Montauk beach house built for Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff resurfaces for sale for double what U.S. Marshalls got for it in 2009; its asking price seems crazy given it could be washed away by erosion
Built to the designs of the architect Gene Futterman on what Forbes disparagingly termed a “wind-swept, isolated” plot “on the easternmost edge of New York State, [where] the next stop is Portugal, about 4,500 miles across the Atlantic,” a beach house originally owned by Bernie and Ruth Madoff is once again for sale.
Described once by a Hamptons broker as “a 1980s dump set in a fabulous location,” 216 Old Montauk Highway in Montauk at the tip of New York was sold in 2009 by U.S. Marshalls Services after the sentencing of the orchestrator of the largest ever Ponzi scheme in world history.
Whilst Bernie Madoff rots on a 150-year prison term and his wife exists in relative poverty, his 3,000 square foot former getaway was bought by Broadway producer Daryl Roth and her billionaire real estate investor husband Steven, a man described as a “close confidant of Donald Trump.”
The Roths hired “world renowned architect” Thierry Despont to rid all traces of the Madoffs in 2011 and the resulting creation is a 3,000 square foot home with a two-storey ‘great room,’ 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. It has a free form gunite pool, cabana and 180-foot of direct frontage to the Atlantic ocean.
Offered for sale again in 2018 for the ludicrous figure of £16.5 million, realtors Out East now seek just £14.1 million, but reaction to the listing has been less than enthusiastic. Dealbreaker described the bedrooms as “still prison-sized” whilst Guest of a Guest added: “You can’t get more on the beach than this… But with beach erosion escalating all over Long Island, and Dune Road basically about to fall into the sea, you’d better be okay with the big possibility of losing all your money on this short-term investment.”
The Names & Numbers – 216 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, The Hamptons, New York State, NY 11954, United States of America
September 2020 – For sale at a reduced price of £14.1 million ($17.9 million, €15.3 million or درهم65.7 million) through Out East.
May 2019 – Reduced in price to £15.6 million ($19.9 million, €17 million or درهم73.1 million).
April 2018 – Listed for sale for £16.5 million ($21 million, €17.9 million or درهم77.1 million) through the Corcoran Group, a sum 140% higher than the 2009 sale price.
2011 – Renovated by “Manhattan’s most in-demand architect,” Thierry Despont. Of his work, Forbes remarked: “The Frenchman whose clients include Bill Gates, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, ripped out everything – right down to the studs – to turn the floor plan of the 1982 house upside down. He moved the front entry from the second floor to the first by tearing out a catwalk from the driveway and replacing it with mahogany steps sloping down to the home’s first level. He moved the master bedroom to the second floor. The living room was more of a challenge. The house was built with a vaulted ceiling in the main room that in those big-shouldered, big-haired 1980s years would have been called the ‘great room.’ Despont turned the sharp angles of a cathedral ceiling into a giant curve by creating a barrel vault covered in oak planks that look a bit like a weathered boat hull. The exterior he left much as he found it – contemporary lines, but with a traditional cladding of cedar shingles.”
November 2009 – Sold for 7% above asking price at £7.4 million ($9.4 million, €8 million or درهم34.5 million) to Vorando Realty Trust founder and chairman Steve Roth and his award-winning theatre producer wife Daryl Roth.
September 2009 – Listed for sale for £6.87 million ($8.75 million, €7.47 million or درهم32.13 million), a punchy sum 192% higher than the appraisal figure.
September 2009 – U.S. Marshalls Services appraised the house at £2.4 million ($3 million, €2.6 million or درهم11 million) leading to a mocking New York Post article suggesting: “Those who see Bernard Madoff as an evil purveyor of excess might be disappointed by his beach house: It’s not that palatial. At 3,014 square feet, the home is cottage-size by superrich standards. Its faded furnishings look as old as Madoff’s epic fraud. There’s no garage. Not even a walk-in closet.”
1979 – 1.5-acre site purchased by Bernie and Ruth Madoff for circa $250,000 or the equivalent of £703,000 ($895,000, €764,000 or درهم3.3 million) today.