[Bridge Lane transformation; Photos courtesy TRD and Farrell]
The Real Deal jumps aboard the Joe Farrell bandwagon today, chatting with the East End's most visible builder about life in a downturn. '$5 million is the new $10 million' is the theme of the piece, and Farrell attests to the fact that his infamous $59.5 Sandcastle estate is the poster-child of 'yesterday's boom'. Vowing to build his spec homes '40% smaller' than those of the past, the former commodities trader seems to have avoided the feeling of sheer panic that has plagued so much of the East End's market of late. Using the always successful baseball metaphor to explain his hopes for the future, Farrell reveals: 'rather than stick around for a home run, we would rather hit singles and doubles'.
Proof of this new outlook is in Farrell's next project, a 2,600-square-foot home with a pool on Straight Path in Southampton that will list for $1.6 million. Downright quaint by 2008 standards, but wise in that his most recent contract signed was for soon-to-be-built home on Bridge Lane in Bridgehampton for $4.995 million. Other factors helping Farrell weather the recessionary storm include little competition (East Hampton saw 50% less home built in the first half of 2009 than 2008), and a low inventory - the builder only has 3 homes in the works as opposed to 2007 when 10 were constructed simultaneously. Brokers agree with Farrell's new M.O., believing 'excess is out and economy is in'.
· Building Bargains, Hamptons-Style [TRD]