Shelter Island offers ‘laid-back vibe’ and ‘rich history’: Wall Street Journal

Bootleggers Alley, Shelter Island

Town Landing at Bootleggers Alley. (Credit: Ambrose Clancy)

In addition to all the attention Shelter Island has been receiving lately from the likes of Coastal Living and other magazines and blogs, now it looks like the Wall Street Journal has officially discovered it too, thanks to a piece that ran on June 15 entitled “Home Buyers flock to Shelter Island” (paywall).

The article begins by touting the fact it takes just five minutes to travel by ferry from the Hamptons to Shelter Island, which it bills as an 8,000 acre island offering “a rich history, scant traffic and gentler prices.”

Of course, “gentler” is a relative term in these parts. The story went on to highlight the home purchases of several residents who have found refuge on Shelter Island — at prices that are undeniably down right reasonable when compared to what these same properties would go for on the South Fork these days.

Among them are interior designer Kevin Roberts and his husband, Timothy Haynes, who have two antique homes on Gardiners Creek by Sylvester Manor. One of the homes was purchased from 83-year-old Glorian Dorsey whose family had owned it since the 18th century. It still had wallpaper dating from the early 1900s.

Also featured in the story was Emmy-award winning producer, director and writer Bill Persky who, along with his wife, Joanna Patton, bought a two-acre property on West Neck Bay for around $2 million.

Other residents highlighted were Egyptologist Stephen Harvey and his partner Perry Sayles. Their 18th century farmhouse set them back $765,00 in 2014 (they put another $410,000 into the property, which included installation of a pool. During its construction, they found colonial pottery shards on the site). Dering Harbor resident Patrick Parcells, whose 5,000-square-foot home was built in 2008, was also part of the story. Parcells home sits on 7.6 acres and is on the market for $ 5.675 million. In 2001, Parcells paid $2 million for the 19-acre property. In 2014, he ran for mayor of Dering Harbor and lost against long-time incumbent Tim Hogue.

The article also gets the perspective of business side of the boom from real-estate agent Penelope Moore, who works for Saunders & Associates. It also addresses the recent issue of regulating Airbnb rentals on the Island, which was a topic of hot debate throughout the winter.

As Craig Wood, Shelter Island town assessor, said in the WSJ story, “You never want to say no, but we also want Shelter Island to stay quiet.”

We can’t be certain, but with national publications like the Wall Street Journal touting the benefits of life on the Island, that may be increasingly difficult to do in the years ahead.