The buyer of disgraced financier Bernie Madoff's four-bedroom beach house in Montauk, N.Y. has been revealed, and it's real-estate mogul Steven Roth, who paid $9.41 million for Madoff's scruffy property.
The Wall Street Journal's "Private Properties" column on Friday broke the story of the identity of the buyer, plus what he paid for the 1.2-acre estate, which is at 216 Old Montauk Highway in Montauk. The seller was the U.S. Marshals service, which seized the property from the now-imprisoned Madoff on July 1 in order to start to repay the victims of his Ponzi scheme.
The Journal reported that Madoff paid $250,000 in the early 1980s for the land, then built the 3,014-square-foot house, which has three baths, a grand columned porch with views of the Atlantic Ocean, a second-floor entrance that leads to a small master bedroom with a private terrace, a staircase that descends to a living room with vaulted ceilings, exposed beams and a stone fireplace. Outside are a small swimming pool overlooking the ocean, and a private path that winds to the beach through pine trees.
Did Roth, who chairs the Vornado Realty Trust real-estate investment trust, get a good deal? Who knows for sure -- Madoff wrote in a filing last year that he thought the property was worth just $3 million, while the U.S. Marshals (not exactly master appraisers!) had believed it was worth around $8 million. Roth, 67, clearly knows what he's doing when it comes to valuing properties, so he undoubtedly sees major potential with the property.
Two other properties of Madoff that have been seized by the feds remain on the market: a 4,000-square-foot duplex penthouse at 133 E. 64th Street on Manhattan's Upper East Side that hit the market last month for $9.9 million; and an 8,753-square-foot, waterfront mansion at 410 N. Lake Way in Palm Beach, Fla., which came on the market last month for $8.49 million. Madoff and his wife, Ruth, paid $3.8 million in 1994 for the Palm Beach mansion, which was built in 1973.