WATCH HILL, RI - Gustave White Sothebys International Realty announced that they have reached an agreement with the historic Ocean House Hotel to be the exclusive listing agent for the hotels residential suites.
The hotel, which is being rebuilt from scratch, is slated to open in the Spring of 2010, reprising the role of the original hotel which once adorned Watch Hill for over 135 years. For some time, the viability of a grand hotel remaining in Watch Hill was anything but a certainty. After its final summer of operation in 2003, the original Ocean House Hotel closed for business and seemed destined for the wrecking ball and a historical footnote as one of Rhode Islands great seaside resorts. Built in 1868, the Ocean House had welcomed the families of New England for decades and had served to preserve the memories of more genteel times.
In 2004, Watch Hill community leaders, concerned that developers would raze the hotel in favor of a subdivision of high-end residential properties, approached Charles Royce, a summer resident of Watch Hill, in an effort to save the Ocean House. Royce, who is not a developer, agreed to purchase the property in 2005 and thus preserve one of the area's great community assets. Donna Simmons, marketing and sales consultant for the new Ocean House, states, "From the beginning we envisioned a small boutique hotel, one that included 24 residential suites and a 48-room 5-star hotel. By including permanent residents, the Ocean House will be a viable year-round resort, in contrast to the old hotel which was open only during the summer." The permanent suites are targeted specifically at current Watch Hill residents and their families. Prices for the suites range from $1.5 million to 6.9 million. Of the 24 suites that have been planned, 17 remain available.
To represent these remaining properties, Ocean House chose Gustave White Sotheby's International Realty as a partner. Donna Simmons on entering a Realtor partnership: "We wanted to work with a Realtor who provided not only a strong local presence, but a global presence as well. In this regard, we appreciated what Gustave White Sothebys International Realty could bring to the table. And of course, Sothebys has such a great reputation, we felt they were a perfect fit for what we were trying to accomplish."
Julie Quigley Smith, manager of the Gustave White Sotheby's Westerly office that will be representing Ocean House, echoed this sentiment. Local knowledge, worldwide reach has long been a basic premise by which the company operates. Our agents live in the community, and we pride ourselves in providing the type of information to our customers that comes with that, whether about schools, trends, entertainment or local politics. And, of course, having offices in Newport and Providence as well as our affiliation with Sotheby's gives us access to a pool of buyers not only from all over the state, but all over the world. &