Daily Archives: March 15, 2010

What is waterfront worth?

(Gideon Fountain writing for Christopher Fountain)

About 10 years ago I was asked by the Town of Greenwich Assessor’s Office to come in and discuss waterfront property value (I was flattered, I suppose, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one they asked).  When I got there I was shown a huge wall-sized map of the Greenwich coastline stretching from Shore Road, Old Greenwich all the way west, to the tip of Byram Shore Road. 

I told them they had been unfairly categorizing (and taxing) all property, from marsh land and tidal inlets, to open Sound views as “waterfront”.  I pointed to properties on the map (like the one I cited in the previous post) that backed up to marsh land and tidal inlets

This, my friends, is "A" waterfront...

 

And this is "D" waterfront (still nice, but obviously not as valuable)

that become mud at low tide and said “These are ‘D’ waterfront.  Then I pointed out the spectacular spots on streets like Field Point Circle, Greenwich and the end of Indian Head Road, Riverside and said “These are ‘A’ waterfront.  Everything that’s  in between, you can call ‘B’, or ‘C’.  And you know what?  I believe they adopted my clever system (that a kindergartener could have devised)!

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Good gosh, a “bargain”!

Street view

Marsh view

17 Fairgreen Lane just closed for $1,100,000.  Further up the line in, say, Fairfield, CT, they might scoff at my terming this a bargain, but dammit, here in Greenwich, it is. Admittedly not much house, a dated contempo built in 1976, but it’s on a quiet little dead-end street off Sound Beach Avenue, walk-to-train, school, village, and best of all, it backs up to beautiful, open marsh land that leads out to Greenwich Cove (in case you’re wondering, I have found salt-water marshes to be no more “buggy” than any other area of town. Your results may vary).

The house started at $1,875,000, gradually getting reduced down to a final asking price of $1,295,000. It took 350 days to get a contract (back on Feb. 8th), Town-assessment, for those of you who care, is $1,326,570.

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Nature’s “Stimulus Package”

Gideon's dog preparing to take a leak of displeasure...

(Gideon Fountain writing for Christopher Fountain)

Greenwich was hit hard by this latest nor’easter which, like the one in 1992, came in mostly unheralded by the normally frenzied news media.  Nearby New Canaan, Connecticut got it even worse, so I hear.  For a while it looked like nearly every single street was blocked by at least one huge tree.  I live around Brunswick School and Greenwich Academy and the roads to each are still blocked 48 hours later (but no worries, mate, everyone’s on vacation!)

So anyway, this, you know, sucks.  No power, town a mess (Whole Foods’ multi-ton brick facade got blown down),  many days to go before power is restored.  So, what can we learn from this?

What we learn from this is to recognize a real stimulous  effect from the fake ones handed down from Washington.  All over town, guys are working; utility crews, cops directing traffic, landscaping companies, hardware stores (selling out of every #@%*ing flashlight, lamp, extension cord, and generater they’ve got), coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, ALL busy!

And this is real money being spent.  When Washington spends, on the other hand, it either takes the money from one tax-payer to give to another, or worse, it simply prints the money.

 This disaster is absolutely no fun to live through but it sure does give our local economy a shot in the arm.

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