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May 24, 2010 3:56 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

An insider's peek at Sandcastle

May 24, 2010 3:56 PM

Just about everyone who tracks real estate happenings on the East End has heard about 
Sandcastle, the 31,000-square-foot 
house that Joe Farrell built as 
his private residence on Halsey 
Lane in Bridgehampton.

Last month, the traditional shingle and stone two-story house (plus basement) made big news when it was reported that it had been rented for $500,000 for a two-week period in July, making it the highest rental fee on record for the East End. That staggering sum, which amounts to a cost of $35,000 a day, tops the record rental from last year of $450,000, which Sandcastle netted for a two-week rental.

Two weeks ago, Residence was invited for an all-access tour of the 11½-acre estate, including views of the nine-bedroom, 11½ bath main house, the pool, guesthouse, tennis, squash/racquetball/basketball court, bowling alley, skateboard half-pipe and movie theater. The private hour-plus tour was led by Mr. Farrell and Corcoran Group Senior Vice President and Associate Broker Gary DePersia, who along with fellow Corcoran brokers Evan Kulman and Gene Stilwell, is credited for the rental.

Coming up, on Sunday, June 6, Mr. DePersia will also give a televised open house tour of Sandcastle for LXTV.

Mr. Farrell, who founded Farrell Building Co. in 1996, has completed more than 100 East End homes since opening his business. Prior to becoming one of the most successful builders in the Hamptons, he was a commodities trader. The down-to-earth builder credits his continued good fortune to something a mentor told him as he was just starting out in the field.

“He said ‘give people their money’s worth and you’ll always be busy,’” Mr. Farrell said simply about the credo he has followed for the past 14 years.

Though Mr. Farrell’s family home is immense, aside from the front entrance, the rooms are comfortable and cozy feeling due to the attention Mr. Farrell and his wife, Kristen, paid to scale during the building and designing stages. Renowned designer Kenneth Alpert, principal of KA Design Group in Manhattan, worked with the Farrells on interiors.

The tour of Sandcastle earlier this month began in the grand foyer, which, like many rooms in the house, boasts custom-designed radiant heat walnut floors and plaster walls and ceilings.

Next on the tour was the wood and navy—the primary color scheme in the house and pool/guesthouse—formal dining room.

Then on to the 10-seat home theater, complete with twinkling “universe” ceiling, electronic blackout shades and framed movie posters for “Wall Street,” “The Godfather” and “Star Wars.”

The tour continued with a brief stop at one of the first-floor bathrooms, which featured individually placed blue, white and brown Italian marble tiles in a flower pattern and a brown Italian marble sink.

“The only thing in the house my wife and I didn’t agree on,” Mr. Farrell said of the ornate sink. For the record, he liked it, she wasn’t in love with it.

The first-floor library (“One of my favorite rooms in the house,” said Mr. Farrell.) is crafted from floor-to-ceiling walnut walls and shelving, with marble mantles and a leather-covered ceiling.

“This isn’t normal for me, this house,” Mr. Farrell said as he continued through the downstairs with a tour through the long living room with fireplaces at each end—which Mr. Farrell said he had always wanted—and then through the chef’s kitchen, butler’s pantry, walk-in refrigerator and flower cutting, package and mud rooms. “I know how insane it is and over-the-top.”

But the house—which took 18 months to build and was inspired by the home of Mr. Farrell’s East End clients—is a showplace for what he can create and conceive, according to Mr. DePersia.

“It’s an advertisement for what he can build,” the seasoned real estate agent said, adding that Mr. Farrell has gotten quite a bit of notice, and work, from the house, which is now on the market for $49.5 million. “One of the most interesting things about Joe Farrell is that he is as comfortable doing an entry-level house as he is doing a $20 million house. I think that’s a testament to his versatility.”

But Mr. Farrell, who said he never imagined in his wildest dreams that the house would turn out so perfect for the needs of his family, said that he built it for the long-term but was persuaded to put it on the market in the process of renting it out for the summer.

“I didn’t build this house to sell, but then the brokers came in and ... said ‘I’ve seen it all and I’ve never seen anything better.’”

Last year Sandcastle caught the eye of the famous boy band The Jonas Brothers, who considered renting the house during the summer but eventually settled on another East End house.

