Sculptor Owen Morrel and his wife Laurie Jewell have sold their home and surrounding 12.71-acre Soundfront property in Peconic for $6.6 million, the largest real estate transaction on the North Fork so far this year.
The deal closed on Thursday, May 14, according to Sheri Winter Clarry of The Corcoran Group, the property’s listing agent. The asking price was $7.5 million, Clarry said.
“It’s a spectacular 12.71-acre property nestled in the dunes,” she said. “It’s so gorgeous.”
The transaction will likely be one of the North Fork’s most expensive in 2015. Only two homes fetched price tags north of $4 million in 2014. The second-highest sale of the year so far is a 90-acre property featuring 30 acres of vineyards that sold in February for $6.5 million.
Morrel and Jewell purchased the property in 2000 for $1.3 million but were unimpressed with its original home, according to a story published in the Wall Street Journal. The 4,500-square-foot house that now sits on the property features five bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, a private beach, a wraparound deck, a four-car garage and three fireplaces.
“I will miss the view of the Long Island Sound out my studio window every morning,” Morrel, 64, said in a telephone conversation from Coral Gables, Fla. “[To live in the woods on that property] you got to have a pioneering spirit, which I have. I’ve been an explorer my entire life, but at my current age, you get other issues that pop up.”
Clarry declined to identify the buyers.
Morrel said taking care of the 12.71 largely undeveloped acres began to be too much for him and his wife, who moved to the home full time in 2007.
“I felt like a superintendent taking care of stuff every day,” he said. “I had days this winter I couldn’t even get to my house.”
Morrel, who said he still rises at 5 a.m. most days to work, vowed to return to the area and said he is actively looking for a smaller property. He is currently building a sculpture for the city or Arlington, Texas near AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play, among other projects.
“I love the North Fork. I’ve been out there for 30 years,” he said. “I left a lot of people out there I love.”