Nicole Ross Eloff, famous in the Hamptons for being the raison d’etre for the creation of the snooty and private Ross School, and her hedgie husband Rob Eloff have just about sealed the deal on the sale of their East End estate. Located in an area of Amagansett knowns as The Promised Land, and listed with an asking price of $7.5 million, the property is now in contract with an unknown buyer and at unknown price.
The couple acquired the property in 2017 for $3.9 million and the existing house was custom-built in 2018, per records. Listed with Lori Schiaffino at Compass, the home is set on 1.5 acres of land with carefully tended gardens, a pool, and a cozy outdoor fireplace with seating. Inside, there are five bedrooms and five and a half baths set in about 5,200 square feet decked out with all the high-end amenities expected of a luxury home in the Hamptons. Of special note is the master suite, which includes a marble steam shower, inviting sitting area, a home office and two private decks, including one with a fire pit.
The Ross family has had a long history in the Hamptons. Stephen and Courtney Sale Ross’s former estate, a six-acre compound known as Cody House, “Cody” being Mr. Ross’s nickname for his wife, was purchased in 1982. Ross was the late and legendary, very wealthy businessman who merged Time and Warner in the late 1980s. (Cody House, by the way, borders an equally sprawling compound owned by Steven Spielberg, who was initially introduced to the Hamptons by none other than Steve Ross.) In 2012, Mrs. Ross sold her Manhattan duplex, at the ultra-exclusive 740 Park Avenue, for $52.5 million to billionaire Howard Marks, and she sold Cody House in 2014 for $52 million to David Geffen who sold it for $67.3 million two years later when he upgraded to an $70 million oceanfront estate.
It’s not many people who can claim that a well-known private school was created entirely for their own needs, but Nicole can. In 1991, the year before Steve Ross died at 65 due to complications from prostate cancer, Nicole’s parents took her out of the very exclusive Spence School in Manhattan and went on a whirlwind of international travels with a tutor to give her an interesting education; other well-off families asked if their children could tag along, and, out of that, the Rosses founded their private school in East Hampton. (About 30% of Ross students get financial aid, and to this day Mrs. Ross funds scholarships for local underprivileged children.)
Though it seems unlikely they’ll pull up all their East Coast sticks — having sold a Tribeca condo in 2019 for $225,000 less than the $8.5 million they paid in 2015, they bought an 1890s townhouse in Brooklyn’s historic Cobble Hill neighborhood last year for $8 million — the Eloffs are clearly planning to spend more time on the left coast where they just paid $16 million for oil heiress Aileen Getty’s house in Malibu.
And, in case you’re wondering where that area of Amagansett got the name Promised Land — back in the day, there were fish processing plants for menhaden in the area. Local fishermen caught menhaden, also known as bunker, porgy, mossbunker, alewife, fatback, and shad, and the factories cooked them to make glue. The only problem with this process was the unholy smell of the processing plant. The stench could actually tarnish the coins in the pockets of the workers. The area was dubbed Promised Land because it “stunk to high heaven.” Eventually, the Promised Land fish factories declined; the last one closed in 1969.