Beach- and Bay-Front Property is Best of Both Worlds
by mike olson
Every morning you can pour a cup of coffee, step onto the deck off of the master suite, and take in the sun rising over the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Later, in the evening, you can watch it set over the rippling waters of Mecox Bay before taking a dip in the heated pool. You would be hard-pressed to find a more idyllic way to spend a summer day. And at this property on Flying Point Road in Water Mill, you can enjoy both from the same house.
This isn’t the first Hamptons estate to have both beachfront and bayfront property, with a dock that can accommodate a boat or jet skis; there are plenty in Westhampton and Quogue. Finding such a property farther out on the East End, however, is beyond rare. “There are no others that I know of right now on the market, which makes it very special,” says Corcoran senior vice president Gary DePersia, the broker in charge of selling this $18.95 million estate. “Having a body of water on each side is very unique.”
Being tucked between the ocean and Mecox Bay also offers something that other locations cannot: solitude. That has been a hallmark of Water Mill since Massachusetts colonists moved to the area in 1640 and constructed the water-powered gristmill that gave the hamlet its name. “When the mill was founded, it attracted a lot of other settlers to the area,” says Ann Lombardo, board president of the Water Mill Museum, located in its namesake, which is one of the oldest commercial buildings still standing on the East End.
Back then, says Lombardo, about 98 percent of this area’s population were farmers, but by the 19th century a few industrious residents were supplementing their income by harvesting ice or oysters, renting rooms to city slickers in need of fresh air, and sailing visitors from one end of Mecox Bay (essentially Route 27) to the same scenic sliver of oceanfront land where the house on Flying Point Road now sits.
While that farmland has found a different use, the same vistas that drew people here centuries ago are still on display at the home. Built in 2005 on one pristine acre, the 5,500-square-foot, five-bedroom manse gives the outdoors center stage, whether it’s with expansive decking that frames a heated gunite pool and spa, the poolside summer kitchen (which has a dumbwaiter to carry groceries up from the garage), the outdoor fireplace, or the elevated private walkway that leads directly to the beach.
Still, none of that can overshadow the interiors. “The house is so tastefully done,” says DePersia. “It’s a very serene interior, so you can relax the moment you walk in.” Of course, stepping onto heated floors while your favorite song plays over the built-in AV system also has a way of calming nerves. And with much of the living area located on the second floor—including the master suite, a sunroom, a great room with a dining area, and a state-of-the-art kitchen—those stunning views are always there to put things in perspective.
Likewise, the sleepy charm of Water Mill only adds to the ambience. “You have tremendous access,” DePersia explains. “It’s very close to a major village, Southampton, and you can go right across the highway into Sag Harbor. You’re not driving miles to visit somewhere else.”
Lombardo appreciates this selling point. To describe it, she paraphrases her friend Terrie Sultan, director of the Parrish Art Museum, which is opening in Water Mill this year. “Terrie calls Water Mill the Switzerland of the Hamptons,” laughs Lombardo. “It’s not East Hampton, which has its own vibe; it’s not Southampton, which is more preppy. It’s kind of neutral.”
This home on Flying Point Road may have a short history compared to that old mill on the other side of the bay, but it still represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Corcoran’s DePersia knows something special when he sees it. “In this price range, under $20 million, there are very few houses that you can just move into and do nothing,” he says, referring to the costly renovations and tear-downs that are common in the area. “To have something in mint condition that you can use immediately, with a dock on the bay and boardwalk to the ocean, is a very unique asset.” Gary DePersia, 51 Main St., East Hampton, 899-0125 or 516-380-0538
photography by jake rajs (exterior)