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Jun 18, 2012 5:00 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: New Owner Of Former Library Building Is Former Goldman Sachs Partner

Jun 19, 2012 1:24 PM


Jonathan S. Sobel of Manhattan is the owner of Ajax Holdings LLC, according to the New York State Department of State. Mr. Sobel is a former Goldman Sachs partner and recently purchased the BMW and Mini of Southampton dealership on Montauk Highway as well as the Audi Dealership on County Road 39. Mr. Sobel has also been a longtime supporter of the Parrish Art Museum and his wife is currently a museum trustee.

According to the Parrish Art Museum Public Relations Director Mark Segal, Mr. Sobel is leasing the building back to the museum for $1 so it can continue using it until the move to the new building in Water Mill is completed.


The Parrish Art Museum’s Carroll Petrie Center for Education building, located at 11 Jobs Lane—the historic original home of the Rogers Memorial Library—has been sold for $2.875 million.

According to the Long Island Real Estate Review, the sale was closed on April 30 and recorded on May 15.

Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley said today that while it is unknown what will become of the building, the new owner, Ajax Holdings LLC., plans to restore the structure and do “what’s right for the village.”

In 2000, the Parrish Art Museum bought the century-old building from the Rogers Memorial Library, which had relocated to its current building on Windmill Lane, for $1.1 million. Museum board member Carroll Petrie donated $3 million to offset the cost of the purchase and to renovate the structure.

Since then, the building has been used for the art museum’s educational programs.

“We bought the building when we were planning on staying here in the village and expanding,” said Parrish Art Museum Director Terrie Sultan. “The idea was that we would renovate the 25 Jobs Lane [building], and expand on site, and create a mini-campus where various parts would be presented in high-quality facilities.”

Ms. Sultan said after the proposal was rejected by the village and museum officials decided to build “from the ground up” in Water Mill, it was important to make sure the educational program, permanent exhibition and the special exhibition went together under one roof.

As a historic building, 11 Jobs Lane has myriad covenants placed on it which aim to protect the facade, Mr. Epley said. The covenants allow for renovation or complete replacement, but only in an effort to duplicate what exists.

“When the library occupied [the building], it was in bad shape,” the mayor said. “I can only imagine what it’s like after another 12 to 13 years with no improvements on the building. It needs significant restoration.”

Mayor Epley said the building’s roof, windows and siding are in rough shape, and that handicap accessibility is an issue.

“The building now has a very enthusiastic property owner who’s going to restore the building to its original charm and create activity in the space that’s been relatively dormant,” he added. “I’m excited.”

The Parrish Art Museum has until January 1, 2013, to vacate the building, according to the president of the Morley Agency, Morley Quatroche Jr. Mr. Quatroche said his real estate agency now has the task of finding a tenant for the building once the renovations are complete, but he said he could not say what use the new owners are planning and would not identify them.

Mayor Epley said that he met with the buyer in the spring and walked the property and talked about the building’s history and how important it is to keep Southampton Village’s traditions going, such as the lighting of the Menorah each Hanukkah, and the village’s use of the northwest corner of the property as green space where a variety of activities have taken place in past years.

Although he said he doesn’t know what kind of business the new owner wants to introduce, Mayor Epley said it will most likely end up as a retail store with office space upstairs.

“I’m happy it’s going to be taken care of, and I’m ecstatic that it’s going to be restored,” he said. “To me, it’s all about activity.”

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Great, another Bank- Real Estate Office
By DJ9222 (85), southampton on Jun 18, 12 6:34 PM
What could people do with that popular corner? Will I still be able to sit on the Library wall? could I meet my friend there after hours? like the olden days?
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Jun 18, 12 8:05 PM
Nah, they'll screw it up just like sled riding at John Duck's...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jun 18, 12 8:09 PM
Any further questions about how the Parrish views the village and its inhabitants? Deal closes April 30, we find out almost 60 days later with a ''hey trust us, they are going to do what's right for the village''. You know, because real estate developers around these parts have a long history of benevolent projects with long-term community give-backs. Don't worry though Goldman Sachs guys usually do the right thing - starting with buying one of the more prime properties on Jobs Lane for well ...more
By Sam Welch (4), Southampton on Jun 18, 12 8:55 PM
NEW YORK, NY 10065
Jun 19, 12 6:18 AM appended by Sam Welch
public information.
By Sam Welch (4), Southampton on Jun 19, 12 6:18 AM
"Great, another Bank- Real Estate Office"
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Jun 19, 12 8:47 AM
1 member liked this comment
Hello, Sam andIcecreamman, I found the same in a google search. It appears that there is not a wealth of info on Ajax and I still don't know if the two are related. Very opaque background. But not to worry. This mystery buyer said they would " do the right thing for the vilage". Whew!!! I guess I was concerned for nothing :-)
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Jun 19, 12 9:20 AM
Its the trifecta. Morley, The Parrish Art Museum and a retired Goldman Sachs partner with a long and elaborate record of litigation, class-action lawsuits and big time, big money trouble. The Parrish looks at its location as a necessary evil. Beggars can't be choosers so they'll build high speed rail from NYC to the museum's back door and act like they are in somewhere else. We've been sold out and not at all to the highest bidder. When someone buys prime real estate like that for as deep a ...more
By Samuel Walsh (17), Southampton on Jun 19, 12 1:16 PM
Did you not read the article? The building sold for $2.875M, not under $2M, and the connection is "Mr. Sobel has also been a longtime supporter of the Parrish Art Museum and his wife is currently a museum trustee".

