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Traffic into Southampton...a thing of the past

Traffic into Southampton...a thing of the past

Traffic jams in the morning, formerly known as the “Trade Parade” are a thing of the past.    As recently as a year ago (Mar 08), you could leave Manhattan at 6am and get to the Shinnecock Canal by 7:15, then take another 1:15 to get the 6 miles from the canal to Water Mill, all due to traffic congestion trying to get to Southampton and beyond.

Suffolk County did a great job widening the 3 lane CR 39 into 4 lanes, allowing two eastbound lanes to match the two westbound lanes, but the economic slowdown has taken its toll on the number of supply trucks and construction workers coming into the area from the west for the high paying jobs.

Now, the Town of Southampton is looking to lift the building moratorium they enacted along the busy road so they could plan for proper growth.

It seems like taking down the speed limit signs on a closed highway, but…

see the story here6608e

UPDATE: Town Lifts CR-39 Building Ban In Favor Of Sparking Economy





Q & A with Gary DePersia

Gary DePersia

It’s been a tough year for Hamptons real estate. Average sales prices for homes in the Hamptons and the North Fork plummeted 26.8 percent in the third quarter from the same period last year, according to a market report by Prudential Douglas Elliman.
Yet, since August, East Hampton-based Gary DePersia, an associate broker and senior vice president at the Corcoran Group, said he has seen nearly $30 million worth of exclusive listings go into contract.

With $202 million in sales volume this year, DePersia was recently named the nation’s fourth top broker in the “The Real Estate Top 200,” a national ranking and awards event sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, Real Trends and Lore Magazine. A 13-year real estate veteran, DePersia moved to East Hampton from New York City in 1995.

The Real Deal spoke with DePersia to find out how he’s beating the odds.


see complete Q&A here

maslovhierarchyofneeds_01In recent years, many agents learned that the more you work, the better you earn. Those wewre they years when doing business was like being a bear in the middle of a stream during the salmon run. As long as you were there, on a good rock, you could eat to your hearts content.

Today, with business slower, the ‘big bears’ are still nibbling, but many others are ‘shrieking and freaking’ about having nothing to do.

Why not take that free time and put it to good use, helping others?  There are many non-profit organizations, here on the East End that could use our help; civic, church, childrens, family, environmental and animal related.

And doing good feels good! Let’s be grateful for what we have and ‘pass it on’.

For  a list of East End Non-Profit organizations, click here.



This post was inspired by a Selsius Blog post: NAR Must Add Pro Bono Provision to Realtor Code of Ethics  

Thanks for the inspiration, Joe!

County Road 39 & 39A (Rt 27) from Lobster Inn to Mercedes dealer

County Road 39 & 39A (Rt 27) from Lobster Inn to Mercedes dealer

logo261“This month, a new ad hoc advisory committee began to take shape in Southampton to study the future development of the CR 39 corridor. The committee, composed of town residents and civic leaders, will work in conjunction with professional planners hired by the Town of Southampton to chart future development along the roadway. Meanwhile, a town imposed building moratorium remains in place until August 2009. The moratorium has effectively halted all development along the CR 39 corridor for the year as a means of allowing planners to reassess conditions created by the recent road widening and current development.”

see full article below

Task Force Takes A Closer Look At Development And Safety Along County Road 39
Andrea Aurichio

Harry Hurt Dumpster Dives

Harry Hurt Dumpster Dives

Sag Harbor, NY resident Harry Hurt writes books, stories and the Executive Pursuits column for The New York Times.  Much thanks to Harry for sharing on this personal level.  See the entire piece after the quote.

“I happened to be in the throes of a divorce, the marital equivalent of foreclosure. Although I had accepted an all-cash offer for the house from an ostensibly wealthy couple, the buyers had recently postponed the closing date to get the money to complete the purchase by selling some stock. Given the downward trend in the Dow Jones industrial average, I was starting to worry that the sale might fall through.

The prospect was chilling. If I was unable to find another buyer or a year-round renter, my house might end up in foreclosure. And I had already signed a one-year lease on a two-bedroom walk-up apartment near the center of the village, which meant there was no turning back on my move out of Chateau Bow Wow.”

