The Southampton Mansion of Art’s Disgraced ‘Red Queen’ Is Auctioned For $79 Million—a Discount

The asking price had at one time been $150 million.

Louise Blouin, CEO and Chairman of Louise Blouin Media attends The Louise Blouin Foundation Presents The Fifth Annual Blouin Creative Leadership Summit - Awards Ceremony and Gala at the Metropolitan Club on September 19, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The Louise Blouin Foundation)

Sotheby’s has finally found a buyer for former art publisher Louise Blouin’s fabulous four-acre estate on the Eastern End of Long Island, known as La Dune. 

The sprawling estate on Southampton’s famous Gin Lane sold for $88.48 million, which represents $40.5 million for the larger home and $38.5 million for the smaller house on the property, according to an announcement from the auction house. The remainder represents the standard 12 percent buyer’s premium, which goes to Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s touted it as the most valuable property it ever auctioned live and noted “global participation” from seven “property connoisseurs” in North America, including New York and Connecticut, as well as interest from bidders in the Caribbean. The winning bidder’s name was not disclosed, although a Sotheby’s representative confirmed the same buyer bought both parcels of land.

Blouin had held out for as much as $150 million for La Dune in the past, making this week’s sale a substantial comedown. In spring 2022, the Canadian art magazine publisher “narrowly avoided foreclosure by sticking 366 Gin Lane, one of the compound’s two waterfront homes, into bankruptcy court just two days ahead of a scheduled auction,” according to a report in the Real Deal.

An interior view of La Dune. La Dune on Gin Lane in Southampton. Image courtesy Concierge Auctions / Gavin Zeigler.

Bidders at yesterday’s auction had to be vetted and were required to put up $500,000 as a deposit. The minimum bid for the “package,” meaning both land parcels, was $66 million. 

New York Post real estate writer Jennifer Gould spotted Jenny Fleiss, co-founder of Rent the Runway, and financier Chris Brown in the room. They made in-person bids before dropping out and leaving well before the auction ended.

According to Gould, the auction broke for negotiations around 5:20 p.m. Roughly two hours later, after the crowd of approximately 75 people had started petering out, “the auctioneer returned to announce a $79 million bid on the compound.” Even at 8:45 p.m., the negotiations were still ongoing.

According to the Post:

The issue was that the lender, a privately owned company named Bay Point, has to approve the auction sale, which will likely end up being less than an earlier $90 million offer for the compound that the seller refused, thinking she could get far more for the property, sources said. Wednesday’s sale still has to be approved by a bankruptcy judge in mid-February. The lenders are still owed between $7 million to $15 million.

After observing the drama around the sale, one bidder quipped that it “should be a series on Netflix,” according to Gould.

La Dune on Gin Lane in Southampton. Image courtesy Concierge Auctions / Gavin Zeigler.

La Dune on Gin Lane in Southampton. Image courtesy Concierge Auctions / Gavin Zeigler.

Though Blouin herself is not publicly identified as the most recent owner of La Dune, it is widely known that she acquired it for $13.5 million in the 1990s, according to the Post.

Along with most of the art world, the Post has long followed Blouin’s exploits, dubbing her the “Red Queen” for her imperious ways. Having made a splash by buying up multiple art publications in the 2000s, Blouin became notorious for her erratic management style and failure to pay writers and staff.

The La Dune property was offered individually and collectively via Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions in partnership with Harald Grant of Sotheby’s International Realty, Tim Davis of The Corcoran Group, and Cody Vichinsky, president and founding partner of Bespoke Real Estate. Notably, the property was part of Sotheby’s “Visions of America,” a week-long “celebration of American craftsmanship and culture filled with auctions, events, and experiences.”

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