The Hamptons and North Fork commercial real estate marketplace was very strong in 2015 in all categories — Sales in Village Business District Retail, Fringe area retail/office, Commercial / Industrial, and leasing overall.
Outside investors, primarily Manhattan real estate owners and in recent years hedge fund investors, continually seek village buildings to purchase but the owners do not want to sell. Rent rolls are high and they have seen considerable appreciation. It does not make sense for them to sell at a reasonable price, hence a stalled market.
Retailers have increased interest in Montauk, Sag Harbor, Amagansett, and Bridgehampton with limited sites available to lease. This has therefore increased the rates in these markets. East Hampton and Southampton remain strong as the key areas national retailers seek out. We are however seeing a weakness in East Hampton as rents have increased to a point making the cost of doing business too high for many.
Most restaurant sites were either sold or leased in 2014 and 2015 including Moby’s, Momi Ramen, Fresh, Winston’s, Wolffer Sag Harbor, and Baron’s Cove Restaurant to name a few. While there are always restaurants for sale — there is less inventory than in past years. But with the life span of the average East End restaurant short – that will probably change by next year, as the average lifespan for new restaurants opening is about three years.
The most sought after sites are the Commercial/Industrial ones. Landscape and pool companies are the major buyers of these sites in the last couple of years with a current lack of inventory. Major builders have also purchased highway builders to make their presence and strength known such as Farrell, Michael Davis, and Landscape Details to name a few. There are others who have sites in contract and will be making announcement in the near future.
The area to watch for 2016 is the North Fork — but more on that next month.