SELLERS: John McEnroe and Patty Smyth
LOCATION: Southampton, NY
SIZE: (approx.) 7,500 square feet, 8 bedrooms 7.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: With the summertime selling season in full swing, tantrum tossing professional tennis icon John McEnroe and Patty Smyth — she fronted the early 1980s band Scandal — volleyed their long-time estate in a prestigious pocket of the hoity-toity seaside town of Southampton, NY, on the open market at $14.5 million. The couple, married in 1998 with half of a dozen kids between them — two together and four from previous marriages, acquired the plummy property in May 1999 for $4.2 million.
The mansard-roofed sprawler spans about 7,500-square-feet with open concept living areas that for the most part aren’t represented in listing photographs but are said in listing descriptions to consist of a sunny living room with vaulted ceiling and fireplace, several formal and informal dining spaces, a library, office, den, and a “splendid sunroom.” The residence’s 8 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms are sprinkled throughout the multi-winged house to maximize quiet and privacy. At least two of the bedrooms on the ground floor open to the outdoors for an easy breezy seaside lifestyle while the spacious master suite on the upper level provides two bathrooms and a wide bank of French doors that open to a slender balcony with an over-the-treetops view. The gated driveway circles up at the front of the house and a wide deck along the back overlooks verdant, hedge-girdled grounds that comprise vast and thick carpets of specimen tree dotted lawns, a simple rectangular swimming pool set close to the house and — the only one of the tennis legend’s many homes to have one — a tennis court. Current listing details indicate the 2.17-acre spread is part of the so-called Murray-McDonald Compound, once one of Southampton’s largest estates, portions of which have been owned by Henry Rogers, the late head of Standard Oil, and former Atari CEO Ray Kassar. Although the gated estate is landlocked it fortunately transfers with deeded rights to a pristine, dune-lined stretch of sand along which stand a couple of grand mansions, one owned by mega-rich radio shock jock Howard Stern and another by real estate multi-billionaire Leonard Stern.
Selling their Hamptons estate is only the latest of several changes the McEnroe-Smyths have made to their impressive property portfolio over the last few years. They sold a one-bedroom co-operative apartment in New York City at the legendary Beresford building on Central Park West for $3.1 million over the summer of 2013 and late last year (2015) an otherwise unidentified “top broker” told the New York Post the couple “’have been looking at every major apartment downtown that is more than $12 million.’” The couple have long resided primarily in Manhattan but that hasn’t stopped them from owning a considerable amount of property on the West Coast where their holdings currently include three prime properties in Malibu: an ocean-front house the 19-time Grand Slam winner bought in 1984 and shared with his first wife, Tatum O’Neal; a modestly proportioned if hardly cheap mid-century ranch-style residence on a land-locked 1.5-acre lot in a small gated enclave in the Paradise Cove area that was picked up in March 2013 for $3.345; and, in the same gated enclave but on a quarter-acre ocean-front parcel, a glassy and considerably larger elevator-equipped three-story 1990s contemporary the big spenders scooped up last fall for $21 million.
Listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty