Westchester & Fairfield Cheat Sheet: Greenwich estate sells for $17.5M, White Plains projects get OK for $5M in tax breaks … & more

TRD New York /
Dec.December 27, 2018 05:30 PM

Clockwise from top left: Sale of Georgian estate in Greenwich marks town’s highest sale of 2018, developers get preliminary approval for tax breaks on White Plains projects, a historic New Canaan home will appear on a PBS television show and a new report in Yonkers claims that two building inspectors accepted bribes from property owners and billed for fake work.

Sale of Georgian estate in Greenwich marks town’s highest sale of the year
A 27-room estate in Greenwich has sold for $17.5 million — making it the town’s highest sale this year, the Wall Street Journal reported. Hedge fund executive Ara Cohen, co-founder of Knight Capital Management, and his wife bought the then-unfinished Georgian estate for around $10.5 million in 2010, and listed the property at 110 Clapboard Ridge Road for $35 million in 2015, according to the outlet. The approximately 17,000-square-foot home, which has six bedrooms, a billiards room, home theater and wine cellar, went on and off the market and took several price cuts before it finally sold this year. Sotheby International Realty’s Leslie McElwreath and Joseph Barbieri represented the sellers, and Compass’ Robin Kencel represented the unidentified buyer. Before this transaction, now in contract, Greenwich’s highest sale in 2018 was the $17 million that Harvey Weinstein’s younger brother, film producer Robert Weinstein, landed earlier this year for a 3.25-acre estate in Greenwich. [TRD]

White Plains project tax breaks get preliminary approval
A pair of developers with projects in White Plains have secured preliminary approval for a total of $5 million in tax breaks, LoHud reported. Ginsburg Development Companies, which is planning a mixed-use development called City Square at the former site of the Westchester Financial Center, got preliminary approval for $3.8 million in sales and mortgage tax exemptions from the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency. The IDA also granted preliminary approval for $1.2 million in exemptions to Hale WP Owner, which plans to use vacant lots on Hale Avenue to build two apartment buildings housing a total of 127 apartments. The tax breaks must be discussed at a public hearing before the IDA can give them final approval, according to the outlet. [LoHud]

Historic but dilapidated New Canaan home to appear on ‘This Old House’
A historic home in New Canaan is getting a makeover made for television, the Fairfield County Business Journal reported. The house at 4 Main Street in New Canaan’s historic district will appear on “This Old House.” The 7,500-square-foot Greek Revival-style house “fell victim to years of neglect and deterioration” and became a popular hangout for raccoons until New Canaan developer Arnold Karp bought it for $810,000 in June, according to the outlet. “Plans are to save the historic facade, but downsize to 6,000 square feet and modernize with the latest and best building materials today,” states the website for the PBS show. [FBJ]

Peekskill seeks proposals for two former firehouses
Having recently centralized its firefighting operations, Peekskill is considering selling off two firehouses that are no longer in use, the Westchester County Business Journal reported. The city, which once had five firehouses, is planning to seek proposals for the two sites. “We’ve already received a couple of expressions of interest,” Peekskill City Manager Richard Leins told the outlet. “The new uses would have to comply with current zoning and could be residential or mixed-use.” Leins didn’t disclose how much money Peekskill would seek for the two firehouses or provide information about their square footage, but noted that it was “important to get the properties back on the city’s tax roll.” Peekskill is continuing to use two other former firehouse sites for city purposes, and another site has been rented. [WBJ]

Report: Two Yonkers building inspectors accepted bribes, billed for fake work
A building inspector in Yonkers allegedly overlooked violations in exchange for money from property owners, while another “billed the city for fake work hours,” LoHud reported. Brendan McGrath, a Yonkers native who was recently tapped to serve another five-year term as the city’s inspector general, wrote in a new report that recently-fired building inspector Joseph Guarniero accepted bribes from property owners and ignored violations “with the simple gesture of putting up fingers.” McGrath’s report found that “Three fingers = $300, five fingers – $500, etc.,” according to the outlet. Patrick Losco, the other building inspector, allegedly claimed he was working for Yonkers — and charged the city for his work — when he was actually working a second job at a hospital. Public records show that Losco and Guarniero earned $116,593.14 and $116,390.07, respectively, from the city in 2017. Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said in a statement that his office does not “tolerate bribes” and would “continue to provide the full support of this administration in dealing with dishonest behavior.” [LoHud]

Bridgeport, Shelton sites secure funds for brownfield remediation
Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development is awarding millions of dollars in funds to a number of brownfield remediation projects throughout the Constitution State, including two properties in Bridgeport and one property in Shelton, the Fairfield County Business Journal reported. Bridgeport will get $725,000 to remediate a “Civic Block” site slated to be redeveloped into 35,000 square feet of commercial space and $600,000 for remediation efforts for part of the former Marina Village public housing complex on Iranistan Avenue (the latter takes its name from a long-gone mansion built by P.T. Barnum). Shelton, meanwhile, will get $750,000 for remediation at the site of the former Star Pin Company. “The redevelopment of brownfields presents a huge economic potential,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement. [FBJ]


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