The Village Latch Inn Hotel, a high-profile East End hotel, is now on the market at $24.9 million, slightly more than when it was listed last winter. The new price tag comes with a change in listing agents, to Prudential Douglas Elliman, which is hoping to shift attention toward potential development on the site.
For sale are the signature “Great Gatsby Estate” main building and the “sister buildings” known as the Terry Cottage, Homestead East and Homestead West, which sit on approximately 5½ acres on Hill Street in Southampton Village. The property also includes a swimming pool and tennis court.
“You have such a picturesque setting, but, really, the key here is that it really offers an unprecedented development opportunity. And you know this is just what our foreign investors look for, but nothing’s to say that it can’t be someone locally,” said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman’s retail group, on Friday morning. “You can have a reuse, but keep the flavor,” she said, referring to the inn’s prized architecture. She said the neighboring Whitefield Condominiums could be a model for the hotel’s new direction.
Ms. Consolo and Joseph Aquino, executive vice president of the retail group, are marketing the sale.
The current owners, the husband-and-wife duo of Marta and Martin White, have run the hotel for more than three decades, but have said they are ready to sell.
The property was listed with Sotheby’s several years ago, when local developer George Semerjian came close to making a deal to purchase it, according to local real estate agents. After about a year and a half of being unofficially on the market, without a listing, it officially returned to the market in December 2009 with Corcoran Group Real Estate listing it at $24.75 million.
“Before, it was being presented in a more residential light,” said Ms. Consolo. “And that’s not its full potential.”
The hotel has been involved in unresolved legal issues with the village spanning several decades. This past summer, the village Building Department was drafting a report outlining a number of possible village code and fire code violations at the hotel, including allegations that it has more than twice the number of units it has permission for.
Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley said the report has been delayed, but he had not discussed it with Building Inspector Jonathan Foster since November. Mr. Foster did not return calls for comment.
Mr. Semerjian had expressed interest in the property for years but blamed “illegal units and improper zoning” for preventing him from moving forward.
The Whites said a court found that Mr. Semerjian had breached his contract to purchase it and blamed the poor economy on lack of a sale.
The Village Latch is known for its star-studded guest list, which is said to include former Vice President Al Gore and actresses Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker, among others.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s like the Fifth Avenue of the East End,” Ms. Consolo said.
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