Fire Island’s Sandy Comeback

By JOSH BARBANEL March 4, 2015 for the Wall Street Journal

Three years after superstorm Sandy, Fire Island continues to rebuild. Prices remain flat—good news for anyone looking for a summer getaway.

Fashion designer Sully Bonnelly owns a modernist beach house on Fire Island with a double-height, glass-walled living room and space for sculptures collected from his travels around the world. He also knows it comes with a risk.

When superstorm Sandy struck the 32-mile-long barrier island on the south shore of Long Island in October 2012, his house on high ground was spared. But hundreds of others were flooded and some of the nearby dunes and beach washed away.

Even now, three years later, the real-estate market in Fire Island rests on a fulcrum of risk and reward. “It is not for the fainthearted,” said Suzy Goldhirsch, president of the Fire Island Association, a community organization. “But there is a stunning quality of beauty.…There will always be people who want to live there.”

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