The Real Deal New York

Two private islands near Connecticut are for sale

August 30, 2012 03:30PM

A woman who owns about a dozen private islands in Long Island Sound off the Branford, Conn. coast has put two of them on the market for a combined $6 million, the Associated Press reported. Christine Svennigsen, the widow of “party-goods magnate” John Svenningsen, is asking $3.95 million for Belden Island, which is more than an acre large and has a 2,100-square-foot colonial house, and $2 million for Jepson Island, which is about one-quarter of an acre and has a 1,100-square-foot house.

The two plots are part of the Thimble Islands, a group of hundreds of islands. Only 25 of them are habitable. Svennigsen’s husband bought a home on the islands in the 1970s, and after he died in 1997 she began amassing a collection.

Svennigsen is said to have restored many of the homes on the islands with an eye on maintaining their historic integrity, but was criticized by many of her fellow island owners for paying $33 million for her series of properties, according to published reports. The high-priced deals were blamed for huge real estate tax increases in the area.

The islands are part of Connecticut folklore, as legend has it that Captain Kidd buried treasure on one of them and President William Taft was a frequent visitor.

The islands on the market are listed by William Pitt Sotheby’s in Madison. [AP via Stamford Advocate]Adam Fusfeld

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