The periphery crumbles first

6 Old Stone Bridge

The Chimblo development of Old Stone Bridge, between Cat Rock and Cognewaugh, has never been one of the most desireable of neighborhoods but it still commanded a decent price in the past. But last fall, the best house on the street sold for $1.7, a big loss for the seller and today comes news that 6 Old Stone sold for $1.580 million. It last sold for $1.675 in 2003. Assessment is $1.2695.


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27 responses to “The periphery crumbles first

  1. Stump

    They should have given the development a nice name like “Chimblo Estates.”

  2. christopherfountain

    We used to camp there when it was undeveloped and in all my wanderings, I never saw an old stone bridge, that’s for sure.

  3. Stanwich

    The old stone bridge is right there at the intersection with the north side…are you blind?

    And I think your assessment of this area is unfair. Having grown up on Cognewaugh after the development was built, I can tell you that the street is a big attraction to families. Your personal biases are showing again CF. I would actually say this area is a great choice for those wanting a bit more land in North Street School district without the hefty 06830 zip code premium. How do you not see value here?

  4. captmidnight

    I agree with Stanwich, I think Old Stone Bridge is one of the hidden gems of mid-country. I’d much rather be there and have an acre or two of land than be packed in elbow to elbow in Old Greenwich or Riverside for the same amount of money.
    Underground utilities, private association maintenance, close to town yet quiet, good schools, great neighborhood for walking. I don’t see what the downside is, I don’t understand why it doesn’t get more credit.
    No, I don’t live there, but I’ve spent a lot of time there like CF has over the years and I find it to be very pleasant with a lot of very nice looking homes and well manicured yards.
    Upper sections of Cat Rock and Cognewaugh, incuding Old Stone Bridge, may be in 06807 but they happen to be every bit as nice as say, Dingletown or Barnstable or Stanwich or Londonderry and various cul de sacs in that area. Unfortunately when people talk about Cos Cob, everybody immediately defaults to lower Bible Street and the surrounding area.
    I’ll admit that the village has lost some of it’s character now that Porricelli’s is gone and we have been over-run by banks and national chains but northern sections of Cos Cob are still very nice places to live.

    • christopherfountain

      Cap’n, i don’t disagree – nice area, convenient to town, and some well-built houses there. When I say it’s a “less- desirable” neighborhood, I don’t mean undesirable. But it’s interesting to see the price retrenchments out here, steeper, so far, than say, Old Greenwich or Riverside. If anything, that adds to the neighborhood’s value but buyers should be aware that what sells at a discount during one down-market will probably do so again in the next.

  5. Stanwich

    Probably not that “old”, but it looks authentic. What else do you want?

  6. DINK

    We looked at this house, loved the location and liked the house enough to take a second tour. What worried us was the value long term, what it would be worth ten years from now versus what it was worth ten years ago. Yes, the area was, in our estimation as newcomers, a gem but we didn’t see how it could appreciate, even if we plunked some money into the house. Maybe that’s the kind of value CF is talking about, not so much the mid-country versus backcountry or Old Greenwich versus Riverside, but all that rolled up into one big appreciated dollar sign.

  7. Pete

    You mentioned the Chimblo development. Chimblo sold 49 acres to Twin Ridge for $880,000 in November 1976. I think the development was by Barry Montgomery, the first development under the then new conservation zoning. This preserved half of the total area as open space, mostly wetlands and swamp, and allowed one-acre lots on the remaining land although the underlying zone required two acres.

  8. Pretty steep

    I ‘drove by’, the land appeared to be on a steep hill. It is a very pretty setting but at that time I was in love with flat acreage and this seemed to be lacking. Dink said it all, what will the long term value be when the land is not exactly the type for kicking a football? I think the sellers have been lucky.

  9. out looking in

    it takes two to tango…if at least two buyers willing to pony up cold cash and “compete” for the value don’t emerge, that hidden value will not be realized….also, it is definitely a less desirable area and reasonably commands a discount from areas across stanwich…CF is correct- the fringe cracks first and generally gets hammered…during a mkt pop, it gets bid up “as if” it were part of the desirable area…but it aint

  10. dogwalker

    Heck! Who cares about old stone bridges? Let’s go with the original name! Did you see any of THEM while you were camping?

    (On second thought, I REALLY don’t want to know.)

  11. Stanwich

    Thanks for the clarification Pete. I didn’t know the history but found it odd that the Chimblo’s were involved in the actual development. They are not that type.

