The self-proclaimed âPrince of Montaukâ is still riding high.
Last year, after he was the subject of a profile in Vanity Fair â in which he was described as a âreal estate agent to the stars,â âunofficial bouncer of the local surf beachesâ and, most improbably, âthe inspiration for Cole Lockhart, Joshua Jacksonâs character on âThe Affairââ â Mr. Eckardt was arrested by the East Hampton police on charges of driving while under the influence of drugs.
Some longtime Montauk residents were ready to write him off as a washed-up party boy, but he has defied expectations.
This year he has sold more than $15.5 million in homes and commercial properties, according to Nest Seekers, the firm for which he works. He is the broker for one of the townâs largest commercial listings: Zum Schneider, a 4,040-square-foot German-style restaurant and beer garden that is on the market for $4.1 million.
Recently, he got the exclusive on a four-bedroom home with water views owned by the surfer and artist Tony Caramanico, priced at $3.2 million. And Mr. Eckardt is in the process of closing a $27 million deal that he said he couldnât talk about because of a nondisclosure agreement.
âI believe Iâm the realest real estate agent out here,â he said. âWhatever I touch turns to sold.â
âI know what this town needs,â he said. âI visualize greatness.â
Raised by a fisherman and waitress in Montauk, Mr. Eckardt always dreamed of being a surfer and traveling the world. He moved to California in his late teens to attend Santa Barbara City College before moving to Malibu to surf. When he saw how quickly Malibu was developing, he also found…