300 Murray Place
From the path outside 300 Murray Place in Southampton, you can smell the ocean. You can hear it, you can see it. You can practically taste it.
It is within that visceral experience, and its sheer location, that the property’s $9.5 million price tag lies, explained Tim Davis, a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker for The Corcoran Group Real Estate, not the four-bedroom cottage itself — which is likely a teardown for the eventual buyer.
“You couldn’t find a house in this location for this price,” Mr. Davis said. “What we’re seeing, the interest we’ve had so far — and we have quite serious interest — has been from a couple of developers and a couple end users. It lends itself to both.
“From a developer’s perspective, you can certainly reap the benefits because when people are buying on speculation and selling, it’s all about location,” he continued. “And this certainly defines that.”
Once a part of the Murray-McDonald compound — one of Southampton Village’s largest estates of yesteryear — this particular cottage dates back to 1972, built on 1 acre of land that has always been highly coveted, bought and sold by several notable names, including the late head of Standard Oil, Henry Rogers, and former president and CEO of Atari, Raymond Kassar.
The original 1920s compound spanned 250 shorefront acres from Southampton to Water Mill, home to Murray/McDonnell/Cuddihy clan. The families were close, but legend has it that Squabble Lane — the road separating two factions of the group — got its name from the notorious infighting between them.
Patriarch Thomas Murray was father to family’s eight children, and considered one of the most prolific inventors of his time, with 1,100 patents to his name — second only to his friend and former colleague Thomas Edison. They rose to prominence in the time leading up to the undisputed wedding of the century, when Murray’s granddaughter, Anne McDonnell, married Henry Ford II at the Sacred Heart Church in Southampton in 1940 — a happy day that is said to have officially put the village on the map, following a decade of hardship in the wake of the Great Depression.
“The history of this setting is the charm and appeal of the location,” Mr. Davis said, “and then the real value in the location is the proximity to the ocean, and the private access to the ocean that only a handful of homes share in this beautiful enclave.”
Built like a true Nantucket beach cottage, the single-story, 1,600-square-foot home opens to a parlor, a gathering area with a fireplace, a sunlit living room with vaulted ceilings, a galley kitchen, four bedrooms and three baths, including a master suite and a separate studio with private access, and an attached garage.
Hidden behind tall privet hedges, the land can accommodate a 6,700-square-foot home — “It’s not a mega McMansion, but it should shape into a beautiful summer home — as well as a pool and pool house.
“This owner never installed a pool because the family’s always been ocean swimmers. For them, it was never even thought of,” Mr. Davis said. “This goes back to the era when people didn’t have pools on the ocean, because the ocean was their swimming pool. That’s just the mentality of the time.”
Regardless of the era or the home that sits on this property, it is the kind of place where “you want to have the windows open because you hear the ocean every night, or all day; it’s that close,” Mr. Davis said.
“It’s hundreds of feet away, though far enough back that you feel like you’re protected,” he said. “There’s not been a piece of vacant land in this location, this close to the ocean, to come on the market for sale in probably 25 years. It’s the kind of location that once you own something, you never want to let go. It’s that unique, it’s that precious.”
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