The Shinnecock Canal divides the Hamptons into east and west. Shall the twain ever meet? Our panel of real estate experts discusses a step in the right direction.
This new-construction Quogue Mews home, priced at $3.5 million, features a cedar shake roof and siding, clerestory living room, and rotunda details; listed by Marcia Altman/Brown Harris Stevens.
This week our panelists include real estate pros of the west and north— Marcia Altman, Donielle Cardinale, and Jim Saladino—plus builder Michael Burner and developer Mark Hissey. Read on for their thoughts on the differences and developments found west of the canal.
What’s the difference between east and west? Mike Burner: West is more working-class, full-time residents, as opposed to summer residents, with the exception of Quogue, Westhampton Dunes, and Westhampton Beach, which are a little of both. Marcia Altman: The main difference is the commute! It’s 90 minutes at worst from Manhattan, and you just don’t know how long it’ll take to get farther east. Jim Saladino: West of the canal is family-oriented. To take four children in the car and have to go another two hours to drive—it’s like, “Are we there yet, are we there yet?” Families can’t afford something farther out that they want to buy. MB: If you move the houses on Cupsogue Beach five miles east, you’ve gained a million dollars. Donielle Cardinale: If you jump over the Shinnecock, tenfold. On the North Fork, we have a more blended community; people buy weekend homes and come out all year long—for wineries, winter festivals, a different kind of getaway. The north is more quiet money; you have no idea who has and who hasn’t.
If people are coming out here for these attractions, does that mean it’s changing? MB: The village governments have to say, “We want that business. We want to be receptive to new restaurants.” It’s always a struggle to allow development; the people who make those decisions are full-time residents who’ve been there forever. DC: And don’t want change.
Will projects like what Mark is doing with the Hills development raise prices? MB: Mark’s clientele is a group unto themselves, not my average client. My guy makes good money on Wall Street, but he isn’t u?ber-wealthy. Mark Hissey: Judging by initial reactions, it’s going to sell out rapidly at a way higher price point [than the area], but I don’t think it’ll pull up everything else. DC: It’s an entity unto itself. MH: The target market is people who might have a place here but would like to become a member of a beach club. People who’ve never been to the Hamptons have said they’re definitely buying in, people from Beverly Hills and Palm Springs. JS: Will it be like a time-share? MH: I’m not calling it that. DC: We don’t like that word for marketing reasons.
With spectacular bayviews, a private dock, and a heated pool, this five-bedroom contemporary home at 14 Tanners Neck Lane, in Westhampton South, is half the price of comparable properties east of the canal, and with a shorter commute to Manhattan; represented by Douglas Elliman’s Jim Saladino.
Give us a snapshot of the market west of the canal. MA: It’s very healthy, very active. This past year, we hit some milestones: the highestpriced sale ever in Westhampton Beach. It was my listing, $15 million. It would be over $30 million in East Hampton. A lot of the development is tear-downs.
How about the North Fork? DC: Very few people want to build; they just want an escape. They’re not looking to keep up with the Joneses—they don’t care who they are. The Joneses don’t live on the North Fork. You can get waterfront at $1.5 million, a nice enough creek-front home.
Marcia would probably shudder at using the word “creek.” MA: “Canal” sounds better. DC: We tend to attract boaters; they’re more interested in a dock than the beach. MA: Remsenburg has the most waterfront anywhere in the Hamptons. It reminds me of coastal Connecticut.
What are you seeing with your buyers, Jim? JS: They’re getting into Quogue north; prices are going up north of the highway. They’ve rented, and they’re looking to buy. Maybe in Side Harbor, another area. DC: With a cult following. MB: We’re dealing with people who don’t want to buy an old house and redo it. She’s taking care of the kids, which is her full-time job; he’s breaking his butt on Wall Street. They want to build a house, move in, get their interior designer, and they’re done. MH: In this area, we’re becoming very environmentally conscious. It’s a responsible thing to do, maintaining communities the way they are; morally, it’s the right thing.
What’s the best unknown spot out here? J S: I live in Quogue and love the place. It’s a serene little village. MB: I have to tell you, it’s not a secret. MH: I’ve seen really nice places in East Quogue. That pine barrens look is just beautiful. DC: People love that the North Fork is truly an escape, like they step back in time. A completely different vibe.
FROM FAR LEFT MARK HISSEY, senior vice president, Discovery Land Company; discoverylandco.com MICHAEL BURNER, owner, Elderco Inc., 86 Main St., Westhampton Beach, 631-255-4040; elderco.net MARCIA ALTMAN, licensed associate real estate broker, Brown Harris Stevens, 70 Main St., Westhampton Beach, 631-288- 5004; bhsusa.com DONIELLE CARDINALE, associate real estate broker, Daniel Gale Realty, 10095 Main Road, Mattituck, 631-298-0300; danielgale.com JIM SALADINO, licensed real estate salesperson, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 104 Main St., Westhampton Beach, 631-898-2229; elliman.com