The Industry's Best and Brightest Gather at the 2017 Privet Hedge Awards

Behind the Hedges

Laura Euler
April 27, 2017

The best and brightest of the Hamptons real estate community were celebrated last night at the fourth annual Privet Hedge Awards Dinner, held at the lovely and swanky Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton. Hosted by Manhattan Media, publisher of Behind the Hedges, Dan’s Papers and AVENUE, it was, as always, a wonderful evening filled with old friends and new.

First up, of course, was cocktail hour. Strolling past the new Alfa Romeo Giulias parked by the entrance, then up the winding staircase to the party awaiting on the second floor, guests found cocktails, wine and AltaNeve prosecco flowing on the deck as a light fog rolled over the Peconic Bay. The pre-dinner merriment included not a photo booth—that’s so 2012—but the fashion-model-level photo shoot experience by Jonsar; this writer felt vaguely like she’d stepped back into the world of David Bailey and Blow-Up.  Many, many guests lined up for the fun activity throughout the night.

At dinnertime, hosts Randi Schatz, AVENUE president, and Eric Feil, CEO of Dan’s Hamptons Media, welcomed everyone. Randi spoke of Michael Conroy and Anthony DeVivio, who both passed away in the last year. It’s nice that the event always takes time out to remember.

Many past winners of the Privet Hedges Awards were in attendance, among them Paul Brennan, Gary DePersia, Susan Breitenbach, Enzo Morabito, Judi Desidero, Peter Turino, and Tim Davis. (Talk about your lineup of heavy hitters!)

About the time the main courses (we had the filet, which was stellar) were being handed out, it was time to start handing out the awards for this year. The winner of the Brokers’ Broker award was introduced by Paul Brennan: Erica Grossman, Douglas Elliman. The Rookie of the Year, presented by Geoff Gifkins, went to Douglas Sabo of NestSeekers. The Big Deal Broker this year, awarded by Peter Turino, went to Christopher Burnside, Brown Harris Stevens. The Hall of Fame award went to universally respected Beate Moore of Sotheby’s.

Beate told us, “I didn’t see it coming and was genuinely surprised. A good surprise! Am getting congratulations all day; very touching and makes me realize how much I do like my work!” Everyone say awwwww.

Chris Burnside said, “It was a great night and quite the surprise. I wish I would have had a few less drinks.” (You and me both, pal.)

New this year was the Impossible Deal award. In presenting it to Marcia Altman of Brown Harris Stevens and Enzo Morabito of Douglas Elliman, Eric mentioned the eight-year-long timeline of the deal, which was the sale of 66 Seafield Lane in Westhampton Beach. Fires, stalkings, subdivisions, and wine sales were some of the highlights, along with celebrity viewings. Finally, after eight years and more than $20 million in markdowns, the property sold last year for $15 million. Truly an impossible deal and a richly deserved award. Enzo says, “It was an honor to be a part of last night’s Privet Hedge Awards with all of my esteemed peers and even more of an honor to be an award recipient once again this year! Although the ‘Impossible Deal’ was interesting and took a long time, none of the deals are easy. If negotiating real estate deals was easy, we would all be very successful!”

Congrats to all this year’s winners and here’s to a great summer!



Douglas Sabo Douglas Sabo
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson