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Buying Land in Tuxedo Park

Tuxedo Park is a historic village in New York that never seems to go out of style- very much like the tuxedo itself.  An exclusive 2,600-acre gated enclave – said to be the country’s first gated community, in fact, and yes, where the tuxedo was first worn- Tuxedo Park is 40 miles and some 45 minutes from Midtown Manhattan, making it an idyllic second home destination as well.  I was happy to sit down with our in-house Tuxedo Park expert Barbara du Pont to get her take on the current state of the market and the growing interest in land parcels for sale.

Lookout Stable Road is for sale and was just reduced to $350,000

Lookout Stable Road is for sale and was just reduced to $350,000

Richard Ellis: Can you tell us about the current inventory in Tuxedo Park available to prospective buyers?

Barbara du Pont: While we have seen a market recovery this year, which has caused a reduction in inventory, there is still a wide range of great properties for sale. But what I find interesting about the current market is a rise in buyer interest in land and an increase in land coming up for sale.

RE: What do you attribute this increase in interest to?

BdP: There is a rise in appreciation for how unusual the Village of Tuxedo Park is due to the historic preservation of its natural landscape and viewsheds.

This past October, the Race Track was dedicated as our community’s Nature Preserve. With the consent of the Board of Trustees and encouragement of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the 21-acre Race Track will be transformed into a Nature Preserve. This will be a multi-year community project funded entirely by private donations and government grants. The Race Track was the site of the Tuxedo Park Horse Show during the Gilded Age. Abandoned since the 1940s, nature has claimed it as a biodiverse sanctuary: more than 300 trees and plants have been identified by naturalist John Yrizarry, environmental consultant J.G. Barbour and Bowman Hill Wildflower Preserve. Some 200 species of bird nest there or use as a flyway, while countless mammals, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies call it home. This level of biodiversity is rare in the Lower Hudson Valley.

This private lakefront lot in Tuxedo Park is available for $800,000

This private lakefront lot in Tuxedo Park is available for $800,000

RE: What has the market been for land lately? 

BdP: This year we started to see a recovery in home sales which have been sluggish over the last 10 years and we are optimistic that land sales will follow.  We are seeing more interest in people looking for building lots. Until this year, the last sale was in 2013, and there were only five sales from 2009 to 2013.  However, interest is picking up and there have been two sales in 2016, including one parcel on Tuxedo Lake.

The land at Summit Road in Tuxedo Park is available for $980,000

The land at Summit Road in Tuxedo Park is available for $980,000

RE: Why is this a great opportunity for buyers? 

BdP: Currently there are eight lots for sale in Tuxedo Park and only two are lakefront.  Also keep in mind this is in the context of an inventory of homes that has decreased to the lowest point in a decade. There are very few homes listed that are in move-in condition, so some buyers really are more interested in building to their specifications, rather than doing extensive repairs and remodeling.  Buyers appreciate the natural beauty of Tuxedo Park and that choosing the right site, which can afford more privacy, wooded surroundings or sweeping views, is often most important.

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Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Launches Apple TV App

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Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced the launch of the Sotheby’s International Realty® Apple TV app, available now on all 4th generation Apple TV devices. The app showcases nearly 50,000 properties currently represented by the Sotheby’s International Realty brand worldwide, giving consumers the opportunity to explore homes on a screen larger than ever before.

App highlights include:

  • The ability to explore properties listed by the Sotheby’s International Realty brand worldwide by city, state, country or lifestyle, either through entered text or Siri dictation.
  •  A powerfully visual experience, offering expertly curated high-resolution photography and high-definition videography.
  •  The opportunity to directly contact sales associates, share a property via email, save recent location searches and bookmark favorite properties.
  •  A Game Mode where players can view captivating property photos and guess the location of origin.
  •  The ability to access Recent Searches and Favorited properties directly on the Apple TV home screen’s “Top Row.”

“The Sotheby’s International Realty Apple TV app allows the process of finding a home to become a collective, interactive experience,” said Christian Russo, director of interactive marketing – media & platforms, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “We are committed to providing an elevated design that provides the best visual experience a consumer can have. With this app, we are inviting families to come together on the couch and immerse themselves in the home-buying conversation.”

