New Canaan Chateau Auction?

new-canaan-chateau 266 Michigan Rd. I wrote about this property a couple of months ago as it came up for auction and suggested that a couple of Greenwichites could pool their resources to buy it and convert it into an aging-hippie sort of commune. Far out, man! Apparently you didn’t listen because, so far as I can tell, the auction didn’t work and the place is still for sale. Funny how these auctions generate a blizzard of press releases before they take place and then whimper off into the darkness afterwards. Remember that Taconic Road auction that made the New York Times? Last I heard, the few bidders who showed up all presented personal checks, against the stated rules of the auction, and the first couple of them bounced. The sellers are said to be regrouping.

3 Comments

Filed under Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate

3 responses to “New Canaan Chateau Auction?

  1. Peter Lathouris

    Greetings Chris:

    I see you were able to get out of the law practice rat race. Good for you. I am almost there. I am spending 90% of my time with my real estate investments and the other 10% slowly winding down the law practice. I recently came upon your website and have enjoyed your musings, real esate and political.

    I happened to be present at the New Canaan chateau auction and with a partner registered to bid. There were about twenty to bidders. Bidding started at $3,000,000 and after 10 minutes someone supposedly bid $3.5M. There were no other bids. The next day I found out that even the $3.5M bid did not materialize.

    The house was huge, about 20,000 square feet and about 85% per cent finished. We estimated you needed at least $1.500,000 more to finish the interior and the outside, landscaping, etc. My partner had the idea to chop off each side of the house and shrink!!! it to about 10,000 square feet, finish it and put it back on the market. He is semi-retired, thought twice about it and concluded it was not worth the investment.

    I’ve been following the new canaan real estate market for the last 3 to 4 years and the last quarter has seen a dramatice drop in values. From the looks of things the new canaan market has a way to go–downwards.

    As I tell people, a million dollars is still alot of money and prices had gotten totally out of control.

    Keep up the good work–real estate and political commentary.

    Best regards,

    Peter Lathouris

  2. David

    I went to the open house and found the project similar to many of the distressed spec homes that you discuss about in your blog. The owner had already put in about $8MM into the property. It cost $3.5MM for the land and $4.5MM to get it to the drywall. The original builder had estimated it would cost another $2.5MM to complete it to the plans. It seemed way to low to me given the massive size of the structure. The main staircase wasn’t installed, there were no doors, bathrooms, kitchen, flooring, moulding, lighting, whole house audio, painting, driveway and landscaping. The building was only to the drywall and as a prospective buyer you would have to open up the drywall to inspect for mold and insulation because the property was untouched for at least one and a half years. My guess it would take at least $5MM to complete it to the standards that a house of this stature would require. Given the numbers a person buying this house would be all in for around $8MM and two years of further construction. The longer the property sits unfinished the worse shape it will be for the buyer. It would be a great deal a few years ago, but I would rather live in Greenwich for that price given the collapse in that market. For someone who wants new construction it would almost be better to tear down the property and build something smaller and more unique.

    • christopherfountain

      I think that’s what’s in store for a number of the unsold spec houses currently sitting empty. Gardiner’s $25,000,000 25,000 sf Round Hill Road comes to mind, as does convicted felon deVito’s at 516 Round Hill, the $5.5 million Belle Haven house crammed next to the I-95 weigh station, etc.