Westchester & Fairfield Cheat Sheet: Rye mansion owner sues developer over ‘defects,’ CBRE sees rise in office-to-resi conversions… & more

Mar.March 28, 2019 01:00 PM

Clockwise from top left: Rye mansion owner hits developer with lawsuit claiming their home has ‘numerous defects,’ Cushman & Wakefield tapped to sell Fairway Market building in Stamford, a parking garage company buys a New Rochelle building from its longtime owners and Fairfield County is seeing more office-to-residential conversions, according to CBRE Group.

Rye mansion owner sues developer over ‘numerous defects’
The owner of a mansion in Rye has slapped its developer with a lawsuit claiming the home “was not constructed in a skillful and workmanlike manner” and “suffers from numerous defects,” the Westchester County Business Journal reported. The unidentified buyer bought the 7,976-square-foot home at 135 Highland Road from the developer for $5.4 million back in 2017, but discovered a number of leak-related problems soon after, according to a civil complaint filed on March 8 in Westchester Supreme Court. The mansion was supposed to be a “sensational home,” but allegedly ended up costing the buyer hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs, according to the complaint. The lawsuit, filed by a limited liability company that bought the property, seeks $720,000 from David Turiano and 135 Highland Road Associates. The outlet was unable to reach the developer for comment. [WBJ]

CBRE exec sees spike in Fairfield office-to-resi conversions
More developers are converting Class B and C office buildings into multifamily residences in Fairfield County, the Fairfield County Business Journal reported. The trend can be attributed to an increased demand for residential development, as well as a shifting preference for Class A space, Thomas Pajolek, an executive vice president in CBRE’s Stamford office, told the outlet. “Those people who are in the market tend to go for the best-in-class, Class A office buildings that are modern, well-situated and well-maintained,” he said. Some examples cited by the publication include a former General Electric building being converted into senior housing in Stamford and an affordable housing development in Westport that used to be office space. Stamford, Trumbull and Westport are among the places in the county where the most such conversions are currently taking place, according to the outlet. The Real Deal recently caught up with veteran Stamford commercial broker Cory Gubner to discuss the state of the office market in Fairfield. [FBJ]

French-American School selling 3 White Plains parcels
The French-American School of New York (FASNY) is selling off three parcels of land in White Plains, LoHud reported. The Larchmont-based school hired CBRE to market the “underdeveloped” parcels, all of which are zoned for single-family residential use and reportedly represent a third of the property it owns in White Plains. The parcels totaling 14 acres are part of a 129-acre lot that FASNY bought in 2011 from the now-defunct Ridgeway Country Club. FASNY still plans to hold on to “28 acres that are approved for construction of its secondary school campus and 51-acre nature conservancy,” the registered nonprofit said in a statement provided to the outlet. A neighborhood group that has been opposed to the school’s plans to build on the site said since it’s preparing to appeal a lawsuit that was dismissed last year by a Westchester Supreme Court judge. Its president maintains news of the sale “speaks to one of the key issues we’ve raised — segmentation,” the outlet reported. [LoHud]

Stamford’s Fairway Market building hits the market
An 85,000-square-foot building that houses a Fairway Market in Stamford has hit the market, but the supermarket itself is staying put, the Stamford Advocate reported. Cushman & Wakefield is marketing the property at 699 Canal Street, but Fairway still has a long-term lease at the site. Both Cushman & Wakefield and landlord Building and Land Technology (BLT) declined to discuss a potential sale, and it’s unclear how much the building is going for, but the outlet noted that city records show the property was valued at $35 million last year. BLT previously sold five apartment buildings in the same Harbor Point neighborhood for nearly $400 million back in 2016. The grocery store is the only Fairway in Connecticut. [Stamford Advocate]

Old New Rochelle school could be razed for apartment building
A shuttered Catholic school in New Rochelle could be razed to make way for apartments, LoHud reported. Boca Raton-based Mill Creek Residential Trust is “in talks” to purchase the former Blessed Sacrament school building at 24 Maple Avenue from the Archdiocese of New York in order to construct an 8-story apartment building at the site, according to the outlet. The new building would house 338 apartments and have an underground garage and parish center. In its application, Mill Creek said the project would “create essential funding to support the parish’s ongoing mission and growth, including critical improvements it needs to make to the church and surround[ing] property,” according to LoHud. It’s not yet known how much Mill Creek plans to pay for the site. [LoHud]

Parking firm buys New Rochelle building from longtime owners
A parking garage company has acquired a New Rochelle building that used to house a dry-cleaning business, the Westchester County Business Journal reported. Manhattan Parking Group bought the 32,000-square-foot building at 27 Centre Avenue from the family that owned it for more than five decades for an undisclosed sum, according to Greiner-Maltz Realty Advisors, which facilitated the sale. The New York-based company has already started renovating the industrial property and plans to lease it to “a business that could benefit from its proximity to the New Rochelle Metro North Railroad Station, and easy access to 1-95,” Greiner-Maltz said in a press release. [WBJ]

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