Is this village next door to Long Beach ‘the new Hamptons’?


Thomas Tripodi, of Douglas Elliman real estate in Long Beach, gets calls all the time from potential home buyers. But in recent days, many of the calls, from media outlets as well as potential customers, have been inquiries about one particular property in Atlantic Beach.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Tripodi said, “and very interesting.”

The home at 139 Bayside Drive has been on the market for a month, and it’s fair to say that it has attracted lots of attention. It’s a Miami Beach-style house on a double bayfront lot with six bedrooms and six bathrooms, and its asking price is $11.5 million, a record for the village.

The last time the house was for sale — for $2.33 million — was 2005, and it has undergone extensive renovations since then.

Tripodi has been selling real estate since 2001, and has marketed many of the highest-profile properties on the 18-mile-long Long Beach barrier island, which extends from Atlantic Beach to Point Lookout.

He has said that the area has the potential to become “the new Hamptons,” and properties like the one on Bayside Drive are one of the reasons.

“The exclusiveness of the people that come here, for sure,” he said when asked what sets Atlantic Beach apart. “The proximity to Manhattan. So instead of going to the Hamptons, you’re 28 miles from the city. If you want to take a train, you can take a train. If you want to drive, you can drive in about an hour. Or you can sit in traffic and go to the Hamptons or Montauk.”

The Village of Atlantic Beach has a permanent population of just over 1,700, but that number swells with the summer’s seasonal residents — as does the traffic, and the crowds at the beaches and the village’s beach clubs.

After the New York Post published a story quoting Tripodi’s Atlantic Beach-Hamptons com-
parison last month, local feedback was less than enthusiastic among residents who want to remain, and be known as, a small community.

Village Trustee Nathan Etrog, a 50-year resident said that during a visit to the beach, many people shared their displeasure with Tripodi’s comments.

“We’re a small, quiet community,” Etrog said. “I don’t think this community really sees itself, or wants to be seen, if you will, as the ‘new Hamptons.’ I don’t think it’s accurate, and it’s not very positive.”

Etrog said that the difference between the two communities could be seen on any main street in the Hamptons, where there is much more commercial activity than there is in Atlantic Beach, which has few businesses.

“We have maybe three restaurants and a couple of stores,” Etrog said with a chuckle. “So there’s a dramatic difference.”

Atlantic Beach native and real estate broker Jennifer McConnell grew up three houses down from the Bayside Drive property.

“That home fits the aesthetic of Atlantic Beach beautifully,” she said. “It does not stand out. That home was there when I was living there, and it is very tastefully situated on the block on the corner. You honestly don’t even notice it compared to its neighboring homes.”

McConnell said she understands why residents don’t want their village to be compared to anything other than what it already is.

“They want to keep it a hidden gem and the peaceful nature of it,” she said. “I think that’s what people really like about it, and they want to keep it as it is. I don’t think they’re comparable,” she added of Atlantic Beach and the Hamptons.

Asked whether he had heard any negative reactions to his comments, Tripodi said he had acknowledged that the communities are different.

“It’s probably like an enclave of the Hamptons,” he said of Atlantic Beach. “It doesn’t have all the clubs and bars and this and that. So you’re not going to get that crazy party crowd. It can’t be the Hamptons, because there’s not that much retail space here. Just like Long Beach can’t be Miami Beach. It’s an amazing area and it’s fun, but the outliers have even less retail.”

Tripodi said he has fielded calls about the Bayside Drive house from potential buyers from New York City, as well as one from the Five Towns.

“It’s not ostentatious,” he said of the home. “It’s really well designed and fantastically built.”