Executive Pursuits

After a Life-Altering Event, Cleaning Out and Moving On

What a great story and EXACTLY what the people want to see public preservation funds used for.

Very often, we don’t know what land/property is available for development until after it is too late and the developer brings down the bulldozer. Cheers to the parties that made this deal happen!!  See story below.

77 Acre Cavett Property in Montauk, NY To Be Preserved

77 Acre Cavett Property in Montauk, NY To Be Preserved




  Tuesday, October 28, 2008 <!– letters · –>  


County Finalizes Joint Purchase Of Cavett Parcels Completing Moorlands Preservation
Aaron Boyd

I saw this classified ad online in a local publication this am and couldn’t resist sharing it.  Contact info changed to protect the sanctity of family life…md
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT/ HOUSEKEEPER/ NANNY– Busy executive relocating to Quogue. Immediate needs: Executive Assistant; Macintosh computer literate. Organize files, schedule phone calls, mail and appointments. Housekeeper; shop, clean house, laundry, light cooking, driver’s license. Nanny; 3 year old. Feed, drive to school, read to and play with child. All positions Monday- Friday, 9-6. References needed, strong work ethic and communication skills. Top compensation and health insurance. Send resume to s&%^$ or call 631-XXX-XXXX.
The Landscape Design teacher to area students at Bridgehampton High School is bringing The Edible Schoolyard concept developed by Alice Waters at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, CA to BHHS.    “Using food systems as a unifying concept, students learn how to grow, harvest and prepare nutritious seasonal produce. Experiences in the kitchen and garden foster a better understanding of how the natural world sustains us, and promote the environmental and social well being of our school community.”  Great stuff, eh?
Judiann Carmack-Fayyaz
Judiann Carmack-Fayyaz

Edible Schoolyard Proposed At Bridgehampton

Posted on 11 September 2008 – Katnryn Menu, The Sag Harbor Express

“More than a decade ago, chef Alice Waters founded the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California sparking a national culinary movement to bring the production of food back in time from the fast, cheap and processed fare of the 1980s and ‘90s to organic methods of cultivation almost abandoned in the fast food age, resulting in healthier foods higher in protein and vitamins.

And now Judiann Carmack-Fayyaz wants to execute the same concept in Bridgehampton.

During a Bridgehampton Union Free School District Board of Education meeting on Monday, September 8, Carmack-Fayyaz presented to the board the concept of creating an Edible Schoolyard at Bridgehampton as a way to further the landscape and environmental design course she leads at the school.

The class would seek to create a garden at the school using the principles of organic and sustainable farming, which Carmack-Fayyaz noted could involve a number of educational disciplines in its execution. She envisions the garden — which she said could be similar to programs developed at the Hayground School and at Sag Harbor Elementary School — ultimately being used by the whole school to promote healthy eating habits and possibly even supply the school’s meal program with fresh fruits and vegetables.

The garden would be designed by the landscape design class with a kitchen garden and greenhouse planned behind the administration and middle school buildings at Bridgehampton, according to a handout provided by Carmack-Fayyaz. At this point, she was simply seeking board approval to move forward with the concept, so students can begin drawing up plans for the project and fundraising. She said it will be the landscape and environmental design class’s main project of the school year.

“Can you grow some herbs for our café,” asked school board vice president Elizabeth Kotz.

The board said they were indeed interested in the idea.

I remember my grandfather, Joe McNamara tending to his garden behind our neighbor Louise’s house in Westhampton in 1962.  Pop-pop was a big man, bigger than life to me. His hands were so big that I could only hold onto one of his giant fingers as we walked from the house to the garden…looking for bunnies that were trying to eat his carrots.

Tomatoes, cauliflower (yuk), cabbage (double yuck), carrots, string beans, zucchini and squash all grew throughout the summer. He tried other things, but tomatoes were always the competition among the “natives” and my pop-pop (the city folk). 

