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Hamptons Life

Nov 26, 2018 10:32 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

First New Build On Captain’s Row In 75 Years Finds A Buyer

The Victorian house at 232 Main Street in Sag Harbor sold for just more than $6.5 million in November. COURTESY COMPASS
Nov 26, 2018 10:37 AM

Homes were built on Captain’s Row in the 1840s for prominent whaling ship captains during the peak of the whaling industry in Sag Harbor. Restoration projects to preserve this historical slice of the village are ongoing, but often fraught with challenges—Matthew Breitenbach, a Compass real estate agent, said sometimes it’s better to start from scratch.

Mr. Breitenbach said he facilitated the construction and sale of the first new build on this section of Main Street in more than 75 years. The Victorian on 232 Main Street may be new, but it bears some resemblance to the other century-old manses the neighborhood is known for.

“The idea was to captivate and recreate the history of Sag Harbor’s whaling community through a modern lens,” Mr. Breitenbach said.

The 4,800-square-foot home, featuring five bedrooms, six bathrooms and two half-baths, is one block away from the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum. Accented with a red front door, it’s clearly a curbside-appeal upgrade compared to the small, single-story ranch that occupied the 0.35-acre property before.

It was the brainchild of a team Mr. Breitenbach assembled of builders and investors to “build better” in Sag Harbor. The real estate powerbroker said the village needs a new crop of housing inventory to fit with community’s changing fan base.

“There is a buyer pool in Sag Harbor that is evolving,” he said. “Out of the 650 people that toured this house, we had star NBA players, high-end investors and luxurious interior designers who all wanted to call this place home. There’s growing diversity here and they’re demanding more culture and more from the history of this small village. A beach house won’t do.”

Mr. Breitenbach didn’t reveal who ultimately did move into the neighborhood when the home sale closed earlier this month for just more than $6.5 million. He would only say it was an older real estate investor from New York City.

The project was shepherded by his dream team: Michael Capasso, the president of CAC Industries, a Manhattan commercial contractor; Vincent Ponte, the president of Ponte Equities, a real estate management firm from New Jersey; and Jesse Cole, a real estate investor in the Northeast.

“We wanted to maintain Captain’s Row,” Mr. Cole said. “It’s the last remaining bastion in the Hamptons that exhibits real history, and the region’s pride in the whaling industry.”

In 2014, Mr. Breitenbach approached Mr. Cole—who was his “personal broker” for the last decade—about a plan he had to flip a house in Wainscott with a young builder named Nick DeMarco of Design Build. After a few meetings and “a lot of hard work” later, the modern farmhouse at 28 Wainscott Hollow Road sold for $7.3 million in 2016.

The team wasn’t done though. Around the same time, Mr. Breitenbach had his eyes set on the property on Captain’s Row. They bought the small ranch for just shy of $2 million under SG HRBR LLC—managed by Mr. Capasso—and razed the home shortly after the sale was complete. Through the Sag Harbor Village permitting and planning process, Mr. Breitenbach learned that their build was the first in more than 75 years on Captain’s Row.

Construction started in February 2017, and their plan eventually came together. The open floor plan on the lower floor with custom wide-plank oak flooring and high-gloss lacquer 10-foot ceilings throughout gives the entire house a big feel for a small property. Yet, a marble fireplace in the living room and a walnut-paneled library make it feel exceptionally cozy.

“My favorite is the master bedroom with vaulted ceilings and fireplace—sometimes you just fall in love with homes yourself, and it’s hard to pry yourself away,” Mr. Breitenbach laughed. The first-floor master suite includes French doors that lead outside to a heated pool, a pool house with a kitchenette, and an outdoor shower. The basement is outfitted with a seven-person bar, a wine cellar and entertainment space around the television and fireplace.

It took only four months to sell the home. The team’s return on investment was undisclosed, but Mr. Cole said the buyer got what he paid for and was looking for—and that’s what’s most important.

“We build at a price per foot that tends to be on the high side because of the top of the line materials and not choosing to compromise the quality of the architecture and construction,” Mr. Cole said. “So, the home costs more to build, and sure, the price is high for a property of its size, but it’s not the price that other bigger homes are going for in the area. People are not looking for the mega-mansions anymore. They are looking for this—quality, culture and history.”

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So, this reads like an advertisement.
By Hampton Bays (14), hampton bays on Nov 29, 18 1:17 AM
By harbor (400), East Hampton on Nov 29, 18 11:00 AM
Was that small single story home of the famed Moylen Sisters?
By summertimegal (93), southampton on Dec 1, 18 10:05 AM
Not the Moylan sisters... their home was on Madison and not a "single story ranch". The tear-down was a 1-1/2 story classic cape.
By Just sitting on the taffrail (36), Southampton on Dec 3, 18 1:02 PM
A long winded advertisement indeed. Don't they create enough of their own pomp and fanfare through the full page listings?
By Harbor Master (105), Sag Harbor on Dec 4, 18 2:04 PM
8k run & 3 mile walk, Agawam Park, Southampton Rotary Club fundraiser