NEW YORK – Chalk up another winning transaction for Martha Stewart (search) and her clan.
The closely monitored media maven and her daughter, Alexis, have apparently turned a profit of about $6 million selling a long-neglected Hamptons property on Georgica Pond (search).
The electronically-enhanced embroiderer bought the Hamptons property in 1995 from the Museum of Modern Art (search) for a reported $3.2 million. It is best known as the scene of her very public feuds with the mogul next door, Manhattan developer Harry Macklowe (search).
The narrow, rectangular residence, known as Travertine House (search), runs about 2,300 square feet and sits on 2.4 acres. It is the only known single-family house by noted architect Gordon Bunshaft (search).
According to reports, the first shot in Stewart's back-fence feud came when Macklowe planted what she called "inappropriate greenery" between their homes. When a survey showed the plantings were on her property, she had them ripped out.
That was when the knives came out. When Stewart began work on her property that included building a 60-foot pool, a gym, and several outbuildings, Macklowe went ballistic. By 1996, lawsuits were flying over property lines, construction plans and the placement of shrubs and "pepperidge trees."
It was at Travertine House that Martha had her first public brush with the law, when she was accused of (but never charged with) pinning a Macklowe gardener against a wall with her SUV.
The war went on in fits and starts, but got swamped in legal claims and counterclaims. The house has been sitting — abandoned and gutted — since at least 2002.
But, in a characteristically savvy trade, Martha passed the shell off to daughter Alexis just as the feds were building their case against her in the ImClone scandal. The younger Stewart listed it in the spring of 2003 for $10.5 million; most recently, it was on offer for $9.5 million. One local broker confirmed it had sold for "close to asking price."
The new buyers, according to the East Hampton Star, are Donald and Bonnie Maharam of Palm Beach, Fla., who plan to demolish what's left of the dilapidated structure and are "working with the footprint [of the house]" while trying to keep "the spirit of the house alive," said their architect.