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Available Commercial Real Estate: Water Mill, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor

Originally Posted: May 09, 2011

Kelly Sharo

There is a plethora of commercial real estate available in the Hamptons as of now. (Kelly Sharp)

Sag Harbor - Looking at available commercial real estate in Water Mill, Bridgehampton, Sagaponack and Sag Harbor, we have a scoop on a zoning change in Sag Harbor for a church on the verge of a makeover by a famous designer of White House wall paper.

A victorian commercial building available. (Kelly Sharp)

Water Mill has the most offerings. Like the baby hamlet of the Hamptons, it never really quite grew up. Until now, that is. Our baby has become a raucous teenager that doesn't want to listen to mommy anymore and is spreading her wings.

What looks like the best buy is a 1955 stand-alone, 2,000 sq. ft., retail shop with a basement and additional building in the back used as an apartment, in the heart of Water Mill, at 728 Montauk Highway. Kevin Hallahan of Corcoran lowered the asking price to $987,500. Corcoran also lists three buildings sited on 1.3 acres at 720 Montauk Highway, zoned Village Business, with its own parking lot for almost $4 million. At 710 Montauk Highway, one of several antique shops for sale is priced at $3.3 million including retail and office space as well as a cottage through Town and Country.

Lee Minitree of Saunders is offering an 18 seat restaurant and take-out business in the mall for $95,000. Also through Saunders, three acres of multi-use on the highway, now a nursery, is offering four structures, including a renovated barn with 100 year old beams for $6.5 million.

Scott Strough of Strough Associates is marketing the Water Mill Station to the finance sector. The new "office condominiums," on two acres in the "financial district," incorporates the old railroad station, (more recently a restaurant) and would make the perfect satellite office for hedge-fund groups, he said.

The Watermill Ateliers at 903 Montauk Highway is a brand new LEED Gold certified, wood, stucco and glass gem. Actually three buildings, space is going for $60 per sq. ft. or $10,000 for the center building and $15,000 for each of the east and west buildings, developer Louis K. Meisel said. The property is zoned Hamlet Office which was changed from retail, "after we bought it." A slight growing pain but not to worry. "The six affordable apartments are fully carrying the project," Meisel said, "We are content to wait for the tenants we want." Preferably that would be lawyers and architects, he said, before the news flash that a lease had been signed for the center building. "It will be a famous trainer's dance studio."

There is not too much available in Bridgehampton, commercially speaking. New construction just off Main Street, a 1,200 sq. ft. space next door to the Hot Yoga. John Healey is asking $48,000 per year, at Town and Country. They also offer the most expensive property in the area, five acres of land in Water Mill with no permits, for $25 million.

The Old Stove Pub, on 2.2 acres on the highway in Sagaponack, has been a Greek steak house since 1969. The three bedroom, two bath house is separate from the restaurant and can be used for staff, according to the Saunders listing. It totals 6,000 sq. ft. for $2.8 million. Taxes are currently $3,500 per year.

A beautiful white, columned building available. (Kelly Sharp)

Even the church is for sale in Sag Harbor. Or is it? The historical landmark has been on and off the market since David Suskind, formerly of Goldman Sachs and the Town of Southampton, bought the United Methodist Church in 2008. Since last July, he has been in the process of selling it at a loss for $2.1 million to Elizabeth Dow, a textile designer who plans to sell her textiles and house her design studio there. Dow's contract is contingent on the village changing the zoning code.

She has gained success. Village code for the landmark is now changed from residential to commercial, according to Sag Harbor Village Hall. However, as of last weekend, there was a "for sale" sign in front of the church. So, will the famous designer sign on the dotted line?

Three great commercial/residential properties are for sale on Madison Street in Sag Harbor but unlike some other hamlets of the Hamptons, mamma has a tight grip on all of her Victorian children. Havens House, built in 1700 was a whaling captains house at 17 Madison Street is home to another long time antique shop. Retail on the first and second floor, 919 sq. ft. and 792, respectively. The top floor contains two apartments. A narrow yard runs between Madison and Church Streets, listed at $1,750,000 through Saunders.

Brown Harris and Stevens is asking the same price for 133 Madison Street, a gorgeous Victorian a few doors down, with 2,350 sq. ft. including six bedrooms and two baths and wrap around porch, set off the street. It includes a garage and is zoned for residential/commercial. Finally, Corcoran offers 43 Madison, a three bedroom, three bath plus retail totals 2,247 for just under $3 million.

Two retail spaces are available for rent in the rounded, brick building on the corner of Route 114 and Main Street, most recently an athletic shop. The space closer to the barber shop is 650 sq. ft. and the owners are asking $2,800 including taxes and building insurance. The second space, closer to the Cigar Bar is 700 sq. ft. with a monthly cost of $3,300.

Rich Dec, an agent with Corcoran, suggested potential leasors of the former Cigar Bar would want to continue to sell cigars, since the space has a rare approval for smoking. One would need to get a new liquor license but could possibly open the 900 sq. ft. space in time for July 4th weekend 2011. Rent is $5,200 a month.

Two West Water Street overlooks the Sag Harbor Bridge and boasts spectacular sunsets. The 10,000 sq. ft. water-front building has 10 bedrooms, seven full baths and is $12 million. "I think I priced it pretty well," said exclusive broker Sandra Phillips. Originally, it was a motel in the 1940s that turned into 14 townhouses that turned into a single family home in 1987. It could possibly be turned back to commercial.


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