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April 20, 2010 UPDATE…

A little known fact is that in mid 2007, Blankfein was in the process of purchasing Old Trees, an estate in Southampton for over of $40M.

Interestingly enough, he backed out of the deal and stayed in his Sagaponack home.

But, guess who stepped in a bought Old Trees a few months later?  That’s right – Paulson.

How many degrees of separation?  md

June 12,2006 Update – SOLD for $9.5M

One of the most difficult things to do in this market is to figure out where prices (values) are.
Seeing median prices fall to 2005 levels doesn’t necessarily mean that properties should be selling for 2005 prices, although it’s clear that buyers would like to see that, if not 2004 or 2003 values.
So, Paulson buys this house in 2006 for $12.75M and has it offered for $1.02 above that price.  The estate areas always hold their values better than other areas, so it makes sens for an offering price…let’s see where it sells…
Paulson Southampton House

Paulson Southampton House

John Paulson in Southampton, Estate of the Day

Paulson bought the home for $12.75 million in 2006 so when he put it on the market in April he priced it at $19.5 million, anticipating a tidy profit. No takers so in late August he dropped the price to $16.9 million. In October he finally got a nibble but he had a buyer with a signed contract walk away from the deal. Paulson really needs to unload this puppy so now it is down to $13.9 million which means he resigned himself to not making a huge profit on the sale.

See whole post here





October 2008

Looking for a Hamptons rental? Try winter.


As economy slides, East End owners pump their homes for off-season cash


A renovated farmhouse at Georgica Beach in East Hampton was rented for the winter.

By Christopher Faherty

Thought the Hamptons rental season was over? Think again. Brokers on the East End are seeing a curious new phenomenon this year. With the economy spiraling downward and Wall Street teetering on the edge, more Hamptons homeowners are looking to supplement their finances by renting out their houses during the winter months.

“There are a great deal more winter and year-round rentals on the market this year,” said Michael Daly, the principal broker at True North Realty Associates. “Home sales and the economy have slowed, and owners are looking for ways to get income out of their properties.”

Daly said there is no real data on winter rentals. But based on newspaper advertisements, he estimated that there has been a tripling of year-round rentals starting this September, and that rental prices have decreased 25 to 33 percent.

The nontraditional rental matrix seems to be paying off for some East End owners.

As the inventory of winter rentals has increased, so has the market for them, some brokers said.

The disproportionate prices between summer (which is high season) and winter can often be a difference between $2,000 and $20,000 a month for the same house.

Off-season rentals are luring renters for varied reasons. In some cases, the winter rentals are taking the place of more expensive vacations or allowing tentative buyers to get a taste of the Hamptons for a cheaper rate. In other cases, it allows those who are doing well in the down economy to escape the city.

“I’ve rented a summer house for the last five years. This year, I felt with the market being the way it is, I’d see what’s out there,” said Mary Miras, 33, a bankruptcy attorney who lives on the Upper East Side and is renting a home this winter in East Hampton for $1,500 a month. “I’m doing this with a girlfriend and another couple; when you split that, it’s like a gym membership, basically.”

Miras, who lives in a one-bedroom apartment in the city, said her business is busy at the moment. She said she’ll use the winter rental to entertain friends and family.

Miras noted that she rents a similar-sized house in East Hampton during the summer with the same friends she is renting with this winter, and they split a rent of $45,000 for the season.

Mary Slattery, an associate broker with Corcoran who has noticed an uptick in winter rentals, said those who are looking for houses in the post-Labor Day market are less interested in the Hamptons social scene than summer renters.

“They don’t come here so they can stand in line for an hour for a cup of coffee at the Golden Pear. They’re more of an outside person,” Slattery said.

Among Slattery’s winter rentals this year was a renovated farmhouse at Georgica Beach that she rented to a 30-something hedge-fund manager who grabs his dog and flees the city on weekends, attracted by the South Fork’s great off-season surfing.

The half-acre property, described by Slattery as “not fancy but really cool,” rents for about $2,500 per month in the winter — and roughly $65,000 for the full summer.

Brokers were in general agreement that year-round rentals, in which renters pay a small charge above the summer rate to keep the property for the entire year, are also on the rise.

George Fontanals, a broker with Brown Harris Stevens in East Hampton, said that many young people in the market to buy are renting year-round and waiting for the market to soften further before pulling the trigger on a purchase.

“It’s hard to say if it’s the right thing to do, because it’s a good time to purchase,” he said.

Karen Benvenuto, a broker with Hamptons Realty Group, said while the number of people searching for winter or year-round rentals may be growing, so is the inventory, because more sellers are renting, waiting for the market to rebound.

