East Hampton Estate Sale Said To Be Priciest Nationwide


An oceanfront estate on Further Lane in East Hampton Village has reportedly fetched the highest price for a real estate sale of its kind in the country—$147 million—easily besting the $120 million sale of an estate in Greenwich, Connecticut, last month.

Barry Rosenstein of the investment firm Jana Partners is the new owner of the 16-acre property near Two Mile Hollow Beach, according to the New York Post. A spokesman at Jana’s media department declined to comment on the reported transaction, which could not be independently confirmed until a deed is recorded.

The sale reportedly went off without a broker—saving millions in commission—so local real estate professionals also were unable to confirm it. Those contacted said they believed the Post’s account to be true, although one heard conflicting reports about the sale price: $125 million versus $147 million. But even the lower number would be a record-breaker for a single residential purchase.

“This sale on Further Lane sets a new ceiling,” said Judi A. Desiderio, CEO of Town & Country Real Estate in East Hampton. “It’s really great for all of us—he’s made everything around it seem like a bargain.”

The parcel appears to be a combination of three separate lots: 60, 62 and 64 Further Lane. According to the East Hampton Town assessors’ office, the largest of the three, which has an oceanfront house on it, is 62 Further Lane, at 8.6 acres. The other two are 3.7 acres apiece.

The property is zoned for residential lots of at least 160,000 square feet, meaning that the two smaller lots could not be divided further. According to East Hampton Village Deputy Clerk Pamela Bennett, there is a large-lot easement on the largest parcel that would preclude its being divided as well.

Christopher Browne of Tweedy, Browne, a New York investment firm, had owned the property until his death in December 2009.

After Mr. Browne paid $13 million for it in 1997, he and a partner, Andrew Gordon, went on to spend the better part of a decade landscaping it, including putting in several ponds, one complete with jetties and a little island accessible by bridge, according to a 2007 profile in The New York Times.

Mr. Browne died in December 2009. His estate went to Mr. Gordon, Mr. Browne’s family protested, and then Mr. Gordon died last September, with the estate apparently reverting to Mr. Browne’s family.

“Nobody talked about it before it happened,” Ms. Desiderio said of the reported Further Lane sale, whose exact timing is also a mystery. “Everybody was watching it and waiting to find out who was going to have the right to sell it.”

Mr. Rosenstein scored the 29th slot in Forbes’s 2012 list of the 40 highest-earning hedge fund managers, at $140 million. Before founding Jana in 2001, he ran a private equity firm called Sagaponack Partners.

“I think when everyone saw the number of the alleged sale, I think they took a deep breath and said, ‘Wow!’” said East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. when asked to comment this week.

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