  12. sailor

    We looked at this house and loved the neighborhood. But this particular house had some problems despite how attractive it looks. It did not have a good lot. It was made too contemporary by the owner. Kitchen was not well done and small living room and no dining room, only an area adjacent to kitchen. One of the bedrooms was open to the hall. Big problems in our book.
    I think Old Stone Bridge was built by same folks that built Dolphin Cove in Stamford.

  13. old and cranky

    Old Stone Bridge was done by Barry Montgomery who also did Dolphin Cove – great concept poorly executed

  14. anonymous wxyz

    I agree with Pete. This was definitely a Barry Montgomery development — not Chimblo.

    • christopherfountain

      The Chimblos owned the land and let us Boy Scouts use it for years. They finally sold it to Barry Montgomery and his partners, who developed it in, what – the early 80’s? Late 70’s? Somewhere around then.

  15. Pete

    Late 70’s by the houses’ ages.

  16. foobar

    zillow estimate 1.594 mill fwiw. at 3700 sq feet that is $430 per sq ft, on the low end of the greenwich rate these days but sounds commensurate with a less prime property.

  17. sailor

    I don’t agree with “periphery” categorization in CC. There are plenty of areas that have crumbled in value that we have seen in the last few months. I checked my file last night:
    Grnwch: 103 Oneida list price $3.095; sold $2.087
    19 Dingeltown list $2.495; sold $1.600
    Riv: 91 Meadow list price of$3.195; sold $$2.122
    17 Marks Rd list price of $2.495; sold $1.820
    10 Hearthstone list price $2.395; sold $1.720
    OG: 7 Gisborne list price $3.095; sold $2.200
    Overall, it may have more to do with shortcomings of an individual house rather than the neighborhood.

  18. Cos Cobber

    CF you are wrong on two fronts in this post.

    Physically, Old Stone Bridge is not at the periphery of our fair town. Havemayer in OG, Pemberwick, King Street and upper Cos Cob/upper North Mianus (River Road, Mimosa, etc) are the true peripheral neighborhoods.

    Secondly, since when on this blog does selling for above the 70% assessment figure foe 2004 consitute a major back track in pricing? I think sales history of this home begs the question, how did the seller in 2003 manage to coax such a high price at that time. Its the 2003 transaction that in the rearviewmirror looks foolish.

    Also, sans Riverside south of US 1 and OG south of the village, homes of pre 1995 construction are getting hammered because there are spec comps at similiar price points with a great deal more bells and whistles. Its a difficult time to be selling a house above 1.5m in this town with 8ft ceilings and 25yr old landscaping. Its tough in the golden triangle and and its tough on Old Stone Bridge.

  19. anonymous

    Comparing the sales price to a home’s assessment is only measuring the extent to which the assessor properly valued the home. After reading this blog, I know that some homeowners are “overpaying” their taxes and others are skating. It appears that the less expensive homes are paying more than their fair share. I’d love to see stats on this by neighborhood.

  20. cos cobber

    I agree with that too anony 5:08. Its clear the town has been under assessing higher end homes…systematically.

  21. anonymous wxyz

    Old and Cranky is correct that Barry Montgomery developed both Old Stone Bridge & Dolphin Cove. Barry was also involved (with Mr. Lee) in The Waterford near the Cos Cob train station…..that initially went belly up, then was resurrected/completed by someone else. Barry also owns the old Victorian at 32 Field Point Road, former Coldwell Banker office location.

  22. LizzieT

    Seeing these comments about Old Stone Bridge is disturbing and puzzling. i raised my children there — lived there for 30+ years. they have fond memories of their growing up years there; my husband and i have solid friends from that era; we feel connected to that area. Good place to raise kids with their friends and babysitters available, good friends for parents, good place to walk/exercise, close to Old Greenwich and Greenwich ( in the middle), friendly neighbors and association get-togethers. what could be bad, Chris. I’m so surprised to read your opinion of OSB. Greenwich is diverse and has a variety of homes/locations to please a variety of people/families. maybe your Old Greenwich bias is showing. for us, Old Greenwich doesn’t give us the elbow room we wanted when we moved out of NYC.

    • christopherfountain

      Nothing derogatory meant and I regret the use of the word “periphery”. Because it is a nice neighborhood. What I meant, but stated poorly, was that it’s outside the older neighborhoods and, it seems to me, that the newer “frontiers” get hit first, and hardest, in downturns. I’d be delighted to live there, regardless. Nice place.