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Oct 18, 2010 12:42 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

The Newest Hamptons Hot Spot

Oct 18, 2010 12:42 PM

Montauk has been hailed as the new hot spot for those who want to escape the bustle of Southampton and East Hampton and embrace the open space and relaxed beach atmosphere that “The End” of the East End has to offer, according to real estate agents who work in the area.

The hamlet has been attracting a lot of interest in its real estate as of late, according to Gary DePersia, a senior vice president for The Corcoran Group in East Hampton.

“Montauk is a whole other little microcosm of a world out there,” said Mr. DePersia. “It’s become very fashionable, there are some really cool spots like Surf Lodge and the Montauk Yacht Club.”

Like other real estate agents in the area, Mr. DePersia said he feels that the market in Montauk has generated a lot of interest with those looking for homes surrounded by the natural beauty of preserved lands in the area. But that interest might not translate to sales of multimillion-dollar homes, according to others.

“It seems to be very busy. We have a lot of people coming out and looking but not a lot of people signing on the dotted line,” said Raymond Hegner, a senior vice president for Corcoran who has sold real estate exclusively in Montauk for the past 40 years.

“Things that are selling now are little houses, not near the beach,”

Mr. Hegner said. In Montauk, homes can be purchased for between $400,000 to $600,000. “At that price it’s just about the price of the land. People can buy a house that’s livable and decide what they want to do after that.”

According to real estate broker Paul Brennan, who works as the area’s managing partner for Prudential Douglas Elliman, Montauk is changing from a lazy beach hideaway to a place that is more chic.

“If you look at it, all of the nightlife has moved out there,” said Mr. Brennan of Montauk’s exploding nightclub and restaurant scene. “What happened to the rest of the hamlets on the East End is now happening. Westhampton had its day, East Hampton had its day, it was the place to be and then [the area] grew up and [it] changed. I think that Montauk has a younger, hipper crowd.”

According to Mr. Brennan, Montauk also has unique zoning allowances regarding hotels and motels that no other hamlet on the East End has. And it also has low density due to a number of preserved areas in the hamlet.

“One of these days someone is going to figure that out,” said Mr. Brennan, who said that he believes that developers can create motels and hotels out of existing large structures. “I think within the next five to 10 years Montauk will change considerably and become more upscale,” he added.

But not everyone is quick to say that Montauk is moving when it comes to real estate sales. Chris Coleman, a Montauk-based Corcoran agent, said that he believes that the number of houses on the market far outweigh the number of actual transactions.

“Inventory has been growing, sales have been moderately steady,” he said, adding that for every five homes he has listed as on the market, he generally can sell only one. “The stuff that is priced right is selling, but I think a lot of people have been misinformed. We’re better off than the Hamptons are, but when you’re reading that the Montauk real estate market is going nuts, look at the transfers. Only 20 houses have traded year to date.”

However, Mr. Coleman said that he recognizes that Montauk is a “very popular town,” especially since it has been getting more press as of late.

But Mr. Hegner said that the area he has sold real estate in for four decades will retain its character in the coming years, regardless of the interest by multimillionaires such as Ralph Lauren, who bought property in the hamlet 10 years ago.

“We’ll never be like them because we don’t have a main street,” said Mr. Hegner as the possibility of Montauk becoming the next East Hampton in terms of high-end luxury stores. “We don’t have Gucci and all those famous stores. It’s not our personality.”

Mr. Hegner added that Montauk also does not have the population to support that specific type of commercial development.

However, Mr. Brennan said he believes that due to the burgeoning interest, especially by those with high profiles, Montauk is definitely on the verge of becoming the next big Hamptons hot spot.

“I think people have always wanted to buy there, any number of people,” he said. “There’s a huge amount of celebrities, they’ve been there. That’s how you know things are changing. They’ve made huge investments in Montauk because they like Montauk.”

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Do you realize you just put Montauk and Hot Spot in the same sentence. That's rich.
By justduckey (58), artist colony on Oct 13, 10 5:52 PM
Duh, every quote is from a real estate salesman!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 13, 10 6:08 PM
Do you also realize that Montauk is not a "Hampton," nor is it in "the Hamptons?"
By BobbyH (44), Southampton/NYC on Oct 13, 10 11:34 PM
Yo, Bobby how's that Geography class coming?
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Oct 26, 10 10:11 PM
When will we get the inevitable follow up article where the fishermen decry the changes?
By Hambone (514), New York on Oct 14, 10 9:02 AM
Si a mi me gusto mucho Montaco "el ULTIMO Hampton!!! Eperando el ferry para llevar muchos tourista de le casino en Connecticut !!
By david h (405), southampton on Oct 21, 10 11:30 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Oct 26, 10 10:12 PM
Montauk is technically in the Town of East Hampton, thus it is in "the Hamptons"
By Harbor at Heart (12), East Hampton on Oct 21, 10 12:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
First of all its "Ditch Plain" not Plains

Second of all in 1852 the trustees of montauk petitioned the state legislature to be incorporated, a repetition of the acts in 1807 and 1808.

So technically, Bobby H is correct and harbor at heart is correct only in the sense that the town of east hampton has been illegally collecting tax from montauk residents for waaaaaaaaaaay, waaaaaaaaay too long.


By Bilge Water (131), East Hampton on Oct 21, 10 1:15 PM
You're the first person I've heard call it 'Ditch Plain", If you are right it's seems no one agrees with you. I tried to find it called Ditch Plain and couldn't.... except here.8-)

From what you're saying this petition must have been approved in 1852? That is interesting, I guess since Montauk never set up a Village Government of any kind, East Hampton Town continued to collect taxes and legislate in the area or the petition is like Ditch Plain and exists only in your head.
Either ...more
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Oct 26, 10 9:59 PM
BTW, you may want to go scrape the S off Plains on the DITCH PLAINS RD sign on the corner of Montauk Hwy. and Ditch Pains Road.
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Oct 26, 10 10:15 PM
Here we go again with ICE and his personal attacks. If you don't like the message, kill the messenger. Right, ICE ? What a MAN !

Think about this. Remember the movie "My Fair Lady ?" the song "The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly On The PLAIN ?"

Ditch Plain is just that. A Plain with drainage ditches, DUH. Perhaps it should be called Ditches Plain ? Brother, are you dumb and you like to broadcast that fact world-wide via the internet. Personally, I admire you for that.

Secondly, ...more
By Bilge Water (131), East Hampton on Oct 27, 10 10:22 AM
ohh thank heaven for 7/11
By asurest (117), easthampton on Oct 21, 10 2:34 PM
A whole lotta article without a whole lotta definitive info...all I really gained from it was a free classified ad for the brokers named.
And I agree...LOVE the 7-11 (NON-sacrcastically).
By trublnocknatmydr (35), East Hampton on Oct 24, 10 3:40 PM
Montauk is becoming "Poser Central" gotta laugh every time i see a beemer or mercedese, land rover with a surfboard on it.

I even seen a guy wax the bottom of his board at Ditch once. Another time i seen a guy go in on a board with no wax whatsoever on the board.

Lots of laughs to be had out there in Montauk.
By Bilge Water (131), East Hampton on Oct 26, 10 8:24 AM
Is there a new definition of poser? I didn't realize that poser status was determined by economic standing and choice of vehicle. Granted there are some posers who drive BMWs, Mercedes and Land Rovers, but it isn't there vehicle which makes them a poser.
You will find more posers at Ditch, because of the spot's hype and it being a mushy slow rolling wave which is easier for beginners. I personally don't surf there, because it's too crowded, mushy and the kooks.
The guys waxing the bottom ...more
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Oct 26, 10 10:09 PM