Neighbors Express Concerns With Two Hedge Fund Managers

Mar 21 2014 | 9:57am ET

A pair of hedge fund managers is proving less-than-neighborly.

In suburban New York, D.E. Shaw Group founder David Shaw’s growing compound has fellow residents of his village worried. And in leafy Hampshire, west of London, a celebrity guest of GLG Partners co-founder Noam Gottesman’s penchant for helicopter rides is literally waking up the neighbors.

Shaw’s new home in Hasting-on-Hudson, N.Y., is nearing completion. Unlike in Gottesman’s case, there is no suggestion of wrongdoing. But some residents of the artsy enclave of 8,000 people along the Hudson River worry that Shaw’s estate will dwarf the other homes in the village, which does not feature the palatial residences found in other parts of Westchester County.

Indeed, Shaw’s garage, at 3,572 square feet, is larger than most of the houses in the village, according to The New York Times. The main home will be 30,000 square feet, and Shaw is seeking permission to build a $7.9 million guest house.

The most expensive home currently on the market in Hastings is seeking $1.3 million.

“It’s totally out of character with what Hastings is all about,” local resident Mark David told the Times.

Shaw spent five years assembling seven properties into a 6-acre estate along the Hudson, just 10 miles north of Manhattan. And while some have complained that Shaw demolished three houses, including two large mansions, to build his, others are less concerned.

“This guy is doing what you should do,” Hastings resident Patrick Sibilia told the Times. Rather than cutting a large plot into smaller plots, “he’s taking three lots and putting up one house instead of condos. He’s making the town less dense.”

In addition, Shaw is set to pay more than $1 million per year in property taxes, most of which will go to Hastings’ already strong schools.

“He’s not going to require a lot of services, so it benefits us,” John Ordman, who has lived in the village for 26 years, said.

On the other side of the Atlantic, neighbors are less equivocal. Gottesman has come under scrutiny for allowing pop star Beyoncé Knowles to use his Burley estate as her U.K. base. Knowles’ presence itself isn’t the problem: It’s how—and when—she gets in an out of it, using a helicopter.

The local authority in the area, which is close to Highclere Castle, best known as the set of the television series Downton Abbey, has opened an investigation into whether Gottesman built a helipad on his property without permission. The probe began after several locals complained about Knowles’ flights into and out of the estate, which they say often occur early in the morning or late at night.

The authority is also looking into whether part of Gottesman’s estate has been turned into residential space without approval.

“No planning permission has been granted for a permanent helipad on the land,” a spokesman for the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council said. “We have visited the site and met with the owners’ representatives and the enforcement case remains open.”

“We always say they’re the noisy neighbors,” one local told The Telegraph of Knowles and her husband, Jay-Z. “When they do stay here it is very, very noisy because they come in low over the house.”


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