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Hastings Community Reacts To $75M Mansion Report

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The Hastings community had a lot to say after the price tag of a new house in the village was reported to be $75 million Wednesday. Residents voiced concerns about the size of the 30,000-plus square foot house, built by David E. Shaw, founder of a hedge fund company.

Some wondered about the home's placement in Hastings, an understated rivertown where residents talk about sustainability and carbon footprints and seem to shun ostentatious displays of wealth. Others said they thought the luxury home was in line with Hastings’ history of luxurious estates.

“Jeez, sounds like overkill in our little town,” said Helen Zobler on The Hastings Daily Voice Facebook page.

“There goes the neighborhood,” Jeanne Newman said on Facebook.

Other residents spoke out online, calling the project “gross” and questioning the re-sale value of the property. other residents said the mansion isn't much different than those built by wealthy locals in the past. 

“Right. A big mansion would TOTALLY be against the history and traditionals of Hastings,” William Li wrote on Facebook, noting that Billie Burke, who played the good witch Glinda in the film "The Wizard of Oz," had an opulent spread in Hastings.

According to 2011 Census data, the average value of owner-occupied houses in Hastings is $681,500, about $74.3 million less than the reported value of the Shaw house.

Many Realtors in Hastings said they wondered how the village would ever come up with a fair assessment. Appraisals for newly constructed houses that have not been sold are largely based on data from similar houses in the surrounding area. And, since it is unusual for a house to be listed for more than $2 million in Hastings, there are no similar houses to compare to the Shaw estate. 

In Hastings, a house that's more than $2 million is unusual, several Realtors said, so forget about resale. 

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