Auction at 160 John Street

160 John Street

160 John Street

Raul Villacis has listed 160 John Street, 18 acres of horse farm originally priced at $45 million in 2009 and offered at other prices since, from $36 million to $28,500 (just for 22 days, in February, 2013, and discussed here back then) for “one million dollars”, but notes that this will be an auction, so the million is presumably a token price – you need to have some number to list on the MLS, and your mileage may (will) vary.

I’ve never had much luck dealing with Mr. Villas, so won’t be investing any of my time on this, but I suppose he may break his historical pattern and actually be offering it for sale to a non-client, so if you’re interested  in some decent land and a house at some unspecified price – count on it, it won’t be a million – go for it.

I can’t sort of the status of this property on line – there’s no significant mortgage shown on the tax card and a check of the judicial docket turns up nothing, but if Raul’s involved then so too is a lender. Doubtless, by the time of the scheduled auction October 15th, more will be revealed.

UPDATE: a reader points out that, rather than be cancelled, David Ogilvy’s listing for this same property is still active (and will be through February of next year). So how’s Raul involved with this? Can one skip Raul’s services and just deal directly with David, handing over $28.5 million? That’d probably be a cheaper approach than dealing with Mr. Villacis, and certainly a more straightforward one.

22 Comments

Filed under Back Country, Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Foreclosure, Neighborhoods

22 responses to “Auction at 160 John Street

  1. Anonymous

    isn’t he the king of insider or self-dealing short sales? you know, the kind where if the mortgage owner (the bank, e.g., the agent’s client) were to, say, run a chain of title 12-18 months post-liquidation, and match it with the listing agent for any subsequent sales post initial liquidation, and if such sales exceeded, say, 15-20% of the initial liquidation value (net of advances and so forth), then an eyebrow might be raised and a little thing like fraud might be occurring?

    not that such a thing would ever occur, of course….

  2. just_looking

    Is it possible that he may have already “bought it from the bank” and this is the resale, hence no mortgage lien, but I gues that sale would have been recorded for the mortgage to have been cleaned up.

  3. Flash forward

    Wish the town of Greenwich would bid, ideal location……….for something.

  4. Anonymous

    sounds like a title insurance nightmare. there’s no way he’d be permitted to buy it on the cheap early. if so, the bank’s default mgmt group should be fired and both they and the servicer sued for negligence. if the loan’s been securitized, pile on the claims from bondholders/fiduciaries/trustees, because that kind of activity is a breach of any reasonable standard of care.

  5. anon

    Audrey Butvay Gruss’ trophy wife folly.

  6. Jonathan

    When you map it on google maps, it appears it’s been subdivided into a series of lots, some as small as ~ 2 acres? What gives?

    • It has been approved for subdivisions, but it’s my impression that the 18 acres on this listing encompass all the lots. I can’t remember whether there are a total of 4, or 5 lots, but if, say, those lots are worth $1.5, then you have a value of $6 to $7.5 million. The stables look gorgeous, but if you want them, you’ll probably want all 18 acres. I still think it might draw a bid of $9, which will be rejected. If you got it for $6, with the stables and other horse-related accoutrements thrown in, it would probably be a bargain. Anything more than that, why bother?

  7. AJ

    It’s at the wrong end of John Street, but a short hop to Armonk so your 15 and 16 year olds can do a little underage bar hopping if that sort of thing still goes on. Is it a triplex? From your photo, it seems to have three front doors.

  8. Anonymous

    How is it possible that Raul and David Ogilvy both have the same property listed???

    • I thought Ogilvy’s listing was taken away after just 22 days last February, but I’ll recheck.
      UPDATE: You’re quite right. How odd. On the other hand, I’m aware of at least one other property that still shows Ogilvy as the listing broker even though the bank took title several weeks ago, and buyers are free to deal directly with the bank, so …

      • Anonymous

        Didn’t the bank take over 44 Close? I saw it was for Lease w/ Sothebys for an insane $40k with the “furnishings” from 1038 Lake Ave’s “Clown House”.

  9. Anonymous

    can you find out who owns the mortgage?

  10. Anonymous

    The owner on both listings (David and Raul’s) is 160 Owner LLC.

    • yes, but it seems to be a Delaware (or at least, not CT), LLC, so I couldn’t easily track down the parties behind the LLC

      • InfoDiva

        The tax bills are sent to an address that belongs most notably to Fortress, the hedge fund. Could be.

        • Anonymous

          Probably owns the debt on the cheap, unless they were original lender. In any event, now there’s a fun headline: “Fortress markets short sale liquidation of mansion in in hedge fund capital backyard, Greenwich, CT.”

  11. anon

    Built by billionaire heir Martin Gruss and his third or fourth wife Audrey. Big splash into Greenwich didn’t work. Some kefluffle with one of the decorators and the husband. May have changed hands since then or not.

    http://upstart.bizjournals.com/resources/business-intelligence/2007/09/13/survival_guide_puff_piece.html?page=all

  12. Anonymous

    I just googled this property and it appears that Auction.com is running the sale with Raul.

    http://www.auction.com/event/Connecticut/commercial-auction-asset/193009741-5493-160-John-Street-GREENWICH-CT-6830-B813

    There is a banner that says “lender owned” on the main photo so obviously its an institutional seller. Lenders/Banks are not in the business of owning real estate so i am guessing they are highly motivated to sell. Why else would they plaster “lender owned” on the property and have a starting bid of $1M.