head.
(Unable to reach principals, but I know where to hang out in Montauk when I want the scuttlebutt.)
From yachts to helicopters, Enzo Morabito, "a top real estate guy on the East End who specialized in large deals on the North Fork," writes George Simpson. "He was manager of the Southold office of Prudential Real Estate and now has a helicopter and runs full-page color ads in North Fork newspapers featuring Enzo and copter, that read 'come fly with me.' Chopper Real Estate is now the new thing for the really rich on the East End."
(Yes, well, when I was driving people around, I think there was more risk for the folks buying, than those flying with Enzo. My family always said that was why I sold so many houses. People wanted to get out of the car.)
And talking about Mr. Simpson, below are the numbers promised last week on this page, as to his observations that the high end is holding – "has been about the same in '07, '06, '05" – on the East End.
Before we go there, we observe that the high end of the market is always prime in residential areas. And prime is always less sensitive to market vagaries, right? OK, now the data:
Nine properties sold for over $10 million in the first three months of '07; Nine properties sold for over $10 million in the first three months of '06; Seven properties sold for over $10 million in the first three months of '05; One property sold for over $10 million in the first three months of '04; One property sold for over $10 million in the first three months of '03; 33 properties sold for over $5 million in the first three months of '07; 22 properties sold for over $5 million in the first three months of '06; 23 properties sold for over $5 million in the first three months of '05; 16 properties sold for over $5 million in the first three months of '04; Five properties sold for over $5 million in the first three months of '03.
"Who is Nest Seekers International? Why do they have an office at 150 Main Street in Sag Harbor???" Read the introductory e-mail sent by David Oshman, director of business development for the company. Mr. Oshman writes they are a New York-based company with Global Partnerships and Resources, that has "landed in the Hamptons." He describes Nest Seekers as different from the larger companies that have entered the Hamptons market, merging smaller companies into a vertical-marketing conglomerate.
"We feel that the small companies, and their communities, are best served by remaining local, but have the advantage of a global network of buyers and sellers. The company's mantra is 'Celebrate Real Estate.'"
Welcome to the East End, Nest Seekers. When should we expect your book to come out?
East End real estate columnists? Very strange people.
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