Spec Pick: Making it in the Big Leagues

We’re days away from the start of the 2017 baseball season. Please excuse us if we chew some sunflower seeds and use some baseball-lingo…

Every once in a while in life you need to swing for the fences. You know, go big or go home? Dream big and try to hit one out of the park.

At Hamptons Speculator you’ll hear our best coaching strategy whether you’re ready for a small double-A project, a triple-A mid-sized project, or the big leagues. This Spec Pick story is about taking off your little league pants and putting on a big league uniform.

This week is a 2 for 1 look at estate planning – Real Estate Planning. If done correctly, when you retire you might just get your name in the Long Island Builders Institute Hall of Fame.

Hamptons Speculator has discovered two prime opportunities. Each are capable of a major league home run …

First up is Simon Harrison’s listing. This Larry River’s Estate Farm House is on 6.5 acres, located at 71 Lower Seven Ponds Rd in Water Mill North..


On deck is Mary Slattery’s of Corcoran. Mary’s 8 acre listing at 27 Lower Seven Ponds Rd is a cottage on the beautiful Lower Seven Pond…


Both of these properties are located in Watermill North and are extremely well priced in terms of land value.

There’s plenty of upside with redevelopment potential here, along with a few big risk factors to consider.

Let’s call time-out for a hard fast realty check.

Development at this level comes with fast ball pitching. With any luck and the right timing, you’ll reach home plate without getting tagged.

Recognizing & Mitigating Special Risk factors.

A quick Zillow search will tell you there’s quite a bit of available inventory.

Even with a great plan, some cutting edge design features, and a careful eye on execution, values in this locale are hard pressed to make it over the $3.25mm. green monster.

It’s also hard to get anyone to take you serious when you’re building north of the highway. Often, 1 to 3-acre plots are not enough to attract any real excitement from the local agents. There are two things you can count on from the average Watermill/Bridgehampton buyer:

A) they’re weary of homes on the North-side priced north of $3mm.

B) it’s next to impossible to trick them into wandering over to a dicey location.

However, if you’re highly competitive by nature, ready for the occasional curve ball, and have great vision, this could be the kind of exciting re-development plan to move you up to super star status.

Now listen close kid…

A 6.5 or 8-acre lot is a lot to work with, excuse the pun. Both properties put themselves into a special class for an extraordinary project.

Take the Simon Harrison property as an example. The prior owner was Artist, Film Maker, and Musician Larry Rivers, who was not only buddies with Miles Davis but is considered the “Godfather” of Pop art. There’s plenty of room for the main residence to include tennis, and a large pool house. Don’t forget to leave enough budget to revamp the current home into a guest cottage, and also include a landscaping makeover. The opportunities are endless.

Mary Slattery’s example is bigger in size and possibly better in terms it’s intimate pond front advantage. That said, some extra consideration might go into a special layout to help capture it’s unique natural vibe.

Either case, imagine the grand slam you could hit with a $1.5m to $2m acquisition cost, and a re-development budget in the ballpark of $3.5 to $4 million.

This example is what a field of dreams might look like. Pictured below.

172 c
172 e
172 d
172 a

172 Cedar, East Hampton is a major league exemplar, a game changer & a developer’s championship ring. (Current Asking Price: $39.0M)

Years ago, the visionary couple that owned Haddonfield & Associates bought a large parcel on the northside of the East Hampton village. At the time it was considered a highly questionable location. As you know, most of Cedar Street is called village fringe. Compared to the unspoiled natural beauty of the big beautiful lots on Bull Path, this part of Cedar was surrounded by dicey real estate.

To counter the naysayers, the developers created a park like setting. A stacked stone entry, and split rail horse paddock as the back-drop produced an old world charm that enhanced the stately curb appeal. They used a masterful layout that incorporated the guest house/office, tennis court, pool & pool house as buffers to hide the main house. The illusion was both captivating and subtle. The minute you entered the property you felt like you were inside your personal zip code.

Later they added a heated barn / exotic car garage as a center piece on the property and then doubled the size of the original home, turning it into a private manner. The cherry on top was a spectacular front facade suited for an owner of a MLB franchise.

Like the magical setting created for the Cedar Street re-development, our Spec Pick(s) might need some help formulating a special theme.

For instance, Simon’s listing comes with a rich history, and calls for an artist retreat. Just adding a main house with tennis and a pool house may not help you make the All-star team.

This property could focus around a world class Art Studio/Guest quarters, surrounded by multiple floral gardens, as well as a full acre of fruit trees or a possible organic farm. To top off the theme, bring back a few of the old out- buildings and include a canning shed for bottling your own peach schnapps, hard apple cider and cranberry jams. Speaking of jams, for some home made music or African drumming around the fire pit at night, try adding a 15 x 20 hidden man cave/music studio to the back of the property.

A major league artist use to own this property, and it’s quite possible a major league celebrity type will want to buy it if executed correctly.

Mary’s listing is uniquely connected to nature like no other property. Since the Pond is the main focal point, like the Cedar Street horse farm, a special theme or a few featured amenities would be extremely beneficial to the overall layout.

In this instance, a contemporary or modern design that incorporates a fitness ranch/retreat, complete with hiking & bike trails. Convert the current home into a super cool guest house/office, and then add lots of other cool features like…

Say you manicured the entire 8 acres, and staged the pond front with kayaks & Stand-up Paddle Board racks. Include a fitness par course that encircles the entire property. You could get creative and add a cute Adirondack ice fishing shed to store all your fishing & winter playground gear. The walk off home run for this one could be it’s own hot yoga studio, that doubles as an indoor/outdoor kettle-bell and spinning studio. What ever the layout, create an environment inviting enough for weekend retreats with a group of friends or a big extended family. Lastly, maybe throw in an outdoor theater for movies at night by the pond.

Caution: This type of planning, staging, or unique design themes cannot be whimsical or contrived. It’s a risky move. Done right, it’ll pay some big dividends. Done incorrectly, it might come off looking as weird as the Neverland Ranch.

Using the Cedar Street example as a redevelopment bench mark…

Given the a) size of these properties b) low land cost and c) the estimated re-development budget, either project could show up in the box score with values of $6.95mm to $10.8mm.

We recommend you consult with a few land planning “umpires”.

  1. Due East Planning in East Hampton.
  2. Land Planning Services in Wainscott.

Like we said, baseball season is fast approaching… now go out there an earn your Pin-$trips.



Categories Spec Picks

Created by Noel Roberts & Dan Gualtieri. The editors deliver a unique blend of hard news, incisive commentary, detailed market reports, and exclusive interviews. When promising opportunities hit the market, we’re there to tell the inside story. Contact us if you'd like to submit a story or discuss a project.

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