Before building a home in Asharoken in the late 1990s that he is now offering for sale for $5.75 million, video game pioneer Robert Holmes owned the house two doors down. At the time, Holmes — co-founder of Acclaim Entertainment, best known for video games such as NBA Jam and Mortal Kombat — was commuting to Manhattan and traveling regularly. He says he thought he should live closer to Manhattan.
“I looked for over a year,” Holmes says. “I drove a poor real estate agent crazy looking for waterfront property closer to the city.”
He ultimately found it … and it was about 300 feet closer to Manhattan. Just down the road from his original Asharoken home, Holmes had an 11,000-square-foot estate built on 4.2 acres with 225 feet of west-facing beachfront.
“I couldn’t match Asharoken,” Holmes says, noting the sunsets, mile-long walkable beach and swimmable water. “It’s a vacation property year-round.”
With attention to detail that came from years of planning — and Holmes’ collection of photos and Architectural Digest clippings — the house took shape and was completed in 1998. The shingle-style home, offering six bedrooms and 7½ bathrooms, features an arched entryway replicated from a door Holmes spotted in New Mexico. The door, surrounded by custom windows with leaded glass, leads into an atrium with 28-foot ceilings, limestone flooring and water views via the living room’s wall of glass. The archways, Holmes says, are echoed throughout the house, which also includes a variety of flooring surfaces, including red oak, chestnut, Chinese slate and bluestone.
The kitchen, with a professional Viking stove, has a fireplace, an overhead catwalk and French doors leading to both the 53-foot outdoor pool and 36-foot indoor pool. The 1,300-square-foot master suite features dual marble bathrooms, walk-in closets, a sauna, fireplace, balcony and exercise room. The house includes a separate wing with a living area, kitchen and bedrooms to accommodate guests.
“It can serve as a family compound,” says Holmes.
The property, represented by Elena D’Agostino and Joyce Mennella of Lucky to Live Here Realty, sits along Northport Bay opposite the Vanderbilt Mansion. It also includes a boathouse with electricity and water and a tennis court with lighting and a DecoTurf. “I have been an avid tennis player and that was part of the design,” Holmes says. “I wanted it to match as close to the U.S. Open court as possible.”
A semi-smart home with a Savant automation system, the house features hidden projectors, drop-down screens and dozens of music zones both inside and out, Holmes says.
Given Holmes’ background in the gaming industry, the house must also have an arcade, right?
“No, I don’t have an arcade,” he says with a laugh. “I can’t even say I was an accomplished game player, but I could recognize a good game design.”