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 neighborhood from an industrial wasteland into a upscale neighborhood 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.