Hastings-on-Hudson has been receiving a lot of attention lately thanks to a 2013 New York Times article that dubbed it “Hipsturbia” due to its burgeoning influx of trendy Brooklynites. But even before the hipsters came, Hastings was long known for its arty population, dense with writers, musicians, artists, and the like.
But today, the trendy town is welcoming (or not welcoming, depending on who you talk to) billionaire Dr. David E. Shaw, a hedge fund manager and former professor of computer science, and his wife, Beth Kobliner, a financial journalist and author. The pair bought three adjacent plots of land totaling 4.5 acres and demolished any existing structures to build a 30,000-plus square-foot mansion complete with sweeping Hudson River views.
In a New York Times article exploring the impact of Dr. Shaw’s compound (Billionaire’s Sprawling Compound Challenges a Village’s Mellow Ethos) on Hastings’ distinctly liberal, less-is-more ethos, residents expressed mixed feelings about the structure. Mark David, a 22-year resident, was quoted as saying: “It’s totally out of character with what Hastings is all about.” On the other hand, some residents are looking forward to the $1-million annual boost in tax revenues the home will generate (yes, $1 million—the average Hastings tax bill is $19,000, for perspective). John Ordman, a 26-year resident, was quoted as saying: “He’s not going to require a lot of services, so it benefits us.”
According to Forbes Magazine, Dr. Shaw is worth $3.6 billion. No surprise, then, that construction costs are estimated to top $40 million and the design, which includes three gyms and a 3,572 sq-ft garage, among other extravagancies, was sourced from world-renowned modern architect Steven Holl.