Montauk—with its wild dunes, walk-up hamburger joints and grainy seafood hovels—has long been the sleepier and slightly shabbier sister of nearby Southampton and East Hampton proper. But the decrees that govern New York City real estate also govern its summer havens, so what was once passé now cashes in on the nostalgic dollar. It’s not news that Montauk prices are rocketing—but to what heights has surprised even longtime locals. According to a report by the Corcoran Group, in the first quarter of 2016, median sales prices in the far-east reaches of Long Island’s southern shore jumped 25 percent—to $1.038 million, from $831,000 just last year.
Perhaps the town’s most prominent development has been the ongoing renovation of Gurney’s Montauk Resort, the 90-year-old institution that in December bought out the neighboring Panoramic View resort for $63.9 million. Part of the former Panoramic is now being transformed into The Residences at Gurney’s, 15 oceanfront homes priced between $4.7 million and $12 million. Around the same time as the Gurney’s acquisition, J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler sold Andy Warhol’s famed Montauk estate for a cool $48.7 million.
As area prices shoot skyward, the hospitality industry has wasted little time catering to the town’s trendier new inhabitants. New York culinary staples Tacombi and Grey Lady have both opened Montauk outposts, and business mogul Marc Rowan has underwritten two new eateries in town. But while local business owners welcome the influx of patrons, many natives are disgruntled by Montauk’s makeover. Last summer, strict noise ordinances were enforced after some 300 locals protested the legions of partygoers who’ve flooded the once-sleepy, nature-centric community. But times change, and if you’re not much for bird-watching on beach cruisers, there’s now a SoulCycle just down the road.
All Images: Courtesy