Connecticut estate on private island drops to $100M

Even after price cut, it’s an island for the "1% of the 1%"

Tri-State Weekend Edition /
Feb.February 06, 2022 09:00 AM
Great Island in Darien, Connecticut (Douglas Elliman)

Great Island in Darien, Connecticut (Douglas Elliman)

The private island comes with a house of stone whose cellar contains whiskey left over from Prohibition. The ask? $100 million.

The Great Island in Connecticut, a roughly 60-acre estate on the Long Island Sound, has dropped in price from its original selling price of $175 million, the Wall Street Journal reported..

Descendents of baking powder magnate William Ziegler have once again put the wooded isle up for sale, after several price drops since 2016. The newly listed price is “very realistic,” said listing agent Jennifer Leahy of Douglas Elliman.

“Although I’d love to say there are many buyers that can buy a $100 million property, there aren’t,” she said. “This is for the 1 percent of the 1 percent.”

The exclusive island in the tony town of Darien has been in the Ziegler family for generations – and is billed as the largest private island ever to be offered for sale on the East Coast. It’s roughly an hour’s drive from New York City.

Ziegler, a co-founder of the Royal Baking Powder Company, bought the island property around 1900 and used it as a summer hideaway. After his death in 1905, the Great Island remained in the family.

With roughly a mile of coastline, it has a deepwater dock and is accessible via a narrow land bridge.

The centerpiece of the estate is a two-story, 13,000 square-foot manor, built of stone and reminiscent of an Italian villa, overlooking the Long Island Sound. The 10-bedroom, eight-bath house, built in 1905, has crafted details dating back to the early century.

It also has a Prohibition-era wine cellar that’s “almost like a museum,” Leahy said, with bottles of whiskey dating from that period.

Just as regal is the equestrian facility by Spanish-born master builder Rafael Guastavino, whose work contributed to New York’s Grand Central Station and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The 18-stall granite stable includes an arched ceiling reminiscent of the rail terminal, plus an indoor riding arena.

The Great Island grounds include a 19th-century Colonial clapboard house, since renovated and expanded, plus a smaller stone caretaker’s cottage and a seaside bungalow.

A family member told the Journal the price reductions stem from newly drawn property lines and an initial asking price – made without comps – by family members who have since died.

A waterfront property combined with an equestrian facility is rare, Leahy said. And the luxury market in Fairfield County is booming, with a recent string of big-ticket deals. Late last year, a home on 2-½ acres by the water in Greenwich sold for $50 million, records show.

While single-family listings have dropped to their lowest level on record, half the homes sold above their asking price.

[WSJ] – Dana Bartholomew





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