Maybe our doyenne of domesticity made sure to bake cookies before the buyers toured the house. Or perhaps she left them some free samples of her gourmet CBD gummies. Perhaps she threw in the furniture, or perhaps it’s just that Hamptons prices have recently skyrocketed. Probably it’s the latter, but possibly all four!
When the news broke in June that Martha Stewart was selling her longtime home in East Hampton, N.Y., known to fans as the Lily Pond Lane house, to Huffington Post and Buzzfeed founder Kenneth Lerer and wife Katherine Sailer, the value of the trade wasn’t known. The last asking price was reported to be $8.4 million but turns out the property sold for a whopping $16.5 million, almost twice what people thought and close to ten times what she paid. The deal closed on August 16.
Stewart paid $1.7 million for the 1873 shingled cottage back in 1991, using the proceeds from her $5 million, five-year consulting contract with Kmart. “I still can’t believe how beautiful it is out here,” she said of East Hampton. But she ended up rarely spending time at the Lily Pond Lane estate, so decided to downsize. Of course, the lifestyle maven is hardly homeless.
Buyer Lerer, a former executive VP at AOL Time Warner, cofounded the Huffington Post in 2005 and was also chairman of BuzzFeed for 10 years. These days, he’s a partner in the venture capital firm Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Sailer, for her part, is an interior designer.
In addition to buying the East Hampton house, the couple have had a busy year in real estate. First they sold their waterfront house in Miami Beach in April for $25 million. Set on about one-third of an acre on the Venetian Islands and built by the Lerers in 2017, the 10,000-square-foot, eight-bedroom mansion boasts a pool and a dock. Then, in May, Lerer and Sailer sold their duplex on Central Park West, in the building known as the Eldorado, for $18 million. The apartment features four en-suite bedrooms, including two for the master, and beautiful views of Central Park from a 49-by-9-foot terrace on the upper level.
Lerer and Sailer also own several other apartments in Manhattan, plus a ten-ish acre spread in Westchester County’s Mount Kisco, which they bought in September 2001 for $4.6 million. Fortunately for the Lerers, Katonah, where Martha has a giant spread, is just a few miles away from Mount Kisco in case they want to pop over for more home-baked cookies or CBD gummies.