The distinctive red barn on the Mill Pond is almost as old as our nation, and King George III had a hand in both.
In 1770, on shoreline land granted by the king, Wright Frost erected the building and three dams. He ran a thriving grist mill, dependent on twice-daily tides, which produced 150 to 180 barrels of flour weekly.
By the turn of the 20th century, the mill ceased operations and in its place a boatyard was created. Since 1972, the property has been in the Donahue family. That same year, the name was changed to the Tide Mill Yacht Basin. Peter and Marilyn Donahue, the current residents, raised their four children in the house set back from Kirby Lane.
With children and grandchildren all over the map, the Donahues decided to sell the marina so they could spend time with their far-flung family, as well as pursue new adventures themselves. That decision prompted headline news — in the Wall Street Journal (“A Yet-to-be-Built Mansion in Westchester County Asks $29.95 Million”), and beyond.
If all goes according to plan, the red barn will be restored and remain, according to Joan O’Meara of Houlihan Lawrence. While two homes could be built on the 2.58-acre property, luxury developer Paul Varsames and his team have created a conceptual design for a single-family compound: a seven-bedroom, 11,000-square-foot main house, nearly 1,500-square-foot guest house, and 2,330-square-foot barn for year-round recreation, a vanishing-edge pool, and five deep-water slips. This special property, which lies on the water-protected pond, also comes with a .25-acre island.
The style of the home is “transitional”, a nod to both past and present. The views of the pond and Long Island Sound are timeless.
O’Meara and Varsames have enjoyed a long and successful business relationship. She was the listing agent for Locust Rye, the high-end condominium complex in downtown, as well as his new homes on Topsail Lane and Manursing Way, both of which were sold based on floorplans. Joan O’Meara & Team — Katie Irwin, Mary Kmetz, Tom O’Meara, Nora Fanning, Nicole Paxton — manage his 29 rental properties, from Midland Avenue to High Street.
For 191 Kirby Lane, the duo brought on lifestyle property specialist Sara Gore who works exclusively with SERHANT, a New York City-based luxury real estate firm.
In her over 25 years as a broker, O’Meara said the best part of her job is “matching people with houses and seeing them happily in place.” Last year, she sold a home in Rye to a gentleman and his family, and, a few months later, she sold a home to his sister and her family. “Both came from New York City and they are so happy to have their children going to elementary school together in Rye.”