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East Deck Motel in Montauk sold

The East Deck, a family-run motel for nearly

The East Deck, a family-run motel for nearly 60 years and a haven for surfers, was sold on Oct. 1, 2013, to the business entity ED 40 LLC, according to records on file with Suffolk County. Credit: Gordon M. Grant, 2000 file

The East Deck Motel in Montauk, a family-run property that for nearly 60 years offered surfers and families a cozy place for an oceanside getaway, has been sold.

The buyer purchased the motel -- on 5 acres of beachfront land -- for $14.75 million through the business entity ED 40 LLC in a deal that closed Oct. 1, according to Suffolk County property records. Private business listings did not disclose the owner of ED 40 LLC, and a lawyer listed for the buyer did not return requests for comment.

The former owner of the motel, Alice Houseknecht, confirmed the sale but declined to comment on the price or the purchaser, saying only that the buyer was "very cognizant of the needs of the community and very respectful of the environment."

Houseknecht, whose late husband's grandparents started East Deck, said she put the property on the market in 2010 because it had become too arduous to maintain. She was running the motel by herself with a seasonal staff of about 10 employees.

Previous Newsday articles reported an asking price for the property of $20 million in 2010. Despite high initial interest, many offers fell through, and Houseknecht continued running East Deck until the current buyer approached her, she said. Business at East Deck had been steady, with the motel's 30 rooms fully booked this summer -- as they had been in many past summers, Houseknecht added.

East Deck's purchase follows several other sales of Montauk lodgings to larger developers in recent years. This past summer, Gurney's Inn -- one of the oldest resorts in the hamlet -- was purchased by two Manhattan developers. Several other motel properties also have been listed for sale.

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