Right now, new high-end condominium developments are rising throughout the Hamptons -- including the much-anticipated Watchcase project in Sag Harbor -- providing summer vacation homes without the fuss or overhead of keeping a house.
Bruce Orr, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Timber Ridge Homes, which is building the Dunes at Westhampton, attributes the East End building burst to two factors. For one, developers are "looking to get greater density in a smaller parcel," he says. And the population is aging. "People are looking for a no-maintenance lifestyle," says Orr, noting that some are looking at these as second homes.
Here's a look at four Hamptons complexes being built right now:
WATCHCASE Sag Harbor
WHAT 64 total units, including 47 lofts with one to three bedrooms; nine town houses with four to six bedrooms; and eight bungalows with one bedroom
AMENITIES Heated outdoor pool; doorman; concierge services; driver during summer season (by appointment); The Watchcase Pavilion, which includes a staffed fitness room, sauna, steam and spa treatment rooms, and a catering kitchen; underground parking; rooftop garden; and private storage
PRICE Just under $1 million to slightly over $10 million
SIZE From 1,000 to 4,800 square feet, depending on unit type and number of bedrooms
THE STORY Converting a former Bulova Watchcase factory from 1881 into a five-story, 2.3-acre resort-style luxury community has had its challenges.
"We believed it was important to retain as much of the old building fabric as possible, and this has led to a difficult construction process," says Craig Wood of Cape Advisors Inc., the builder. "Over the past 15 months, the factory has had almost all of the original facade repaired and re-pointed, over 80 timber beams replaced, and the structural integrity of the building restored -- all while dealing with a building that is over 130 years old and had been exposed to the elements and nature and was unoccupied for over 30 years."
This attention to authenticity -- more than 20,000 bricks were salvaged -- helps to create lofts with exposed original brick and yellow-pine timber beams while maintaining the original factory feel of openness and light through oversized windows and 11-feet-plus ceilings.
The Watchcase team included architectural conservator Baldassano Architecture and Beyer Blinder Belle, which helped restore such places as Grand Central Terminal and the United States Capitol.
The development also contains nine new town houses modeled after the 18th and 19th century houses of Sag Harbor. All units offer some type of private outdoor space -- the bungalows contain gardens that face the central courtyard -- and, in some condos, there are several spaces, including terraces, patios and balconies.
The property also contains a shared lobby-living room and a lounge area with a huge fireplace where the original chimney once stood.
Finished models will be available for viewing this spring. The project is expected to be completed in summer 2014.
CONTACT Cee Brown and Jack Pearson, The Corcoran Group, 631-725-1500.
BISHOPS POND SOUTHAMPTON VILLAGE
WHAT 77 units of five different models, including town houses and villas; all but one style have a basement and one-car garage
AMENITIES Tennis court; heated pool; clubhouse with fitness center and yoga room; covered patio with fireplace; man-made pond with a bridge
PRICE $800,000 to $1.8 million
SIZE 2,039 to 3,035 square feet, depending on model type, with option of adding basement
THE STORY The Beechwood Organization is turning this 13-acre property into a resort community. "They are selling a lifestyle here," says Mary Slattery of The Corcoran Group, who is helping to market the development. "It's a Florida community not in Florida."
Units include gas fireplaces with marble or stone surround, and feature either three to five bedrooms, some with French doors that open onto terraces or balconies. Kitchens contain a Wolf stainless-steel range, Sub-Zero refrigerator and a windowed breakfast nook.
Pre-construction sales have started and about 20 units are reserved. The first occupants are expected this fall.
Bishop Ponds' current boundaries occupy both Southampton Village and Southampton Town. Slattery says the developers hope to annex the town section into the village so that residents of the entire complex can access the village beaches. Discussions will continue June 6, and then the two boards will vote on the issue.
CONTACT Bishops Pond Sales Office, 631-283-2077 and Mary Slattery, The Corcoran Group, 631-702-9263
POND CROSSING AT SOUTHAMPTON
WHAT 16 town house units -- there are three left, with three or four bedrooms
AMENITIES Clubhouse with a heated pool (lifeguard during the summer), fitness center, meeting room and kitchen
FEES $15,000 a year for maintenance and taxes
SIZE About 2,600 square feet
THE STORY Pond Crossing sits on the former site of a broken-down hotel, a factor that developer Robert Morrow says he believes helped him. "The people in the community were very supportive of getting rid of it." Morrow's goal was to offer town house condos that looked residential with full basements and at least a one-car garage.
Condo features include Andersen windows and screens, a front covered porch, back patio, 10-foot ceilings, carpeted bedrooms, oak flooring on the main floor and upper hallways and kitchens with a Sub-Zero refrigerator, Miele cappuccino/espresso machine and built-in wine cooler.
The project broke ground in 2008.
CONTACT Susan and Matt Breitenbach, The Corcoran Group, 631-875-6000
THE DUNES AT WESTHAMPTON BEACH
WHAT 39 town house condos with three bedrooms
AMENITIES Two-story clubhouse with heated swimming pool, card room, kitchenette and fitness center
PRICE $550,000 to $643,000, depending on model and condo location
FEES $586 per month, and $5,214-plus yearly taxes
SIZE 2,170 to 2,186 square feet, plus full basement and garage
THE STORY Timber Ridge is currently building a town house complex on a six-acre plot alongside Old Riverhead Road featuring five different condo designs. Each unit features such energy-efficient equipment as water-saver toilets and showerheads.
Luxuries include 9-foot ceilings on the main level, oak floors, carpeted bedrooms and gourmet kitchens outfitted with stainless-steel appliances, 42-inch maple cabinets and granite countertops.
The project broke ground in July, and nine units are almost complete, with seven others in the construction process. Although two are currently in contract, owners cannot officially take occupancy until six are sold. Orr forecasts that the complex will be completed in 2014.
CONTACT Timber Ridge Home Group Sales Office, 631-998-4295 or Steve Rosmarin, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 631-255-2213