Monday, May 5, 2014

Hamptons Estate Sells for a Record Breaking $147 Million

Hold on to your real estate horses, butter beans, because the New York Post reported yesterday that activist hedge fund fat cat Barry Rosenstein of Jana Partners is all set to shell out a heart-stopping and record shattering $147 million for an 16-acre ocean front estate on Further Lane in East Hampton, NY.

That's right, babies, $147 million, an amount that far exceeds the $120 million paid for Copper Beech Farm in Greenwich, CT a few weeks ago and it makes the $88.3 million or $102 million paid for Suzanne Saperstein's massive Frenchified chateau in Los Angeles looks like real estate child's play.

The three-parcel, street-to-dunes estate had been the home of hard-drinking financier Christopher H. Browne and his man-friend, landscape architect Andrew Gordon. Mister Brown passed in 2009 and after a long and bitter battle with Mister Browne's family, the bulk of his quarter billion dollar-plus estate, including the East Hampton spread and a 6,200+ square foot Park Avenue duplex recently on the market for almost $30 million, was granted to Mister Gordon who himself passed on somewhat unexpectedly last year (2013).

So the scuttlebutt goes, the deal went down off-market and some of the high-end real estate agents in area are livid. According to The Post, an unnamed broker "fumed" that, "It was all very hush-hush" and that, "The trustees of the estate, one would think, have a fiduciary responsibility to get top dollar, which would have happened on an open market." Well, with all due respect, Mister or Miz Unidentified Hamptons Broker but it seems to this  know-nothing property gossip the trustees of the estate did indeed to a pretty damn good job of securing top dollar for property.

If Your Mama was the betting type—and we're not—we'd wager both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly that Mister Rosenstein will raze the existing, multi-winged residence to make way for a much larger and more grand summer residence.

The Post went on to say that billionaire David Geffen had a look-see at the property before settling on the acquisition of the Georgica Pond-front estate being sold by wealthy widow and philanthropist Courtney Sale Ross, a delicious bit of real estate business Your Mama discussed back in the early days of April (2014).

aerial image: Bing


Anonymous said...

Wow..if he does knock it down that's $147M lot. I bet the heirs of the man friend are doing the happy dance.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

So the extended family of some random landscape architect gets $147 million for a property they've most likely never stepped foot on? Nice.

Anonymous said...

his investors paid for it,

I bet by next year he will be brought up on charges of fraud and deceit,

aka bernie madoff 2.0, ;)

Anonymous said...

Lol @ the greedy real estate agents, bitter they didn't get a chance to haul in a fat commission. Love it.

Anonymous said...

The quote from the real estate broker is priceless. Whether or not the "professionals" in the Hamptons could have squeezed another 20m something out of one of these hedgefunders, we'll never know. But it's still the highest price ever paid for a private home in the United States -- and by a big margin. So, yes, by all means, let's haul the executors into court for fiduciary incompetence.

The late Andrew Gordon keeps getting called a landscape architect in these reports, for some reason. He was an architect who liked to garden. Chris Browne, the one with the money, was totally into landscapes and gardens going back to the big property he developed just behind this one on Middle Lane, years before he became involved with Andrew Gordon.

They held onto that until after Chris died, and actually lived there. The house on this property is fairly inconsequential. Revised by them in later years, but still basically the low key ranch that was the summer home of Elizabeth Fondaras, who famously had a Bastille Day party here every July. They supposedly paid 13m for it in 1996, and gave Mrs. Fondaras the right to summer there for some years thereafter. At some point in there, they started developing the landscape, built the pond that can be seen in the aerial and started planting.

Reports keep implying that the Browne heirs sold the property, but I doubt that any of these reporters know who is getting this money. At the time that Andrew Gordon settled with the Browne family members contesting the will, it was reported that the judge upheld the will, which left a large part of the estate to Andrew Gordon. But it also said that a settlement was made with the family. Given that Andrew was quite sick by that time, perhaps that settlement was about what would happen to all that money in the event of his death.

Anonymous said...

If you want to read about their involvement with this property, go to Christopher Mason's website, where you can find the article he originally wrote about it for the New York Times.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, the landscape architect wasn't simply "some random man." He was the long time partner of Christopher Browne, and the two of them spent many years designing and created the exquisitely and extensively landscaped grounds, along with the design and construction of the pond. They then lived in the home TOGETHER as a couple.
Secondly, the heirs were surely not just some random extended family. Estates only go to random extended family when there is no will. He certainly had a will which would mean his heirs were friends and/or family of his choosing.

But could you explain why this is any different then some rich guy marrying some not wealthy, but independtly successful woman with whom he had no children, and willed his house to her. She dies and wills the house to her family. So family of wealthy person inherited property and sold it. Seems quite ordinary to me, and I would say this is generally the way things go when pretty much every ordinary person dies with assets. Only difference here is when rich people are left out of a will they get pissy and sue.

Anonymous said...

You say to-may-toe, I say to-mah-toe. The Gordon architect was still just some random dude who latched onto an old drunk man twice his age for a few years. Didn't even marry and he still got the entire estate. Now his not-wealthy extended family get the whole caboodly a couple years after that.

Maybe it's normal to you, but I call that a pretty sweet and fast deal for the heirs. It's like if my homegurl V. Stiviano inherited Donald Sterling's estate right now and then died a couple years later. Her unknown siblings/other relatives could live like royalty for the rest of their lives. It's a mad, mad, mad... life!

Anonymous said...

Here is the link anonymous 3:09 mentioned in his/her comment. Very helpful to see ground level photos of the landscaping.

Anonymous said...

mama llama, did that $75 million purchase in the Hamptons (you discussed a few months back) ever end up going through? As i recall, some fashion designer, Vince somebody?, was the seller. Tell us mama!!

tom said...


what happened to mama?

Anonymous said...

18 Acres? Unless the property extends well into the ocean, that amount is more inflated than the price.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link Anon 3:09 and Anon 6:04. I hope the new buyer builds the house that they planned for the site and brings the garden to it's full glory.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't some random landscape architect.