Just a fews doors from the Atlantic Ocean, an expansive property in Southampton, N.Y., has been sold for $32.2 million to Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and CEO of messaging company Slack, and Jen Rubio, co-founder and CEO of Away, a luggage manufacturer. The three-acre spread was jointly repped by Bespoke Real Estate and Christopher Burnside at Brown Harris Stevens, while Harald Grant of Sotheby’s brought the buyers.
Architect Grosvenor Atterbury designed many well-known houses and museums in the Hamptons, as well as the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum, and he designed this house in 1910. With a brick facade and slate roof, dark interior woodwork and vintage charm, this is the epitome of a classic Southampton estate, from the rolling green lawns to the rambling old house.
It’s been a wild ride for the property, which came up for sale back in 2007 at $24 million. The estate spent the next eight years on and off the market, generally with the price dropping, and finally sold in 2015 for steeply discounted $15 million. Then, in 2019, the house sold again, for $11.6 million, to David Walentas, the billionaire real-estate developer who transformed Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighbourhood from an industrial wasteland into an upscale neighbourhood of loft apartments, office buildings and trendy boutiques.
Walentas quickly tore all the vintage charm out of the old house and replaced it with a modern-minimalist interior. Because 14,000 square feet wasn’t big enough, he also enlarged the house to 17,500 square feet.
The house now sports 11 bedrooms, a dozen bathrooms, plus two more powder rooms, as well as a new solarium that was staged for the selling process as a gym/yoga studio.
The old pool and pool house were removed and new ones built closer to the house. Also added was a tennis court and a four-car garage topped by a two-bedroom apartment for guests or staff.
According to a quote in The Wall Street Journal, the first to report the transaction, Walentas claims he spent $10 million updating the house before he listed in April at $35 million. When the costs of acquisition and renovation are combined, the sale price nets the savvy developer an approximate $10 million profit, which Walentas will donate to the University of Virginia, his alma mater, as part of his pledge to donate $100 million to the school.