It appears that builders of spec houses are also turning to year-round rentals with the softening market. Laraine Hayes, a landlord who rents out six separate homes in East Hampton, said she met a Hamptons spec builder at P.C. Richards as he was buying 13 plasma screen televisions, as part of furnishing a $12 million spec house to rent.

Hayes, who has been renting homes in the Hamptons for 25 years and recently switched with the majority of her tenants to year-round rentals, has one of her properties on the market for $1.499 million but said it may make more sense to rent it rather than sell in the current buyer’s market.

“I’m not very negotiable,” she said. “I need to get this amount, or I make more money renting.”

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

End of an Era on Wall Street: Goodbye to All That

Published: Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 5:21 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 5:21 a.m.

JUST before midnight 10 days ago, as a financial whirlwind tore through Wall Street, someone filched a 75-pound bronze bust of Harry Poulakakos from the vestibule of his landmark saloon on Hanover Square in Manhattan…

Over all, the past quarter-century has redefined the notion of wealth. In 1982, the first year of the Forbes 400 list, it took about $159 million in today’s dollars to make the list; this year, the minimum price of entry was $1.3 billion.   see story here

Howard Lorber -Prudential Douglas Elliman

Howard Lorber -Prudential Douglas Elliman

Such properties “sell quickly,” Prudential Douglas Elliman Chairman Howard Lorber told “Squawk Box’s” Carl Quintanilla, who’s on location for the show in the exclusive New York resort area. “Sometimes we have a bidding war.”

see story here

Spec builders grow cautious in Hamptons


Hamptons developers turn to pre-construction marketing to mitigate expenses


A six-bedroom spec home on 1.5 acres at 493 Parsonage Lane in Sagaponack is still on the market, but builder Joe Farrell said he rented it for $600,000 for the summer.

By Julia Dahl

Speculative building is a risky endeavor almost anywhere. From the initial land purchase to the process of obtaining permits, hiring an architect and overseeing construction, building a home before you have a buyer is not for the faint of heart. In tony spots, like the East End of Long Island, where the price of land has gone up seven-fold in the past 10 years, it can be an even bigger risk.

And a year after the subprime mortgage crisis, it can be downright dangerous.

“I can’t imagine why anyone would go into speculative building right now,” said Walter Molony of the National Association of Realtors.

Nationwide, building is down. Though spec building isn’t broken out from the stats, new housing starts dipped 27 percent from 2007, which was itself a drop of 24 percent from 2006.

However, Michael Davis, a longtime developer of high-end properties in the Hamptons, argued that, “the Hamptons is unique.” Davis, who has already sold one spec home in Southampton this year for $5.9 million, has two others in the works. “If you’re in the right location in the Hamptons,” he said, “demand exceeds supply, even now.”

Still, market watchers are aware that even the Hamptons have not been completely immune to the fluctuations of the national market. In Southampton, for example, the number of new dwelling permits issued so far this year is just over a third of what it was in 2005. Between January and June 2008, the town handed out 62 permits — down from 88 last year, 130 in 2006, and 175 in 2005.

According to Michael Daly, a broker with RE/MAX Beach Properties who also blogs about Hamptons real estate, a select group of developers and builders (including Michael Davis) have been betting on the Hamptons market for decades — and though they may be adjusting their expectations, they certainly aren’t packing it in. Instead, said Daly, some speculative builders have begun marketing their new homes pre-construction, thereby reducing the, well, speculation.

“More and more builders are putting out their products with sophisticated renderings and floorplans, seeking to gauge the level of interest before they start building,” Daly said.

He estimates that there are about one-third fewer “new construction” homes currently on the market in the Hamptons than there were last year. Of those approximately 135 homes, Daly said that about one-third are being offered “pre-construction.” He said that pool of inventory includes 60 percent of the homes on the market with asking prices above $10 million and 42 percent of the homes currently listed between $2 million and $5 million.

In Bridgehampton, for example, one 6,000-square-foot oceanfront property is listed for $22.9 million “total turnkey,” or alternatively for $15.9 million “as is with plans and permits.” In Quogue, a 9,600-square-foot bayfront property with a wine cellar, gym and tennis court on 4.1 acres is being offered pre-construction for $15.5 million.

“Builders are trying to mitigate a bit of their exposure,” said Daly, who points to 35 homes in the area that have been built but not sold.

Bernard Markstein, senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of Home Builders, said “mom-and-pop speculators, the people who got in during the housing boom, have largely shaken out or are licking their wounds trying to figure out what to do with their property. The long-term players, on the other hand, are simply trying not to overextend themselves.”

