SELLER: Kelly Bensimon
LOCATION: Further Lane, East Hampton, NY
PRICE: reported to be $10,900,000
SIZE: 5,800 square feet 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms (as per listing)
DESCRIPTION: ...On 1.2 glorious acres close to the ocean and surrounded by historic estate. Four bedrooms, four and one half baths, plus maid's quarters. Large living room with fireplace, country eat-in kitchen with attached family area and fireplace, large playroom, and master bedroom with fireplace and luxurious master bath. Grounds feature sunny, open law area and heated gunite pool. There is also a two car garage and a full basement.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: For better or worse, those damn Real Housewives of New York City can't seem to keep themselves out of the dishy pages of all the tabs and gossip glossies. First we heard that new housewife Kelly Bensimon–whose claim to fame and money comes courtesy of her ex-husband, the wildly successful fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon–beat up on her sexy (and younger looking) boyfriend. Then we heard that the passively snide Countess Luann de Lesseps is being kicked to the curbed by her much older Euro-huzband who's reportedly trading her in for an Ethiopian beehawtcha in Geneva. Next we learned that Ramona–or Ramoner as our sassy gal pal at Scented Glossy Magazines calls her–is being black-balled by some of the concerned parents at her daughter Avery's private parochial school who do not wish to be associated by proxy to the tawdry reality program. And let's not even get started on the chimera that is Alex and Simon who, bless their little Becky Thatcher hearts, are blissfully ignorant of their intolerable pretensions and disturbing delusions of grandeur.
All of which is fascinating stuff if you watch the wild and wonderful reality program that is The Real Housewives of New York City but, of course, has zip to do with real estate. Well hold your horses children because the real estate gossip is starting to roll and this morning, thanks to the fine folks at Page Six in the NY Post, Your Mama learned that former model turned writer/gal about town Kelly Bensimon is looking to unload her house in East Hampton, NY. The NY Post reports an asking price of $10,900,000 for the South of the Highway cedar shingled cottage while listing information shows "Price Upon Request."
Property records indicate that Mister Bensimon purchased this property in August of 1994 for just $750,000. As far as we know from a brief crawl through the interweb, three times wed Mister Bensimon did not couple up with Miz Bensimon until sometime in 1996, so it would seem Miz Bensimon either got the property in their 2006 dee-vorce, or that the couple continues to share usage. Whatever the case, the Bensimon digs sit on 1.2 acres on one of East Hampton's most moneyed lanes.
We're sure some of the children are going piss and moan about how $10,900,000 is far to much for a house like this and that this house would cost about twelve bucks if it was in Nebraska or Alabama or Michigan (or anywhere else besides the Hamptons). Blah blah blah. The fact is, it is located in the high fallutin' Hamptons where the rich and wish they were rich come to bake their booties in the summer sun and plunk down $100 per pound for the legendary lobster salad at Loaves and Fishes in Sagaponack.
None the less, as high as the asking price for this house may be, the Bensimon beach house is, by far, one of the lesser residential lights on the pastorally gliztzy Further Lane where neighbors include Coach CEO Reed Krakoff who recently plunked down $24,000,000 for an historic estate called Lasata and who reportedly floated his recently rehabbed Manhattan townhouse quietly on the market for $52,000,000. Other high profile peeps on the block include hedge hogs Steve Cohen and James Chanos, residual rich comedian Jerry Seinfeld who is reported to have paid piano man Billy Joel around 32 million clams for his ocean front estate, art dealing honcho Larry Gagosian, and lavish living mutual fund financier Ron Baron who reportedly coughed up a rumored, reported, record breaking and wrist wringing $103,000,000 for a 40 acre ocean front property long owned by oil heiress and art patron Adelaide de Menil. Mister Baron, who also owned another Further Lane property for which he paid $23,000,000, was launched into the gossip glossy limelight back in 2003 when he hired private security to keep the gays from cruising in the dunes behind his house.
Anyhoo, listing information indicates Miz Bensimon's residence measures 5,800 square feet and includes 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathroom plus "maid's quarters," a term we wish real estate agents would retire for something more generic and less demeaning sounding like staff quarters.
The exterior of the Bensimon crib was built to fit in with the architectural vernacular of the Hamptons, but the airy interiors are decidedly contemporary with glossily ebonized hardwood floors and a stainless steel kitchen that would have our imperious house gurl Svetlana screaming for a full time assistant whose only job would be to keep all that metal free of fingerprints and dog nose streaks.
In addition to formal living with its row of Palladian style French doors, listing information reveals indicates there is also an eat-in kitchen that flows into a family room with a vaulted ceiling and a brick fireplace, a play room and a first floor master suite with a third fireplace, French doors opening the rear deck, and a large bathroom with what appears to be black marble tile accents.
Although Your Mama finds Miz Bensimon to be impossibly dull, arrogant, childish, and all but inarticulate on The Real Housewives of New York City, we confess that we rather like her kooky taste in day-core. Whether she hauled her too tan booty around to all the good shops in New York or whether she sent out a well paid nice gay decorator to pick out the colossal cowhide ottoman and the big crazy shark that's mounted over the fireplace in the formal living room, we appreciate whimsy and casual sophistication of the the place. This kind of contemporay ain't for everyone, but Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter are sick for white walls and bursts of bright colors in the furniture, art and accessories.
Records and reports indicate Miz Bensimon lives in a 6th floor unit in the fabulous people friendly Police Building on Centre Street in New York City while her ex-huzband occupies a separate apartment on the fourth floor. We're sure this set up is great for the ex-couple's kiddies, but it can't be so great when they run into each other and their respective "dates" in the magnificent lobby of the building.
Real estate in the Hamptons has sort of fallen off a cliff in the last several months due to the economic melt down and financial fracas on Wall Street, so it remains to be seen whether there is a buyer for Miz Bensimon's house who is willing to pay anywhere near her asking price. We shall see.
In other real estate news about those crazy housewives, the soon to be single Countess Luann de Lesseps has also listed her Hamptons hideaway for sale, reportedly with an asking price of $9,500,000.