Haute in the Hamptons

Whether it is the settlers or celebrities, the Bonackers or the blue bloods, surfers or socialites, people seem absolutely captivated by the affluence, beauty, and lore of the East End

By Diane Strecker


The masses have long carried on a love affair with the East End of Long Island. The histories behind the estates, details of their multi-million dollar deals, and dossiers of the prominent dwellers seem to hold people spellbound, mesmerized by tales that rival that of any best selling novel. Celebrities, status, and, most recently, Wall Street money, have increasingly popularized the area. Estates are now famous in their own right, recognized by name alone. In the last few years, values have tripled and with each transfer, the bar is raised a notch higher. The unrelenting demand has transformed the land into some of the most valuable soil on earth. But more importantly, big money, the likes of which even the Hamptons has never seen, is now passing through its gates.

Prices hit $103 million-How much Further can they go?

When one veers from the highway in the village of East Hampton and ducks from the bustle and congestion of summer tourism, life magically conforms to the peace and perfection inside the estate section of the Hamptons. The back road that winds through the low, rolling hills of the country club golf course opens up to the Atlantic Ocean. A long tree-lined stretch runs along the side called Further Lane. A golfer in crisp white cotton swings out on the green. A designer-donned jogger plods by, and the ocean reverberates in the distance. Herein sit some of the East End’s largest and most exclusive estates, tucked securely away behind towering hedgerows and electronic gates. This sought-after street has long been associated with old money, social standing, and early Americana. Properties here convey the essence of East Hampton.

The deMenil-Baron exchange on Further Lane, consisting of 40 acres of vacant land closing for $103,000,000, is the most talked about real estate transaction to ever hit the Hamptons. The sale not only represents the highest-priced piece of residential real estate sold in the Hamptons to date, but one of the highest ever in the entire US. This magnificent oceanfront property, once owned by Adelaide deMenil Carpenter, heiress to the Schlumberger oil fortune, was officially acquired in May by billionaire Wall Street mogul Ron Baron.

Prior to this purchase, Baron already owned 11 acres adjacent to the property, purchased in 2005 for $22,000,000. It was long rumored he was interested in the neighboring deMenil estate, but to his dismay the property was not for sale. When a former tenant of deMenil’s also became interested in acquiring the property, the bidding war began, and talk of offers reaching as high as $80,000,000 and $90,000,000 began circulating through the East End grapevine. After more than a year of speculation, it was confirmed that Baron had raised the ante to the staggering sum even Ms. deMinil could not refuse. And, although the Hamptons is no stranger to multi-million dollar exchanges, this record-breaking deal caused the jaws of even the most seasoned area realtor to drop. It also earned Mr. Baron the title of “land baron,” a title that is not easy to come by. But owning an impressive 51 acres of coveted land on Further Lane most certainly qualifies him for his prestigious title. The astounding transaction made it crystal clear that there is no stopping this market. The land in the Hamptons has imminently turned to gold, leaving many to ask, how much higher can these prices go?