Disgraced former “Today Show” host Matt Lauer has once again put his North Haven, N.Y., estate back on the market. The property, known as Strongheart Manor, was listed for $44.8 million in 2019, about the same time his ex-wife Annette Roque filed for divorce and two years after Lauer was fired from NBC. Since then, the house has bounced on and off the market, always asking $43.995 million. The property is now listed by Susan Breitenbach at Corcoran, the agent who sold the house to Lauer.
Lauer bought the estate in 2016 from Richard Gere, paying $33.75 million. Gere, who had purchased the place in 2006 for $6.9 million, put the property on the market in 2013 asking $65 million. The price gradually dropped until Lauer coughed up just about half the initial ask.
Strongheart is known for being the antithesis of a glitzy celebrity showplace. It’s rustic and homey, with a long screened porch and numerous patios and pavilions to enjoy the beautiful bay sunsets. The main house was built in 1902, but has been expanded and substantially upgraded since. Two guest houses, an outdoor fireplace pavilion, and a tea house set in the middle of a bay-front pond have been added, the latter courtesy of Gere, a practicing Buddhist. In all, there are twelve bedrooms and twelve baths in 14,000 square feet set on 6.3 prime waterfront acres, with mature, flowering gardens. There’s 300 feet of direct bay frontage, a 240-foot-long private deepwater dock, a much coveted feature in the Hamptons, and a sandy beach, as well as a 60-foot pool and a basketball court. Plus, there’s some pretty illustrious neighbors; next door is “Margaritaville” singer Jimmy Buffett.
The name Strongheart comes from the successful Broadway play of the same name that in which the original owner, Robert Edeson, starred. (He also starred in Cecil B. DeMille’s silent classic “The Call of the North.”) Because famous names such as Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and the Barrymore siblings visited Edeson in North Haven, the street was eventually named Actors Colony Road.
At about the same time the Lauers purchased Strongheart, they listed a small waterfront Cape Cod cottage in Southampton, which they purchased in September 2009 for $2.15 million and sold for $3.5 million, as well as a larger home near their 40-acre Water Mill horse farm. The larger house, purchased in 1999 for $935,000, sits on 25 acres with a 70-foot heated pool, a pool house, and tennis court. Designed by Daniel Romualdez, the six-bedroom, 8,000-square-foot house was at one time listed for sale at $18 million and the price plummeted to $12.75 million before it was taken off the market. That property has not sold and is no longer on the market; So the stories go, Annette kept the house (and the horse farm) in the divorce. The Lauer’s also previously owned an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that was purchased in 2004 for $5.882 million and sold in 2018 for $7.35 million.
Lauer’s portfolio may be dwindling but it still extends to half-way around the world where in 2017 he shelled out $9.2 million to acquire the long-term lease on a 16,000-acre merino sheep and cattle farm located on New Zealand’s South Island. The farm includes more than eight miles of lakefront land bordering Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka, plus another eight miles of riverfront along the Hunter River. There’s a five-bedroom house as well as farm buildings and fishing huts.