Joe Farrell

… [John Paulson] is wading into a local housing controversy and arguing that a large-scale home proposed for a small-scale historic neighborhood on Hill Street in Southampton poses a “threat to our character” and the “peace and tranquility that makes our village what it is.” Mr. Paulson is one of some 85 area homeowners who penned letters to a local village review board. They object variously to the size, scale, scope and “visual incompatibility” of a speculative home planned on a vacant lot in an area where nearly a dozen nearby residences are more than a century old and roughly half or a third the size. The letter writers—socialites, financiers, artists, developers and the scions of a president and a governor—are opposing current plans for the 5,531-square-foot, single-family home on a 1.2-acre parcel being developed by Joe Farrell, a Hamptons builder whom critics have dubbed the “King of McMansions.” [WSJ via BI, related]

For a while, Joe Farrell must have been worried that he might have trouble keeping his in-house ATM (not a euphemism) full of $10 bills. He must have feared he’d never break ground on more than a handful of 10,000-square-foot stucco-clad beachfront palaces at any one time. He must have despaired over whether he’d ever get more than a half-mil a summer for his own home, modestly dubbed The Sandcastle.

But there is relief for Joe Farrell—and, indeed, for McMansion builders everywhere—in this, the most conclusive piece of anecdotal evidence that Wall Street’s long, inconvenient moderately bad dream is over. Read more »