When the developers of the almost complete Bishops Pond subdivision set out to design the first new condominium development in Southampton Village in the last two decades, they wanted to sell more than just a place to live.They wanted to sell luxury.
With approximately 80 percent of the million-dollar apartments and townhouses already off the market, it would appear that they have been attracting those who want to live the Hamptons lifestyle—gorgeous homes, white beaches, and lots of restaurants and shopping—without the hassle of having to maintain a house and property of their own.
“There was a lot of skepticism over whether there was even a demand for this product,” said Steven Dubb, project manager for Bishops Pond. “But we thought there were a lot of people out there who would want the Hamptons lifestyle without having to deal with the maintenance of a big house.
“It turns out, we were right.”
The project is a transformation of the former “Rambo Pit,” which was owned by James H. Rambo Inc. and used as a recycling facility, soil transfer station and for composting. The condominium project on Bishops Lane was first started in 2007, when the Beechwood Organization, the developers, began to apply for zoning and site plan approvals from Southampton Village and Southampton Town.
The Bishop Pond site plan received widespread support from neighbors and local officials—the fact that it removed the Rambo facility, seen by many as a nuisance, helped—and in 2011 it received final approvals from both the town and village. Last year, both municipalities voted to redraw the village boundaries so the entire 13-acre property would fall in Southampton Village.
Construction on the first homes started in early 2013, with the sales office opening in March of that year. As of last week, 55 of the 69 homes were already in contract, Mr. Dubb said, with 15 already finalized and the units ready to move into.
“The demand for these homes was just incredible,” Mr. Dubb said. “It was like nothing we have ever seen before—we have built 6,000 homes in nearly 60 communities across Long Island and New York, and we have never had a sellout like this. It was better than we even thought it would be.”
One person who was not surprised was George Benedict, one of the developers of the property. As a longtime resident of Southampton Village, he said he knows what the area needs, and saw a huge opportunity with this project.
“I was not surprised at all—my partners were, but I wasn’t,” said Mr. Benedict, the father-in-law of Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley. “I have been out here for a long time and I know what the people who come out here like to see, and I was very confident from the start.”
When the project is completed next year, there will be a total of 69 units at Bishops Pond, with 34 villas, or apartments, and 35 townhouses. The smallest unit, which currently sells for approximately $1.1 million, is the upper-level villa, a 2,623-square-foot, four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom apartment equipped with a standard one-car garage and balcony.
The largest option is a 5,033-square-foot, four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom two-story townhouse with the option to create a full finished basement. The townhouse option comes with a porch, patio and a one-car garage, and sells for $2.3 million.
Mr. Dubb said the homes are a good deal in Southampton Village, although he admits that prices like this would be scoffed at elsewhere on Long Island. The new owners are getting finished hardwood floors, trim packages, marble in every bathroom, clawfoot bathtubs, stainless steel appliances, and the use of a planned new clubhouse and pool.
“People here are not trading down in terms of quality,” he said. “What they are getting is a better product that is maintenance-free so that they can turn the key and walk away for the winter if they want to and not have to worry about anything.”
According to Mr. Dubb, the entire maintenance of the 13-acre property will be handled by Bishops Pond. A property manager will make sure that snow is shoveled, grass is watered, flowers taken care of, the new pond on the property is maintained, garbage is carted, and the exterior of the homes is kept pristine.
Another perk, he said, is the concierge service. For an annual fee, the homeowners can take advantage of a concierge who will do as little or as much as they ask, including grocery shopping, waiting around for cable service workers, making reservations and chauffeuring homeowners to and from local locations.
All residents will also have the option of utilizing the 3,800-square-foot clubhouse on site, which will officially open Memorial Day weekend. The clubhouse includes a lounge, fitness room, two covered porches, an outdoor pool, a deck, outdoor tennis courts, billiards, a fire pit and a barbecue area.
The property also features its own sewage treatment plant, disguised as a storage shed, at the front of the property.
This week, Mr. Dubb said the homes are selling to a variety of people, including about 60 percent summer residents, and to many families with children.
“We have created something that Southampton Village will be proud of for a long time,” Mr. Benedict said. “I am proud of it, my grandchildren are proud of it, I think it is becoming the place to live.
“It has turned out really, really nice, and it fits in with the community,” he continued. “When most people build condos and townhouses, they do not use brick fireplaces, they do not use cedar on the roofs, they do not use brick walkways. They do everything as least expensive as possible, the exact opposite of what we do. We tried to make everything as attractive as possible, as if we were going to live here.”