I remember, we once drove over to the north fork and bought the biggest tomato we had ever seen and came back and put it in his garden.  When Harold Luce came over, pop-pop invited him for a walk through the garden and when they came to the tomato, we could hear them yelling from the house. “Lizzie, Lizzie” pop-pop yelled to my grandma, going along with the surprise. Harold was laughing like crazy and he was so excited, he bit off the end of the cigar he always had hanging out of the corner of his mouth.  ” I guess you city-folk can do sumpin’!” said Harold as he tipped his hat to the giant (nofo) tomato…

God, I miss my pop-pop…and his garden.

Here’s a look at what has become of the vegetable garden. I suppose it’s like dressing up our dogs in different clothes for different occasions…

The Vegetable Patch Goes Luxe

Homeowners Hire Experts to Install Lavish
Gardens; Why the Help Gets the Bounty
By ELLEN GAMERMAN, The Wall Street Journal
July 25, 2008; Page W8
I was flattered when Jenn Henn, from the Southampton Press asked me to do a “Lunch With…” interview. I had lunch with writer, Brian Bossetta, last
Publication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Lunch With … Michael Daly

Jun 10, 08 11:28 AM
Michael Daly
Michael Daly, owner of Beach Properties of the Hamptons, talks about the East End real estate market and his real estate blog over lunch at Silver’s in Southampton. Photo by Megan Shaw.

For the last decade, Michael Daly has been one of the top real estate brokers on the East End.

In 1998, he started True North Realty Associates to offer what he calls straightforward, no-nonsense service. Now, Mr. Daly does business as Beach Properties of the Hamptons, having opened the first of three offices in Southampton in 2006. Though focused on Hamptons real estate, the North Haven resident has contacts with other Realtors in Manhattan, across the tri-state area, and in coastal Florida, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and 65 countries around the globe.

He also operates the Hamptons Real Estate Blog, which is dedicated to the Hamptons real estate market.

Mr. Daly recently talked about the real estate market, his blog, and a few other things, over lunch at Silver’s restaurant on Main Street in Southampton Village.



How did you come to know the Hamptons? Did you grow up here?


I’m from the city, but I’ve been a summer kid out here since 1960. My family had a summer cottage in Westhampton where all the kids and moms would come out. I’d leave school as soon as it let out and stay the entire summer. I was one of the luckiest kids in my school.



Since coming out here as a kid, have you noticed over the years that the Hamptons have become more of a year-round community and not just a seasonal community?


Oh, absolutely. I still remember “Tumbleweed Tuesday,” which is what we used to call the Tuesday after Labor Day, because it was said you could see the tumbleweeds blowing down the main streets in the Hamptons because everyone was gone. So much is changing. I think one factor is that with telecommunications as they are today, people have more flexibility with work, which allows more people to stay out here year round.


So, tell me a little about your real estate blog.


Well, I started it in November 2006, and I’ve had more than 62,000 hits. For me, it just became a way of communicating. I looked and saw a lot of blogs coming up, and I didn’t see anything about Hamptons real estate. I’ve had visitors from all over the world. But mostly it’s a way to express myself and to pass on to colleagues and clients what I think is important about Hamptons real estate. And also to be a resource for where to stay or where to go and eat.


Do you enjoy it?


I have fun sometimes, but other times it’s a labor of love. Often, it depends on my time. I’ve tried very hard not to make it a gossip blog, because I think we already have enough of those. And I think gossip can be destructive. So I’ve tried to keep it informative and about real estate.


Well, speaking of, there’s been a lot of talk about the slowing down of the housing market. What, if anything, have you noticed?


Well, I definitely see a change in the market just from the stats alone. The market was down some 40 percent for single-family homes in the first quarter, and a recent report for single-family homes after April indicate they are down 30 percent. That’s for the townships of East Hampton and Southampton, which in my view comprise the Hamptons. But this is definitely the biggest downturn that I’ve seen.



Is there any particular dropoff ?point where you’ve noticed homes going down the most, or staying the same?


I don’t have the exact numbers, except the 30-percent drop in the number of sales. But I think the biggest hit has been on sales between $3 million and $5 million. However, the average sale price is up over $2 million. But that’s due, in part, because we’re still having quite a number of big sales—$10 million, $15 million, $20 million, $25 million sales—and a lesser number of $5 million-and-under sales. So when those smaller sales drop, these bigger ones bring up the average.


