Listing of the Day
Location: Shelter Island
Price: $11.995 million
In the “Un-Hamptons,” as Shelter Island is fondly known, there are no stop lights, no traffic, no paparazzi and no mail carriers; residents have to go to the post office to pick up their mail.
Since 1979, Linda and James Eklund have happily run the Rams Head Inn here, in the area between the North and South forks of Long Island, but they have decided to sell the business to spend more time with their grandchildren.
A prospective buyer could turn this 22-bedroom waterside retreat into a sprawling mansion house, or, according to agent Peter McCracken, of the Corcoran Group, move straight in and pick up where the Eklund’s left off. It’s a total turn-key, thanks to the fact that the couple also run a construction business and have kept the estate in top condition.
The inn is 15,470 square feet and sits on 4.3 acres. There are 22 rooms for guests, set over three stories.
With a private dock and mooring for eight boats, guests can pull up in their own dinghies at no cost. The property has its own tennis court, and while there’s no swimming pool, there’s plenty of space to build one. It does have an 800 meter private stretch of beach, however. The 180-seat dining room, sunroom and bluestone terrace all overlook the water.
The Rams Head Inn does a roaring trade in weddings. “Almost every weekend they have one booked in,” said Mr. McCracken. “People try and get their date in years in advance.” The couples get married outside, in a little gazebo on the water’s edge, where they set up white chairs for guests. Then everyone heads to the upper lawn for martinis or oysters in the sunshine.
The Eklunds, who summered on Shelter Island as children, are very well known in the area. The property is used for hosting charity events during the winter months; in warmer months they have jazz bands in the lounge area. This has long been a place to rest and relax. They are only the third owners of the home, which was built in 1929 and which has always served as an inn.
The island itself is only accessible on a seven-minute ferry ride.
Though practically the Hamptons, Shelter Island offers a slower pace for vacationers. “It’s very quiet and unpretentious,” said Mr. McCracken. “You could have the president of a Fortune 500 company sitting at a restaurant next to local plumber and no would know who was who.”
The island’s population is 75% second-home owners. Lots of people from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey as well as overseas visitors flock here in summer months.
Ram Island is connected to Shelter Island by a spit of land, and the inn is the only business that is in this area, set high upon a hill overlooking Coecles Harbour with an amazing sunset.
A third of Shelter Island is a nature preserve, which means it will never be built upon.
“Getting a parcel of land of 4.3 acres that you could build a business on is very unusual,” said Mr. McCracken. “This is a very special place that could never be duplicated.”
Agent: Peter M. McCracken, The Corcoran Group
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