After Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme collapsed in 2008, the US Marshals Service seized all of his family’s assets. Prosecutors estimated the scale of the fraud to be $64.8 billion, based on the accounts of his 4,800 clients.
Among the silverware, jewellery, cars and boats, authorities took possession of a relatively modest, 3,000-square-foot (278-square-metre) beachfront home in Montauk, New York, on the easternmost tip of Long Island.
After a brief time on the market, the house sold for US$9.41 million in October 2009 to Steven Roth, the chairman and CEO of Vornado Realty Trust, and his wife Daryl, a Broadway producer. (Proceeds of the sale went to help pay back Madoff’s victims.)
Roth had renovated the house with the help of interior architect and designer Thierry Despont. Less than a decade after buy it, the couple has put it on the market for US$21 million, listing it with Corcoran brokers Gary DePersia and Joan Hegner.
The house sits on 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares) almost directly on the beach, accessed via a paved drive, with 180 feet (55 metres) of Atlantic frontage. In a 2013 article about the home’s renovation in Architectural Digest, Daryl Roth is quoted as saying that it’s “right on the sand”.
The ground floor has a big, lofted living room with views of the ocean, a large eat-in kitchen, and two bedrooms that share a bathroom. The second floor has a smaller footprint and is dedicated to the master bedroom, which has its own wooden deck, his and hers half-baths, and two walk-in wardrobes.
In total, the house has three bedrooms and three bathrooms.
There’s also a gunite pool and a deck that spans the length of the house, which is accessible from every ground-floor room.
Despont updated the layout and filled it with furniture and decorations that include a large chandelier by Jeff Zimmerman and a Vladimir Kagan rocking chair tucked into an glass-ringed alcove in the great room. The furnishings, the listing notes, “could be available separately”.
In retrospect, the Roths’ purchase seems to have been timed perfectly, near the bottom of the market; Hamptons home prices have since skyrocketed. While 2016 was relatively sluggish and 2017 marginally better, prices are still well above their 2010 low, according to a report by Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel.
The average sales price of luxury homes in the area was US$6.696 million, with 295 sales listed, the report says. In 2009, sales numbers were half that amount (158), and luxury sales averaged just US$5.358 million.
The Roths are reportedly selling because they own two additional houses in East Hampton, New York.