Bernard Madoff, the affable Wall Street money manager who fleeced his customers out of $60 billion in a world record Ponzi scheme 10 years ago, had a Park Avenue apartment, a home in Palm Beach and a beach house in Montauk in his heyday.
They were not palatial. Palatial would have been inappropriate for a modest money manager and might have raised suspicions about his activities. But they were high-end properties nevertheless. Madoff’s beach house here was about 3,000 square feet set on 1.2 acres, had three bedrooms, a swimming pool that was both inside and outside, if you opened a slider, and the house sat at the foot of a cliff with 180 feet of oceanfront beach.
The driveway down to it from the Old Montauk Highway in Hither Hills passed through a canopy of trees and other foliage. You could not see it from the road. Still can’t.
All three of these properties were put up for sale after the collapse to try to recoup some of the losses suffered by the customers. Appraisers arrived to set a proper price. In the end, Palm Beach and Manhattan sold for less than the appraisal. But the Montauk beach house sold for more.
The price Montauk sold for was $9.4 million, more than three times its appraised value. The buyer was Steven Roth of Vornado Realty Trust, who ordered it dramatically redesigned from top to bottom by designer Thierry Despont. It came on the market in the spring for sale again. For $21 million. And it’s still for sale. Buy a piece of history.