It may sound like a dream to spend a summer in a chic oceanfront 1940s cabana in Westhampton Beach with beamed ceilings, a fireplace, an outdoor entertainment area and a walkway that leads right to the shore. And now, according to its listing, you can.
But with one bedroom and a noticeably small amount of indoor space, an accompanying $11.9 million asking price may come as a shock — but there’s more than meets the eye.
“It’s all about the land and the frontage,” said Enzo Morabito, the Douglas Elliman broker who represents this 85 Dune Road listing. “You’ve got almost a 2-acre piece that can accommodate a large house and a pool, and you’re in prime property.”
It’s what the cabana stands on that counts. The listing notes the property has some 163 feet of direct ocean frontage, and a swath of that size doesn’t often come up for sale.
“The people who want to be on the ocean, there’s only [so much] of it, and if they’re looking for a large piece, not a sliver … the frontage is really what this is all about,” Morabito added. “The acreage and the frontage.”
That cabana, meanwhile, will need to be demolished to make way for a more livable structure.
The asking price may still seem steep, but this parcel is located west of the canal, the traditional — but increasingly obsolete — start point of the Hamptons, whose super-prime east-of-the-canal towns include Southampton and Sag Harbor, where properties can sell for many millions more. For instance, in Water Mill, a comparable oceanfront listing with more than 2 acres of vacant land and 182 feet of frontage now asks $24 million, more than twice the price, with Brown Harris Stevens.
And like they say, size matters. Morabito adds that lots less than 100 feet wide would require landowners to build narrow homes that run perpendicular to the shore instead of parallel. That means “you’re forced to build a caboose,” he said, with just one short side of the home open to ocean views, as opposed to vistas along a much wider end.
“The broadness of a house, the width of the house, on the ocean is extremely important,” he said. “It’s the last big lot in Westhampton of this dimension that you can do that in a prime spot … you can make it wide so you have bedrooms that are looking out at the ocean, extra bedrooms upstairs looking out at the ocean.”
That said, demand is up — especially along Dune Road. In 2021 and so far in 2022, at least 27 homes have sold along that stretch, according to numbers provided by Douglas Elliman, with just a handful of those homes’ listing descriptions mentioning lots with more than 100 feet of ocean frontage.
Building a new home on this listed lot — with permits, demolition and new construction — could take a year and a half, according to Morabito. In the meantime, he adds, the cabana — though a temporary stay — isn’t a bad in-between spot.
“It’s a jewel on the ocean,” he said. “You’re there and you can hang out … in real style. It’s a beautiful bedroom, you’re looking at the ocean and you’re on one of the prime spots that you can be on in all of the Hamptons right now.”
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.