The Real Deal New York

Stars — they’re just like us: price chop edition

A host of Westchester and Fairfield counties’ most notable personalities gave markdowns to their long-lingering listings
By James Klatell | August 02, 2017 11:00AM

Bucolic estates. Serene escapes. Historic farmhouses with every modern convenience and more. For decades, these kinds of homes have drawn the rich and famous away from the hustle and bustle of New York City to Westchester and Fairfield counties. But these days, many of the most gossip-worthy residents seem to be on their way out of the northern suburbs, and it looks as though some savvy buyers might just profit from their departures. Below, The Real Deal reviews notable recent sales and listings in the area involving some headline-grabbing names.

General Electric announced in January 2016 that it was selling its Fairfield headquarters and relocating to Boston, but CEO Jeffrey Immelt couldn’t sell his New Canaan home at 705 West Road until May 2017. The six-bedroom, 11-bathroom mansion not far from the Country Club of New Canaan was originally listed for $5.5 million in mid-2016 but lingered on the market a year. Town records show a deal was struck in June to sell the stone and clapboard country home for $4 million, a fairly hefty drop from the $5.25 million purchase price in 2001.

When your spouse is your listing agent, you get a pretty good deal. Cate Jarrett of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s Realty got a bit more than the asking price — unusual these days — for the five-bedroom Larchmont mansion she shared with her husband, longtime Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett. The 1920s-era Tudor at 10 Rochelle Road was listed in February for $1.79 million and sold for $1.98 million at the end of June.

Compared to getting canned by President Donald Trump, taking a loss on a Westport mansion probably wasn’t a big deal. But James Comey and his wife did sell their seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom home at 6 Westway Road for $575,000 less than the $3 million they paid for it in 2010, when Comey was the general counsel at one of the world’s largest hedge funds, Bridgewater Associates. The 7,157-square-foot manse and its 3-acre plot first went on the market for $3.4 million in 2015, but Comey got the memo, dropping the price four times to make a deal.

Cable news odd couple Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough didn’t announce they are a real-life engaged couple until May, but Brzezinski’s Bronxville home at 6 Summit Avenue was put on the market in February for $2.1 million. She bought the 4,102-square-foot Tudor in 2012 with then-husband James Hoffer for $1.9 million. After three months and a slight price reduction, the sale closed for $2.05 million.

Harry Connick Jr. has moved from music to movies to daytime TV, and he is moving on again. This time it’s from the New Canaan home where he and his wife, Jill, have raised their kids for nearly 20 years. The renovated 1890s dairy farm at 671 West Road hit the market in June for $7.5 million, which — if it sells for that price — would be a nice return on the $1.5 million they bought it for in 1998. The 4.61-acre property includes a restored barn, cottage, pool and pool house. April Kaynor and Kelly DeFrancesco at William Raveis Real Estate have the listing.

For $19.9 million, you can score former NBA All-Star Allan Houston’s 10-acre estate in Armonk. Located in the exclusive private enclave of Conyers Farm at 17 Cowdray Park Drive, this palatial limestone French Revival home sits on Converse Lake and features 26 rooms, seven bedrooms, 10 marble bathrooms and two powder rooms. There are also facilities befitting a pro athlete: an indoor cherrywood basketball court, a professionally outfitted gym, a putting green, a heated outdoor pool and a game room with its own bar. But Houston has thrown a few air balls when trying to sell the place. It was listed at $25 million in 2013, and again in 2015 at $19.9 million, but there were no takers. Dolly Lenz of Dolly Lenz Real Estate has the listing this time.

Scott Pelley stepped away from the “CBS Evening News” anchor chair in May, but he hasn’t been able to leave his Darien home behind. After paying $4 million for the 7,532-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-bathroom suburban home in 2007, Pelley put it on the market in January for $3.99 million. The newsman’s 2.41-acre property at 5 Peach Hill Road boasts a second-floor media room, a finished game room and a skating pond for those cold Connecticut winters. Sheree Frank and Doug Milne of Houlihan Lawrence have the listing.

Music exec Tommy Mottola is singing a new tune. The former chairman and CEO of Sony Music, who’s been married to Mexican pop star Thalia since 2000, put his massive Greenwich estate at 33 John Street on the market in April for $19.95 million. The house, which Mottola bought for $2.85 million in 2010, sits on 5.7 acres and clocks in at 12,300 square feet. The home sports an elevator, an outdoor kitchen and fireplace, a gym, a pool, a beauty salon, a carriage house that can serve as a recording studio and — of course —  a footbridge to a private island. Lyn Stevens and Robin Kencel of Douglas Elliman have the listing.

Time after time, we’re seeing high-end homes in Connecticut’s leafy suburbs suffer in a soft market. And that might keep Cyndi Lauper up all through the night. The pop legend was looking to sell her North Stamford home for $1.25 million in May, but by June she’d had a change of heart, cutting the price to $1.08 million. Lauper and husband Dave Thornton bought the 3,885-square-foot, three-bedroom home at 250 Saddle Hill Road in the 1980s. It was built by Nine West co-founder Vince Camuto, and its true colors were chosen by the founder of French Country, Howard Kaplan. The property includes a storybook guest house-turned-music studio, where she (used to) bop. Michael Leventhal of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has the listing.

What can you get for $31.5 million these days? Well, in Greenwich’s exclusive Round Hill section, that’ll buy you the 12,238-square-foot-fieldstone manor currently owned by billionaire trader Stanley Druckenmiller. Sitting on 19.5 acres, the palatial home has eight bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and 11 fireplaces. If that’s not enough space, there’s an additional three-bedroom home on the property. Listed at the end of March, 9 Sabine Farm Road was last sold for $23 million in 2004. Leslie McElwreath of Sotheby’s International has the listing.