Looking for a place by the beach? Briar Patch, an 11-acre estate in East Hampton, is on the market for $140 million. First listed last year, it is believed to be the most expensive house for sale in America.
So what do you get for $140 million?
Peter M. Turino, a realtor at Brown Harris Stevens who is listing agent for the Christie’s property, says “the most important attribute” is that the estate has 1,100 feet of waterfront on East Hampton’s Georgica Pond, offering views of the pond and the Atlantic Ocean. “It is very rare here in the Hamptons to be able to gaze out over two bodies of water. It’s water that you can sail on, paddle board, and kayak,” says Turino, who first listed the house last year. “It’s such a treat to be in such a beautiful home and to see this spectacular view.”
The property has been for sale for about nine months, according to StreetEasy.com. Marino declined to comment on whether or not he has received any offers for Briar Patch yet.
Perched atop a sight hill, Briar Patch’s main home is 10,000 square feet, six-bedroom Georgian Revival-style home. It was built in 1931 by Arthur C. Jackson, an architect also responsible for Lasata, Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s childhood summer home in East Hampton. “This is a masterpiece,” says Turino of the main house. “It was built by local East Hampton craftsmen who have been honing their skills for generations.” There also is a 3,500-square-foot, four-bedroom guesthouse on the property, with its own private driveway.
The current owners are Chris Whittle, an education entrepreneur who recently resigned as CEO of Avenues: The World School, a private school chain, and his wife, Priscilla Rattazzi. They purchased the home—which has only been owned by three families in its 80-year history and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places—in 1989. The following year, Briar Patch was completely renovated by architect Peter Marino.
The home includes a teak-bordered pool, a sunken tennis court, hot tub, and a well-outfitted gym on the third floor, of which Marino says, “The gym has the finest view of Georgica Pond of anywhere—it’s very special.” The property is less than 10 minutes from the East Hampton airport, making private helicopter and plane transfers a snap.
According to a report by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Hamptons property sales have recently slumped after a robust first quarter in 2015. The report also revealed that the median home price in the second quarter dropped to $849,000, down 6.5 percent from the first quarter.
Still, earlier this spring hedge fund manager Barry Rosenstein paid $147 million for an 18-acre East Hampton estate, claiming the title of most expensive U.S. home sold. And the Georgica Pond area counts many luminaries such as Steven Spielberg and Ron Perelman as neighbors—and isn’t being admitted into that elite circle worth a nine-figure ticket price?
Laura J. Vogel is a freelance writer and editor based in New York’s Hudson Valley. She has written for the New York Times, Travel + Leisure, and The New York Post.