By weaver (18), southampton on Jun 19, 12 3:25 PM
I am sure that Mark Epley has protected the Village and did the right thing.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Jun 19, 12 3:42 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Jun 19, 12 3:49 PM
Isn't is amazing what you can do, when the Federal Reserve and the Treasury print a boatload of zero/low interest money for you?

Jun 19, 12 7:16 PM appended by Mr. Z
"Isn't it"
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jun 19, 12 7:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
since the library vacated i always thought it would make a cool bed a breakfast that people would love to stay at, being in the center of the village and all.
By greenmonster (20), southampton on Jun 19, 12 8:31 PM
My question is why wasn't this piece ever on the market? The other question is why does the mayor say they can do a complete replacement? The covenant means nothing it is a historic building and can't be torn down period. The ARB hassles people trying to tear down 100 year old sheds that are falling down. Why would they ever allow this building to be torn down. The building is a brick building in decent shape why does the mayor say it is in poor shape? The exterior of the building is in fine shape ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 19, 12 10:10 PM
Historic buildings can be and regularly are torn down, sadly. Being on the National Register is no protection. Covenants are a strong protection as they attach directly to a building's deed as a condition of sale and specify what can and can not be done to it. Let us hope the Village holds the new owner to them and doesn't cave when he asks for changes. I won't hold my breath.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Jun 21, 12 10:03 AM
Goldman Sacs.... I had the pleasure of serving a bunch of "these" people back in 2000 at party in Sag Harbor. I can't says if Mr. Sobel was among them, but I know it wasn't the mail room crew from Goldman Sacs. I can say that for the amount of money they were making, they were the cheapest tippers I've encountered in my life! Yeah, even worse than Europeans, who in many cases don't know better!

Before I get the maybe your service wasn't up to snuff, it was across the board, everyone who ...more
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Jun 20, 12 12:50 AM
Mark is there doing what mayor's do
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Jun 20, 12 11:37 AM
Correction EE68:

"Emperor Epley" whose bust will be added to the walkway of Roman Emperors east of the current Parrish Art Museum.
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Jun 20, 12 1:03 PM
2 members liked this comment
Another behind the closed door deal. One question, at any time did the Parish Art Museum take any public funds of any kind? If yes there will be hell to pay.... promise.
By rrc1049 (63), Bridgehampton on Jun 20, 12 4:01 PM
The most worrisome aspect of this IMO?

"Behind Closed Doors," a great Charlie Rich Country Western song from too many years ago (almost 40?).

Typical Southampton Village action where greed and anger rule the roost, not to mention limited vision.

Sad IMO.

Have a good weekend.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jun 20, 12 4:28 PM
Sorry rrc1049, I meant to credit you with the reminder.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jun 20, 12 4:54 PM
I was wondering if in the Parrish Art Museums exploration if they did an appraisal? I doubt it considering there have been little 2000 to 3000 sq ft commercial buildings selling for well over 2 million dollars in the village. This building is very large and after asking a few brokers for opinions today they have come up with a consenus between 4 to 7 million dollars. How could it go for less than 3 million you ask? Could it be the purchasers wife is on the board? Is there any ethics or anything ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 20, 12 9:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
Sorry, but the last thing I want to know is why in April didn't the museum make an announcement they raised more money by the sale of the Jobs La property? Or why did the buyer hold back the transfer in county center for three months? This is a non profit that is suppose to act in an ethical manner and trustees are entrusted to guard museum assets. This seems like an inside art heist to me taking the trust out of the word trustee.they should be ashamed of themselves.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 20, 12 10:04 PM
Glad to see nobody is being swayed by the high paid PR firm. They aren't really doing a good job. I could have eaten a bowl of alphabet soup and burped up a better statement than the old and tired ''former grandeur'' line. It is highly unethical for a board member, trustee or any other related party to use their position and obvious conflict of interest to conduct a transaction of this sort. These people should step down from the board immediately so that objective advisory services can be provided ...more
By Samuel Walsh (17), Southampton on Jun 21, 12 6:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History are subject to this fiduciary statement as take from their by-laws:


The responsibility of the Trustees is to act in good faith and with loyalty and due care so as to exercise their business judgment on an informed basis in what they reasonably and honestly believe to be in the best interest of AMNH and the public it serves. Due care requires the degree of diligence, care and skill that an ordinarily prudent person ...more
By Samuel Walsh (17), Southampton on Jun 21, 12 6:39 AM
2 members liked this comment
The old Saks building, which used to be Southampton Town Hall, also has covenants on it to protect it. Where are they kept? They should accompany a deed so Saks or whoever owned the building should have a copy. Town Hall probably has a copy along with its records of sale. Were the covenants made known to the new buyer? They should have been.

The public needs to be sure covenants written to protect the character of some of our village's most iconic building are known and abided by, or Southampton ...more
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Jun 21, 12 10:12 AM
1 member liked this comment
A covenant is an agreement or contract. It normally defined by a binding legal document. The problem is, there is no such thing as a legal binding document. If the constitution can be ignored, the covenant for the old library in Southampton can certainly be thrown aside.
By Stephen Maybaline (18), Southampton on Jun 21, 12 10:54 AM
The rich get richer and the poor can get lost.They are an eyesore
By TianaBob (256), S.Jamesport on Jun 22, 12 6:53 PM