A shoreline property like no other

There is nothing quite like the compound of homes, cottages, ‘Tea House’ and greenhouse along Shore Road in Bristol

By Scott Pickering
Posted 4/19/24

Visit 10,000 properties, tour every million-dollar listing in the Northeast, swipe through Zillow for days … you will never find anything similar to the compound nestled along the western …

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A shoreline property like no other

There is nothing quite like the compound of homes, cottages, ‘Tea House’ and greenhouse along Shore Road in Bristol


Visit 10,000 properties, tour every million-dollar listing in the Northeast, swipe through Zillow for days … you will never find anything similar to the compound nestled along the western shore of Bristol, just steps from the Highlands Community Association dock.

The properties of 79, 85 and 91 Shore Road are every superlative one could pull from a thesaurus, but most of all they are spectacularly unique. There is nothing else like them.

Many locals know the properties were bought, separately over time, and developed into a compound by Alan and Vivien Hassenfeld. Alan was longtime CEO and owner of the global Hasbro toy company based in Rhode Island.

Three years ago, the Hassenfelds sold most of the compound to new owners, Mark Andrus and Alissa Napoleone, and it has been their year-round home, retreat and personal resort ever since. Because of life changes — when they moved in, they did not plan to have children, but they changed their minds and now live there with a toddler – they’ve decided to consolidate life into a more traditional home, and the compound is back on the market … with a lot of bittersweet feelings. The new owners love this property.

“It’s just an amazing place. It’s so peaceful here. Our friends love it here. Sometimes it’s hard to get friends to leave,” Andrus laughed. “When they get here, and they’re coming from the city or whatever, they come here and they just … relax. They don’t want to leave!”

The properties along Shore Road create a true compound, with six distinct living spaces, three decades of brilliantly-planned landscaping, endless decks and patios, pathways that lead through the entire property, one and a half football fields of shoreline, a professional-grade greenhouse, and the most unique structure anywhere (the “Tea House” that is the setting for infinite, breathtaking photos). The entirety is being offered for $6.7 million with Kimberly Ide and Mott & Chace Sotheby’s.

The best way to describe the compound is one setting at a time. If arriving at the dead-end road for the first time, a visitor would first encounter “The Bungalow,” a 1,900-square-foot house designed like a European cottage. It has one enormous bedroom, two full bathroom suites, a small utility kitchen and one towering living space framed in massive wood beams reclaimed from a New Hampshire barn. The entire space faces west with enormous windows and glass spaces to soak in the sweeping views of Narragansett Bay.

“The views here are amazing. You’re so in touch with the water everywhere. Every room in the property has water views,” said Andrus.

The owners actually consider The Bungalow their main house (they sleep and keep their clothes there), though they truly “live” throughout the compound.

Next comes “The Pool Cabana,” a relaxing hideaway that one would find at a posh resort. The cabana includes a bathroom, a steam shower, a bar, and a brand new sauna. It also features a sink where the sink itself is a massive clamshell about three feet wide. It of course sits beside a gorgeous pool that is nestled between the shore and the buildings.

“In the summer, with the pool, and with the waterfall coming down, it’s like living in a resort. It really is,” Andrus said.

Next is “The Main House,” a 3,000-square-foot home that is the heart of the living spaces. It has two bedrooms with spa-like bathrooms, plus two more half-baths, a dining room, a family room, a modern renovated kitchen, a walk-in wine cooler, and more of those incredible water views from every space. This home becomes the center of life when the family has guests. Regardless of where they sleep – there are half a dozen separate options – they congregate here in the morning, or the evening, get their coffee, or their cocktails, and enjoy time together. This ability to host friends and family was one of the biggest attractions for Andrus and Napoleone before they bought Shore Road.

“We looked at everything,” said Andrus. “We were looking for a new home for three years, hard, all the way from Cape Cod, to the islands, to the North Shore of Massachusetts, and this one struck a chord because it is so unique, and also so wonderful for entertaining and for having extended family or friends here.”

Next along the pathway is “The Guest Cottage.” When they bought the compound three years ago, this 900-square-foot building was not in the best shape. Today it has been reborn. They completely gutted the space and gave it new life. The first level is now an open gym, office or art studio. The second level has a bedroom / bathroom with spectacular, elevated views of the bay.

Beside the Cottage is “The Tea House,” a space that cannot be captured in words. Beneath a towering roof is an open-air pavilion that could host an amazing cocktail party, a leisurely chat, a yoga class, or a relaxing business meeting in a huge table sunken into the floor. Attached is a one-bedroom suite with kitchen and bathroom that might be the most intimate and secluded living space in the compound.

Last is “The Green House,” a huge, professional-grade greenhouse that has some of the most spectacular waterfront views any greenhouse has ever enjoyed. The owners use it throughout the winter to store many plants that move to new locations in the warmer months, like potted lemon trees and orange trees that move beside the pool.

Growing throughout the compound is a landscape that would hold its own with any commercial arboretum. Planned and planted over the course of three decades, it is richly diverse, with careful thought given to all spaces. “They spent 30 years building this out, and it’s like an orchestra,” said Andrus. “You have the Wisteria that starts in May, and then as that’s dying out, something else is blooming, and when that’s dying out something else come along. So there’s always amazing life in the landscape.”

There are manmade elements that add to the landscape. “Sound is wired throughout the whole property, and there are 170 or so lights throughout the landscape, which sounds like a lot, but they’re all really nicely placed. At night it’s so magical. It’s just amazing.”

Though every building and every space has its own character, all have a very relaxing vibe. A warmth runs throughout the compound, accentuated by rich woods, soft colors, simple spaces, high ceilings and huge windows. Nothing is cold or museum-like. It all breathes life and energy. There is calm elegance throughout.

“It’s tough to do justice for this property with photos because you really have to walk it and experience it,” said Andrus.

There really is nothing else like it – anywhere.

2024 by East Bay Media Group

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Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.