The Real Deal Tristate

HomeServices acquires Wilton resi brokerage, I.M. Pei-designed IBM campus in Somers to get new life & more Westchester & Fairfield real estate news

By Maya Rajamani | June 05, 2019 05:30PM

Clockwise from top left: Bruce Willis lowers asking price on Bedford Corners estate by nearly $1M (credit: Wikipedia and Houlihan Lawrence), Wilton-based agency joins Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices as residential brokerage consolidation comes to Connecticut, CVS signs lease as anchor tenant at New Rochelle’s Rockwell development and Nordstrom sets an opening date for its store at Norwalk’s new SoNo Collection (credit: JohnOwensCT).

Wilton agency joins HomeServices as broker mergers hit ‘burbs
Residential brokerage consolidation is coming to Connecticut. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England, New York and Westchester Properties has snapped up Wilton-based real estate firm Realty Seven, which was founded in 1978. As part of the merger, noted by Patch and several other local news websites, Realty Seven’s 22 agents will join Berkshire Hathaway. In a statement, Realty Seven owner and broker Peg Koellmer called the merger “the best opportunity to provide our team the resources and support to take client services to the next level.” The merger wasn’t the only one Connecticut saw at the end of May. In its own release, Washington Depot-based Klemm Real Estate said it had acquired Fahey Associates, Realtors, in Litchfield. “We are so thrilled to merge another legendary family firm into our fold,” president and co-owner Graham Klemm said in a statement. Before to this acquisition, Klemm said it had also acquired local firms Tierney Realty and Pepper Scholl. [Patch]

Old IBM campus in Somers could become a private high school
A proposed school with a science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) curriculum could open at the site of a former IBM campus in Westchester County by the summer of 2021, LoHud reported. Evergreen Ridge, a school campus development firm that presented its plans last September for the 723-acre campus in Somers, hopes to build a private, co-ed high school on around 345 acres at the site, which was designed by the recently deceased I.M. Pei and vacated by IBM a few years ago. A spokeswoman for the president and CEO of New York-based Sebastian Capital, which owns the property, told LoHud the original plan was to open the first phase of the for-profit school in September 2020, but said the new plan, to start a summer program in 2021, will be more on par with the review process the project needs to go through. The outlet noted that Evergreen Ridge plans to use 1.2 million square feet across all five Pei-designed buildings, including a distinctive pyramid-like structure. IBM sold its former campus for $31.75 million to a limited liability company in 2016. Somers Town Supervisor Rick Morrissey expressed enthusiasm for the project, saying it “would be in the best interest of the town.” [LoHud]

Bruce Willis cuts asking price again for Bedford Corners estate
Actor Bruce Willis and wife Emma Hemming Willis have lowered the asking price on their Bedford Corners estate from $9.5 million to $8.695 million, LoHud reported, citing data from the local multiple listing service. The $9.5 million price tag itself appears to be a reduced asking price, as the couple reportedly listed their nearly 9,000-square-foot estate in January for $12.95 million. The Willises bought the property at 340 Croton Lake Road, which has a five-bedroom main house with a garden, wine cellar and media room, for $12 million back in 2014. The estate also has a saltwater pool, a pool house and a tennis court, according to LoHud, which noted that the price chop shows that “not even stunning, and secluded, celebrity homes are immune to the softening in the luxury market.” Douglas Elliman’s Nancy Strong, Stacey Oestreich and Ann Cutbill Lenane have the listing. Lenane was also the listing agent when the Willises sold their 271 Central Park West duplex last year. [TRD]

New Rochelle IDA grants preliminary OK for 2 apartment projects
The developers of a pair of proposed apartment projects in New Rochelle are on their way to securing at least $23 million in tax subsidies, the Daily Voice Plus reported. The New Rochelle Industrial Development Agency gave preliminary approval to Huguenot Partners’ proposed 28-story building at Huguenot Street and Centre Avenue, as well as Mill Creek Residential Trust’s proposed 8-story building on Maple Avenue, according to the outlet. The two projects are collectively slated to cost around $241 million and will bring 619 apartments to New Rochelle, the DVP reported. Construction on the project pitched by Huguenot Partners, a unit of Manhattan-based developer DHA Capital, is expected to wrap up in 2021. Construction on the Mill Creek project should finish by 2022, pending certain approvals. [DVP]

CVS signs anchor tenant lease at New Rochelle apartment complex
A CVS pharmacy in New Rochelle is moving into into a new building down the block from its current site, the Daily Voice Plus reported. CVS inked a lease for 13,200 square feet inside The Rockwell at 583 North Avenue, according to the outlet. The pharmacy will be the building’s anchor tenant, said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, who spoke with The Real Deal earlier this year about Westchester County’s multifamily landscape. “CVS’ continued presence on North Avenue… is good news for the area and for New Rochelle’s overall development plans,” he told DVP. The Rockwell, which is being developed by New Rochelle-based YoungCraft, is slated to have around 22,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The roughly 160,000-square-foot mixed-use project, which takes its name from former New Rochelle resident Norman Rockwell, will also have 114 apartments, ranging from studios to three-bedroom units. DVP reported that construction is expected to conclude by the summer of 2020. [DVP]

Nordstrom sets opening date for SoNo Collection mall store
The Nordstrom store set to anchor a new mall opening in Norwalk later this year has set an opening date, the Daily Voice Plus reported. The luxury department store chain said it plans to open its store at the SoNo Collection mall on Oct. 11. The outpost will be the retailer’s third location in Connecticut, according to the outlet. Nordstrom plans to host a party the night before the grand opening, the proceeds of which will go to Fairfield County’s Community Foundation and the Domestic Violence Crisis Center. Bloomingdale’s will be the mall’s other anchor tenant. The SoNo Collection will also be home to several other stores, including Sephora, Soma, J. Jill and Chico’s, the DVP previously reported. Several buildings near the new mall have come on the market within the past few months. [DVP]