To learn more about the Sotheby’s International Realty Apple TV app, visit sothebysrealty.com/appletv. The app can be downloaded from the Apple TV app store by searching for “Sotheby’s International Realty.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 20,000 sales associates located in more than 850 offices in 65 countries and territories worldwide. Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, each firm’s brokers and their clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.

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South Mountain Road: An Artist’s Playground

In the second part of our two-part series on Snedens Landing and South Mountain Road, we look at South Mountain Road and how it has evolved over recent generations.  My firm currently has four properties listed for sale there, and it renewed my interest in the area’s historical provenance and its attraction for artists and creatives.

As we discussed in our last blog, for those looking to purchase real estate in this part of the Hudson Valley, many were torn between Snedens Landing and South Mountain Road.  My observation is that the South Mountain “Roaders” tend to have an adventurous spirit and a passion for the rural landscape.

Life as a Roader

374 South Mountain Road is just 40 minutes to New York City and listed for $1.299 million.

374 South Mountain Road is just 40 minutes to New York City and listed for $1.299 million.

Like Snedens Landing, South Mountain Road has consistently attracted a distinctive artistic community of writers, actors and artists, from poet Maxwell Anderson- whose home we currently have listed- to composer Kurt Weill and his wife, singer/actress Lotte Lenya.  Other members of this informal artists’ colony include director and producer John Houseman and painter Henry Varnum Poor. In the late 1970s Mick Jagger lived on South Mountain Road.

As background, South Mountain Road is a historic road on the northern border of New City. The name is not directional, however, as there is no North Mountain Road- it gets its name from being on the south of the mountain, which by the way, was the name of a Broadway show, written by South Mountain Road resident, Maxwell Anderson. The road itself winds against the mountainside and has historic roots back to the Revolutionary War. Homes are tucked away on the hillside in a country setting.

637 South Mountain Road is a custom-designed all brick home available for $1.425 million.

637 South Mountain Road is a custom-designed all brick home available for $1.425 million.

The road also has ties to the most important art show in American history- “The Armory Show” of 1913 in New York City- which introduced European Avant-garde art to America including Fauvism Cubism and Futurism.  Prior to that, Americans were used to Realism, certainly nothing experimental.  Two local Rockland residents were responsible for coordinating this show: artist Arthur B. Davies and South Mountain roader and sculptor John Frederick Mowbray-Clarke.

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of working with the Mowbray-Clarke family, representing them in the sale of their family homestead to Ramapo Township as green space.

635 South Mountain Road is a modern home perched high against the hillside, available for $1.395 million.

635 South Mountain Road is a modern home perched high against the hillside, available for $1.395 million.

In my Snedens Landing blog, I mentioned that I recently found an article from July 1952 for Park East magazine by Pamela Whittaker, where she details the lifestyles of Snedens Landing and South Mountain Road.  It was interesting to see her note that those “qualities which stem from similarities in occupation and age make the South Mountain Road colony similar to that in Snedens.  Otherwise the two are quite different and definitely separate, mildly but inactively interested in each other.”

It is also interesting to note that in 1952 she observed that South Mountain Road was capable of considerable expansion, being physically larger than Snedens Landing.  It appears that South Mountain Road at the time grew as a sort of bohemian version of Snedens.  “There was a more pronounced emphasis on the arts and crafts as such than ever obtained in Snedens, and much time was spent discussing things artistic and philosophical.  Many Roaders combined their craft abilities with the rustic life and built their own homes and furniture, wove their own materials, and went in for chickens and gardens and canning.”

430 South Mountain Road is an elegant variation of a Romanesque-style stone home, defined by its stone arches, two towers and a tall hip roof, available for $2.595 million.

430 South Mountain Road is an elegant variation of a Romanesque-style stone home, defined by its stone arches, two towers and a tall hip roof, available for $2.595 million.

While you generally will not find that type of rustic existence anymore, the spirit of bohemian art is still alive and well on South Mountain Road, just as a love for art in all its forms and community is still cultivated in Snedens Landing.  It leaves one to wonder how much both areas will change in another 60 years.

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