Sunday, September 24, 2023

$21M Avalon Sale Sets Record

A house and empty lot beside it

By Shay Roddy

AVALON – With a $21 million sale price, a double lot on the beachfront in Avalon set a real estate record on the Seven Mile Island.   

Joe Butler, of A. Lewis Purdy Real Estate, told the Herald the side-by-side lots just steps from the 68th Street beach path will host an 8,000-plus square-foot “dream home” for the buyer, a businessman whose identity was not disclosed. The home was purchased under an LLC. 

“The exclusivity of a 110’ x 110’ lot in southern Avalon is something I cannot stress enough. They rarely come on the market and are very difficult to create,” Butler said. 

The beachfront lot, at 163 68th Street, is currently empty and sold in October for $11.5 million. The one behind it, 165 68th Street, has a house built in 2008 and sold for $9.5 million the next day to the same buyer, who will demolish the 14-year-old house.   

The same people owned both lots prior to the sale and had demolished the 70s-era home on the beachfront with the desire to build a home for themselves there and then sell the house they currently live in, second back, Butler, who represented the sellers, said. But then, they were offered a number they couldn’t refuse.  

Records show the beachfront lot sold for $6.25 million in 2011 and the lot second-back for $3.7 million in 2006, giving the seller more than a 100% return on their $10 million investment. 

The custom home being designed and built by the new buyer will be larger than one of the lots and will sit on both. The 68th Street beach block is in one of the least flood-prone sections of town, with built-in natural dune protection.   

Fourteen blocks away, in the privacy of the Avalon high dunes, traditionally the island’s most coveted beachfront real estate, a 7,800 square-foot home is on the market for just under $13 million. The lot in the dunes is more than double the size of the two on 68th Street, is surrounded by dense vegetation and sits high, offering stunning panoramic views. But Butler said the beach access at 68th street is a bigger selling point. 

“Some people that want ultra-privacy and may not be going to the beach every day, they have no problem with it. They can build a compound with a pool and be content,” Butler said. “Other people go to the beach every day. They’re going to want access. They want ease. If you want to come back for lunch or to use the restroom, you’re not walking four blocks.” 

Butler said the high dunes fell out of favor more than 10 years ago, after a grassroots group of Avalon taxpayers waged a battle against the construction of a mansion in the dunes for the chairman of the Utz potato chip company.  

The group was ultimately unsuccessful in the attempt to thwart development of the home, but they did bring to light illegal paths that the handful of neighboring homes used to access the beach. Those paths were closed down and now the privacy and exclusivity of the dunes now comes at a price in the form of a long walk out to Dune Drive, down a couple blocks to the nearest path, and then down the long path through the thick preserved vegetation. 

“The high dunes sort of lost their exclusivity and the south end of Avalon jumped up in value,” Butler said.   

Tips about other unique properties currently on the market? Email


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