To Sell Land For A Premium, Or At A Discount?

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On the brink of retirement and considering their long-term financial situation, Tim and Gail Healy put their 4-lot subdivision, which they’ve owned for 30 years, up for sale last week. Located on Accabonac Road in East Hampton, the four 1-acre lots abut their home and are priced at a total of $3.9 million, or $990,000 per parcel.

While the Healys could sell the property on the open market for a premium, they’re considering another route—selling it to East Hampton Town for open space preservation, at a discount, according to associate broker Edward Bruehl with Sotheby’s in East Hampton, who is listing the property.

The market is primed for new construction, but the Healys are hoping the town will make an offer so that the land can be preserved. They have already spoken with Scott Wilson, the town’s director of land acquisition and management.

“[Mr. Wilson] came over here about a week ago,” Mr. Healy said at his home last week. “He indicated that they would be very interested in this kind of property.”

If the deal is ultimately approved, the couple will have to remove their guest cottage and swimming pool to keep the land contiguous open space.

Mr. Wilson reportedly told the Healys that he must first meet with his board of advisers and then with the Town Board to get approval to do an appraisal, which will be the basis for what the town will offer. Mr. Wilson could not be reached for comment.

“We told him to please do see if that’s an alternative, because obviously it would be nice to have it be open space,” said Mr. Healy. A town appraisal is expected in late April or early May.

In the meantime, Mr. Bruehl offered to waive his commission should the town preserve the land. “I believe it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

Still, he is marketing the property in an effort to get the best deal for his clients in the event a deal with the municipality can’t be reached.

“Whether it goes to the town or doesn’t go to the town, I represent the seller,” he said. “They hired me to get the best possible price for the land, so it’s my obligation to do the best possible job I can.”

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