The Real Deal Tristate

Former NFL star’s Greenwich home heads to auction, Dressbarn shuts its doors and more Westchester & Fairfield real estate news

By Maya Rajamani | May 22, 2019 03:25PM

Clockwise from top left: Former NFL Pro Bowler Matt Birk’s Greenwich home heads to auction, Dressbarn to shutter stores in Westchester and Fairfield counties as the women’s fashion retailer winds down its business (credit: Dwight Burdette), a corporate benefits consultant moving from Stamford to Norwalk, and Chicago-based firm opens second East Coast office in Westport.

Former NFL All-Pro Matt Birk’s Greenwich home heads to auction
In what has been billed as an increasingly popular alternative to more traditional listings, former National Football League center Matt Birk’s Greenwich home is hitting the auction block, Patch reported. Birk bought the home at 26 Cobb Island Drive for $3.85 million in 2014, a year after the former All-Pro retired from the NFL, so he could get sacked for a loss when the property near Cos Cob Harbor heads to auction on June 1 with bids starting at $3.25 million. The 8,400-square-foot home, which was recently redone, has a swimming pool and a balcony. The news comes amid reports that luxury homeowners in Greenwich are increasingly taking price cuts on their homes — a notion that local residential brokers have pushed back upon — by turning to auctions or renting out their homes. The Greenwich Time reported that Avon-based Professional Real Estate Auctions will handle the auction of Birk’s home. Auctions can “accelerate the sale of your property by generating additional consumer interest and activity,” PREA managing partner Michael Pelzar told the outlet. Birk, a Harvard graduate who lost 75 pounds after leaving pro football behind, previously listed his Greenwich home for its $3.85 million purchase price in 2016. [Patch]

Dressbarn, retailer with Stamford roots, to close its doors for good
A rough year for retailers got worse this week as Dressbarn, a seller of women’s clothing that has its roots in Stamford, announced this week that it would end operations and close all 660 of its stores. Among those outposts being shuttered are Dressbarn locales in Fairfield and Westchester counties, including stores in Danbury, Greenburgh, Norwalk, Pelham, Port Chester, Scarsdale, Shelton and Thornwood, according to the Daily Voice Plus. It wasn’t immediately clear when the stores would close, but Dressbarn CFO Steven Taylor said in a statement that the chain would “work to assist our associates through the transition and maintain existing relationships with our vendors, suppliers and other key stakeholders through this process.” Taylor noted that Dressbarn the company “has not been operating at an acceptable level of profitability in today’s retail environment.” Melville, New York-based A&G Realty Partners has been hired by Dressbarn to assist it on “real estate-related matters,” the company said. Dressbarn, as noted by The Real Deal, is owned by Mahwah, New Jersey-based Ascena Retail Group, which also controls the Ann Taylor, Catherines, Cacique, Justice, Lane Bryant and LOFT brands. [TRD]

Boston-based firm looks to sell Norwalk office building
The Davis Companies, a Boston-based real estate investment firm, is looking to sell an office building in Norwalk, according to the Stamford Advocate. Davis bought the approximately 150,000-square-foot building at 40 Richards Avenue for $16.5 million in 2013 from Jersey City-based Mack-Cali Realty. The company has since carried out $6 million in renovations at the property, which is home to more than two dozen companies, including Fairfield County’s Community Foundation and Potoo Marketing, the Advocate reported. Davis has parted ways with several properties in the Fairfield area in recent years, including the $18.75 million sale of the Westport Center for Health in February. Davis, which has hired Cushman & Wakefield’s capital markets group to market its Norwalk office building, did not disclose how much it is seeking for the property. [Stamford Advocate]

Amid US-China trade tensions, Yonkers resi project debuts
Representatives from Strategic Capital and Yonkers officials gathered in the city last week for a ribbon-cutting at the River Club at Hudson Park, a 213-unit luxury rental building, the Daily Voice Plus reported. Strategic Capital is the investment arm of China Construction America, itself a unit of Chinese construction giant China State Construction Engineering Corporation. The River Club’s official opening was hailed by the Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua as a sign of U.S.-China cooperation at a time of heightened tariff tensions between both countries. The River Club, located at 63 Wells Avenue, overlooks the Hudson River and began leasing earlier this year. Studio, one- and two-bedroom units are asking between $1,720 to $2,870 a month. The River Club is just one of several residential projects to debut this spring in Westchester County. The DVP also reported that a luxury senior living facility dubbed the Club at Briarcliff Manor is poised to open its doors to residents within the next few weeks. And in Mamaroneck, the Mason M.V.S. complex, which includes 96 rental apartments and four rental townhouses, has begun leasing as well, LoHud reported. Fifteen units in that complex are already occupied, according to the outlet, which also noted the recent opening of Stratus on Hudson, a 74-unit luxury apartment complex in Yonkers. [DVP]

Chicago-based CRE firm Mag Mile sets up shop in Westport
Mag Mile Capital, a commercial mortgage and real estate firm formed last year by principal and CEO Rushi Shah, is opening an office in Westport. The Chicago-based firm said in a press release that its office on Post Road West will be its second on the East Office. Mag Mile, whose founder formed the business last year after Shah left his role as CEO of Aries Conlon Capital, already has an office in Manhattan. “Westport is home to numerous [private equity] firms that play in both the debt and equity space and we’ll look to leverage these local relationships while continuing to maintain our New York presence,” said a statement from Rob Bernstein, Mag Mile’s executive vice president of capital markets and originations, who will head the office and the firm’s presence in New York City. [Mag Mile Capital]

Corporate benefits consultant moving from Stamford to Norwalk
CBP is leaving Stamford — but it isn’t going far. The corporate benefits consultant plans to move its current office at 1100 Summer Street to 535 Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk, the Stamford Advocate reported. CBP, which is now part of the Alera Group as a result of a 2017 merger, will be leasing approximately 10,000 square feet of space in the building for eight years, according to the Advocate. Norwalk offered a more central location for CBP’s employees than Stamford did, the consultant’s head of operations, Rosa Torcasio, told the outlet. “We toured quite a few locations in Norwalk, but 535 Connecticut Avenue offers a cafe, workout facility and transportation to and from the train station, which was a very important factor for us during the decision making process,” Torcasio said in an email. The Real Deal noted in March that 535 Connecticut Avenue had brought on Best Friends Pet Care as a tenant, a move that came only a few months after Hanover Norwalk Investors scooped up five floors in the building. [Stamford Advocate]

Hudson Valley Wine Village, a $273M development, pops cork
The centerpiece of a proposed $273 million mixed-use project north of Westchester in Ulster County took a big step forward earlier this month after eight years of planning, according to the Times-Herald Record of Middletown. The Hudson Valley Wine Village, a 437-acre site located between the Hudson River and Route 9W in the town of Lloyd, near Poughkeepsie, secured from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New York State officials a series of approvals allowing it to proceed on the site of the former Hudson Valley Winery. Set to be built over 15 years, marketing materials for the development state that it will include a 140-room hotel, 800 residential units, 450,000 square feet of light industrial space and 155,000 square feet of office and commercial space. The project’s backers claim that it will provide employment for 2,000 people. “These are changing times in the economic development landscape of the Hudson Valley and this project… is shovel-ready, fully-entitled and we are in an environment that not only encourages, but welcomes opportunities for new job creation and tax ratables,” said a statement from Hudson Valley Wine Village COO Andrew Maxon. [Times Herald-Record]