An oceanfront parcel in Sagaponack may break records this year for being one of the cheapest lots sold in the village, fetching around $200,000.
The .6-acre vacant lot at 152 Sandune Court is owned by Southampton Town, which acquired it from Suffolk County. The town put it up for sale with a starting bid of $102,200 on December 10. When bidding closed just a few days later, on Wednesday, December 16, only two bids had been submitted.
One of them was from billionaire real estate developer Lloyd Goldman (who is, incidentally, one of the Gurney’s investors who recently purchased the nearby Panoramic resort in Montauk). Mr. Goldman has an oceanfront home next door to the Sagaponack parcel, and had paid the town $1 for a utility easement in October 2014 to bury his lines underneath the lot. Mr. Goldman submitted a bid of $200,000 for 152 Sandune Court.
The second bid came in slightly higher, at $202,000. It was submitted by H.D.F. LLC, which is tied to Southampton Press publisher Joseph P. Louchheim.
“I saw a legal advertisement that the town was selling an oceanfront lot in Sagaponack with a starting bid of about $102,000,” Mr. Louchheim confirmed on December 17. “I thought it was a typo. I figured, who wouldn’t want to own oceanfront in Sagaponack? So I lobbed in a bid, just for the heck of it.”
Mr. Louchheim’s father, Donald, is mayor of Sagaponack, but the village has had no involvement in the impending land sale.
The lot is not buildable, and it is unclear if there are any covenants on it. However, according to Southampton Town Deputy Supervisor and Chief of Staff Frank Zappone, a constituent called town hall to say that the parcel is a public access point to the beach.
As of December 18, the town attorney could not find any specifications stated in the deed that speaks to this public access. “It doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist,” said Mr. Zappone. There is only one reference to beach access on a survey map, he explained, but it does not clearly state if it is designated for neighboring properties or the public at large. Upon a sale, the town will have to sort out this unknown variable. Mr. Zappone would not detail potential resolutions the town might pursue.
It is not entirely clear why the sale took place over only five business days. Mr. Zappone said the Town Board recommended this time frame, possibly because it wanted to settle the matter before the end of the calendar year.
“It’s a relatively useless piece of property to us,” Mr. Zappone said. “It wasn’t bought with [Community Preservation Fund] money, so it’s not preserved open space. And it’s not farmland, so we’re not benefiting by taking development rights.”
After the bidding was announced, the town contracts department reviewed the two bids to ensure they met all necessary criteria, while the town attorney’s office made sure they lined up with the appraised value of the land. Mr. Zappone said he was not sure what the land’s appraised value was.
The contracts department and attorney’s office then made a recommendation to the Southampton Town Board about whether to reject or accept the bids during an executive session on Thursday, December 17. Board members apparently asked the town attorney’s office to reach out to one of the bidders, said Mr. Zappone, who would not reveal which bidder.
Depending on the response from the bidder, the Town Board will issue a resolution either rejecting or accepting the bid at its meeting on Tuesday, December 22.
If a bid is accepted, the transaction would be one of the cheapest land sales in Sagaponack, which ranked Number 2 on the Forbes list of priciest zip codes in America this year.