When you get up into those high figures—$20 million, $25 million sales—are those people pretty much immune to what’s going on in the market?


I think so. I think that echelon is immune to everything—gas prices, food prices, as well as real estate prices.


Do you see the market picking up again anytime soon?


Well, I’m bullish on the real estate market. I think there are some really terrific values out there right now. I think it’s coming to the point where people are not going to be able to resist getting back in because of the quality of the deals that are available.


So there’s an upside to the slowing market?


Yes. Traditionally, values in the Hamptons don’t drop. They’ll stay flat for a period of time.


Speaking of affordability, I wanted to ask you about affordable housing. As you know, this is a huge issue in town, how to keep much needed middle-income workers in town when the cost of real estate out here is so high. As a Realtor, how do you see affordable housing playing into the real estate market?


I like what’s happening with the whole topic of affordable housing. It’s evolving into workforce housing. I think affordable housing has gotten a bad rap. Especially by “NIMBYism.”


Not in my backyard”?


Yes. Because it often gets attached with the idea of bad neighborhoods, or people who really can’t afford to live there being given handouts, and that sort of thing. But that’s not what the issue is here. It’s about creating an environment for the people who work here to be able to live here, which creates a healthier balance.

I think the community is coming closer to finding answers. I think one of the most practical solutions is to allow for accessory apartments, both commercial and residential mixed use, allowing for some of the office spaces in the villages to be turned into apartments. Sag Harbor, for instance, has a pretty nice balance of commercial spaces downstairs and apartments upstairs.

I think there are a lot of available spaces that could be converted into rental units. And that also helps other people to afford to stay in their homes because that can supplement their mortgage or serve as additional income. Because it’s a real bummer for people who work here to have to commute from far away and sit in traffic. The trade parade as they call it. And if we don’t solve affordable housing, you end up with a community of “haves and have-nots.”



What do you think more affordable housing units would do to the real estate market in general? From a real estate perspective, do you think it would lessen the values of homes in the area?


No, I don’t think it would. I think that’s a knee-jerk reaction—that if you put something up that’s “affordable housing” next to me then my property is going to lose value. If done properly, I think it would actually enhance values. I mean, if you can’t find needed workers, or live in a community where teachers, cops, nurses, assistants can’t afford to live, then, in the end, you’re only hurting your own property values. We need to find a balance.


Have you noticed anything in particular with vacant land sales?

A: It’s interesting. It used to be that land was just land. You’d buy a lot and build a house. But, over the last 10 years, land has become a huge commodity. And there’s less of it. For example, the Community Preservation Fund has greatly reduced the amount of land available to purchase.


Are you a fan of the Community Preservation Fund?






If there’s less land available, does that at all cut into potential sales that Realtors can represent?


No, because preserving land increases the value of the land that is available. It drives values. And, the thing is, we live here too. I live on a 50-acre reserve. I don’t want to see this place paved over.

You know, I resented for a long ?time the notion held by some that ?Realtors are all just money hungry and want to just sell everything. I fought hard to build a relationship between Corcoran and the Peconic Land Trust. We all want to maintain the beauty and the value of where we live. We have more commonalities than we have differences.

I’ve always liked the idea of “doing well by doing good.” Doing good things brings good karma and brings success. I sit on the board of HANFRA, which is the Hamptons North Fork Realtors Association, and we recently gave a Leadership in Conservation Award to Timothy Caufield, the vice president of the Peconic Land Trust, for his efforts to maintain the face of the East End through preservation. They’re a wonderful organization.




What do you enjoy most about real estate?



Well, besides truly enjoying the “art of the deal,” my passion is in working with new and experienced agents in developing their businesses. I teach agents about the four “C’s”: Confidence, Commitment, Contacts, and Closing Skills. I’ve worked with agents who have all the four C’s, but it’s taken them a year or more to make money. Nothing, nothing, nothing, then, boom! It all kicks in and they do fine. That’s a beautiful thing to see and very rewarding.

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