Owning a “box of air on the land” at the Montauk Shores trailer park has become the ultimate status symbol for summering rich and famous, reports the New York Post. From “glorified changing room” after a day at the beach to compact escape chamber, denizens of the boho-chic beach town have snapped up so many modular mobile homes at the Montauk trailer park that it now has its own “Billionaires’ Corner.” The trailer park wasn’t always trendy; it began as a pop-up tent campsite in the 1940s and ’50s, eventually becoming a resort of sorts for police and firefighters, teachers and fishermen.
In 1976 a group of residents bought the 20-acre beachfront property to save it from bankruptcy, making it the state’s first trailer-park condo association and giving blue-collar workers, retirees and local surfers access to the to the pristine coastline. The one rule: Anything new had to be on wheels
In the 21st century, it’s impossible to keep the rich and trendy away from a pop-up anything, and the billionaires have been rolling in, from Energy Brands co-founder Darius Bikoff and hedge-fund manager Dan Loeb to socialites, starchitects and their guests. “I know quite a few billionaires here,” said architect Fred Stelle. “It’s a classic throwback to a summer community–relaxed and low-key in a funky way, like what Southern California must have been like in the 1950s, and it’s safe for kids.” Many of the old-school residents remain, adding even more funky to the mix.
Funky or not, though, to buy or lease your own set of wheels in this chic-shabby community you’ll have to fork over from $200,000 to $1.495 million, plus about $150 a month in dues which goes towawrd grounds upkeep, security and maintenance of a pool and clubhouse. A $1.495 million home at Montauk Shores–a two-bedroom, one-bath, 550-square-foot trailer, vintage 1984 is for sale, and apparently there’s a bidding war.
Most of the high rollers have parked themselves on the park’s coveted oceanfront lots, as evidenced by the Ferraris and Porsches parked outside trailers that sit on one of the finest surfing beaches on the East Coast. In a few cases, mahogany siding, Italian marble and Zen gardens have arrived as well.
Locals see the new additions as yet another sign of change in the once-sleepy beach town, even as the Hamptons themselves are becoming too gentrified for the rich, who are increasingly choosing more laid-back vacation spots like the Hudson Valley. Wealthy buyers have acquired other local properties like family-owned vintage motels and waterfront restaurants with plans to demolish and rebuild, though such plans have sometimes run afoul of local rules. “The days of Montauk as an affordable place for surfers and the like are long gone,” said East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.
There is currently an unofficial moratorium on building in the trailer park until septic-system details have been worked out, according to town officials: The park’s sewage system has been maxed out buy the inflow of newcomers and larger homes. Greg Burns, a broker at Compass, said “The location is still priceless.”
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Images courtesy of Compass.