NEWPORT – A buildable lot spanning 26.75 acres in the city recently sold for $11 million, marking the highest-ever sale of empty land in the history of Newport County, according to Lila Delman Compass, the real estate firm that represented the seller in the deal.
Lot A of a historic estate known as Seaward is located at 339 Ocean Ave., perched above Ocean Drive, with views of the Atlantic Ocean, Prices Neck Cove and the Newport Country Club.
The property was separated from an overall 45-acre compound, leading to the sale of Lot B with two existing homes on the property for $16 million in September last year.
At the time, the sale of the nearly 20-acre Lot B site was the biggest real estate deal in Rhode Island since 2019, when 10 Bluff Ave. in Westerly was sold for $17.6 million.
Originally, the properties were put on the market together for an overall $45 million asking price, which would have shattered real estate records for Rhode Island. Lila Delman Compass said it then re-imagined and repositioned the property through a two-lot subdivision, which led to stronger buyer interest.
The 339 Ocean Ave. compound was once home to Candace and James Van Alen, who were Newport socialites and founders of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. A fire in 1976 gutted the building they lived in on the property, which was also formerly known as the Avalon estate.
The sale of the 339 Ocean Ave. property in 2004 set a Rhode Island residential real estate record when it was bought for $10.3 million. The fire-damaged building occupied by the Van Alens was then torn down and the current homes were built there over a four-year period, finished in 2008, according to Lila Delman Compass.
The Lot A property was owned by Atlantic Properties Revocable Trust and trustee Seth A. Gelber and it was last valued by Newport town assessors last year as being worth about $8 million.
A copy of the deed documenting the property transaction was not immediately available through the city of Newport’s online real estate database.
Marc Larocque is a PBN contributing writer.
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