The second floor of the home is dedicated to living and bed and bath spaces for the couple and their three children—9½-year-old Joey, 6-year-old Kate and 5-year-old Jack—and a guest suite for in-laws. Among the other rooms, each child has a room to themselves in addition to a kid’s bunk room and den.

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Dawn Watson - By chance did this 31,000 sft. behemoth happen to have a kitchen? If so, could you possibly have used up your memory card on the chandelier in the foyer? Was the kitchen blue and ugly like the majority of the rooms?
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on May 26, 10 11:42 PM
Conspicuous consumption
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on May 27, 10 9:09 AM
Hope they paid you well for this multimedia ad presentation, SHP
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on May 27, 10 9:11 AM
This is just free publicity for a big advertiser. Phooey.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on May 27, 10 10:08 AM
I like that it is so tasteless - that way I don't have to feel any envy at all !
By Sag (53), Sag harbor on May 27, 10 10:30 AM
This is a gorgeous home. It's huge, it's over the top, but it is so tastefully done. People shouldn't be jealous. Hey, I can't even afford to replace my car right now. We all make choices. This man has made his and he made very good ones, and now he can enjoy the benefits. Joe, enjoy it. :-) It's beautiful.
By Amahalo (20), East Hampton on May 27, 10 10:55 AM
It doesn't sound like he is enjoying it. It sounds like he needs ot rent it out to cover the bills from it.

In twenty years we will look back at this time in our history and wonder why destroyed good farmland to build such monstrosities.



By C Law (341), Water Mill on May 31, 10 7:00 AM
Good taste? Maybe if your name is Tony Soprano... This house is a vulgar, disgusting monument to everything that is wrong with the Hamptons. I spit in its general direction.
By HEJIRANYC (32), Sag Harbor on Jun 1, 10 1:10 PM
This house is the culmination of too much of everything. When is the space going to run out for this company to build such exhorbitant and wasteful residences that are basically spread out skyscrapers in a sense. Just pitiful and actually laughable. All the money in the world would not motivate me to build such a thing. Shameful.
By localwater (35), east hampton on May 27, 10 12:26 PM
I am with you. You have to wonder why people feel the need to build such houses. Some deep seated insecurity?

Where has all the class gone?

This house would be perfect for 'Jersey Shore' Bridgehampton
By C Law (341), Water Mill on May 31, 10 7:06 AM
Wonder if The Carlyle Group is satisfied with their return on investment.
By chairmanoftheBORED (12), Southampton on May 31, 10 10:23 AM
Why in the world would anyone ever need a house that big... it's ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous! The Farrell family should be ashamed for flaunting this kind of over consumption. And I'm suprised The Press got all excited over a private tour.... that's even more ridiculous.
By tmarie (30), Southampton on Jun 1, 10 8:06 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 2, 10 9:14 AM
each bedroom has the thickest comforters you could imagine - ooh very toasty for those icy cold july & august frozen central a/c nights. and imagine the fun of a mid day dip in a toasty heated pool and then off for a summertime nap in a frozen bedroom. ....and then arise for an energizing afternoon of indoor exercise on those treadmills and an indoor dip & shower in that basement jacuzzi and shower. ..and maybe some tv, bowling and movies (ooh i love old movies on a sunny weekend!)
and if our ...more
By david h (405), southampton on Jun 1, 10 10:40 PM
It's very nice that some one can afford to build the house let along rent it, but doesn't Southampton Town have a rental law? The reporter neglected to mention that...........
By DiDi (16), Southampton on Jun 1, 10 11:28 PM
Just another big house wasting our natural resources to heat and cool all those rooms.
By interestedtaxpayer (21), southampton on Jun 2, 10 8:10 AM
Look at the bright side - when he sells this for $50,000,000 the CPF fund will get a nice check for $1,000,000!
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 2, 10 9:16 AM
This proves the fact that you can have money & absolutely no taste. The only thing I liked was the balls hanging from the spa ceiling.
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Jun 2, 10 10:57 AM
The fact that my comment was deleted makes me that more certain that my assumption is correct. But, without facts let me re-state:

You should not be surprised the Press ran this story, as Joe Farrell has a lot of money and a lot of friends. There is a great deal of back scratching with the movers and shakers on the East End and Mr. Farrell who magically gets these glowing articles written about his "work" in Newsday and this publication. Make the connections you want but there are reasons ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 2, 10 10:31 PM