Custom homebuilder Joe Farrell is one of those long-term players. Farrell, who Daly called “one of the most successful builders in the Hamptons,” said he’s sold eight speculative homes in various stages of pre-construction, at prices ranging from $2.1 million to $18 million, in the last six months.

“One house [is] sitting a little longer than usual, but we ended up renting it for $600,000 for the summer,” Farrell said.

Still, he does admit to being a bit more cautious in the new market. “I’m only buying land if I can get a great deal,” said Farrell.

For his part, Davis said that about one-third of his current business is speculative construction and that the volume of spec homes he’s working on hasn’t changed much in the past year.

“Last year when subprime hit, it sounded as if the real estate market as a whole was going down the tubes,” said Davis. “But I think it’s unfortunate that the press tends to generalize.”

Don Sharkey, the chief building inspector for the town of East Hampton, said building permits overall are “definitely down about 10 percent.” But, he notes, they don’t have data isolating new construction.

Meanwhile, Don Louchheim, the mayor of the Village of Sagaponack, told The Real Deal that the village is currently considering four subdivision proposals, representing about 100 acres total.

The right location, said agents and builders, is key, as are views.

Jeffrey Colle, who has been building and restoring high-end homes in the Hamptons for 30 years, said he is “absolutely as busy” as he was two years ago.

Colle is currently at work on a $40 million spec home in East Hampton, on which he is sparing no expense — from 18th-century fireplaces to bathtubs carved in Italy. The 12,000-square-foot home on Georgica Pond abuts a meadow reserve and will boast an infinity pool, six bedrooms, seven fireplaces and “sunsets that’ll knock your eyes out,” he said.

Colle said he’s already had brokers from Sotheby’s come by, as well as potential buyers from as far away as California and Australia. “I’ve been out here 30 years, and I’ve never seen the top of the market go down,” said Colle.

And that’s good news for other high-end developers like Robert Gianos, who has spent several years preparing to construct a Southampton subdivision that some have dubbed “Billionaire’s Corner.” Nothing like your typical suburban tract home, Gianos’ Olde Towne is reportedly inspired by the look of the village from when it was originally settled in the 1640s. Lots are reportedly priced at between $18 and $22 million.

“He’s building for untouchables,” said Daly, who reasons that since Gianos’ potential buyer won’t care what the price of gas is, the developer needn’t fret over market fluctuations either.

Bobby Gianos

As we first reported over two years ago, on the original Hamptons Real Estate Blog, Robert (Bobby G) Gianos, is in full swing developing Olde Towne on the last large parcel of land in Southampton Village.

Like him, or not; like his project or not, Gianos has focused like a laser beam on this project and has approached in in an undeniable fashion. A great example for all business people to follow. released a piece on Olde Towne: check it out!

Building Olde Towne Tree By Tree, Billionaire By Billionaire
By Andrea Aurichio 



64 lewis road east quogue barn64 lewis road eat quogue 11942 long field view

Farm with forever views. Charming renovated farmhouse with traditional front porch. Out back is a two-story barn with room for horses, a car collection or a fabulous artists studio. The property has more than enough room for pool, tennis and expansion. Barn has studio loft with living/working area and full bath. Wonderful for a family horsefarm. Possible subdivision into three lots as well. Incredible investment opportunity.  Michael Daly 631 525 6000 or   see the listing here

66 watersedge beach66 watersedge private beach66 watersedge house66 watersedge 11937 aerial

Secluded retreat in Barnes Landing on nearly an acre of beautiful deciduous and evergreen trees. A private enclosed gazebo off of the dining room allows you to soak-in the surrounding gardens, and it is just a short walk across the way to your private beach and overlook on Napeague Bay. Just minutes to Amagansett and East Hampton Villages and ocean beaches, yet you have your own private oasis with four bedrooms, three baths, and 2,400 square feet in this magnificent beachfront community. You will love this sun-filled energy-efficient beach home which includes two fireplaces, a wood burning stove, and your own private yard with mature trees and flowering plants. Reduced to $1,295,000. Contact us at 631 525 6000 or

170 Middle Line Hwy southampton pool160 Middle line Hwy, Southampton front

This secluded 4-bedroom/2-bath contemporary is brand new to the market. It is set off the beaten path in the prestigious Deerfield area on a very private wooded two-plus-acre parcel. The first floor consists of three bedrooms and one full bath, and the kitchen and main living area with fireplace are on the second floor with an additional bedroom and full bath. The elevated deck off of the living area provides the perfect place to watch over the beautiful heated gunite pool and raised spa with waterfall. Surrounding the pool is a magnificent Turkish limestone patio with plenty of room for lounging, including a screened-in dining pavilion. Room for tennis. Offered at $1,495,000. Contact Alyra Hoffman 631-276-5960.

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