Monthly Archives: October 2011

Bill Grad:TaxCollector/Real Estate Developer?

Gideon Fountain writes:

After a series of moderately testy  e-mails last night and this morning, Fudrucker and I have, um,  buried the hatchet, as they say.  Here is that “controversial”  post and, as always

Stanwich School (artist's rendering of building planned)

, I welcome comment from readers who disagree, or can perhaps shed more light on this issue…

My post:

I thought it was kind of “cheesy” when the North Greenwich Congregational Church allowed its beautiful old, 1827  building and steeple to be absolutely stuffed with cell-phone transmission equipment, but I’m even more revolted, or at least perplexed, that the  Greenwich Reform Synagoue’s President, Bill Grad, has decided to pull out of a what appeared to be a highly mutually beneficial agreement with The Stanwich School.

The most astounding part is Mr. Grad’s announcement that they’re  pursuing a plan to build condominiums on the 11-acre site!  That part of Stanwich Road is in Greenwich’s 2-acre zone.  The road itself is a narrow, 2-lane “country road”, and all property up there is septic and well. 

Obviously it is not zoned for condos, so Mr. Grad will presumably be involved in a future lawsuit with the Town of Greenwich Planning and Zoning Department? Oh, and he’s also running for the office of Tax Collector for the Town of Greenwich!

As you can imagine, there is absolutely nothing more tantalizing, more beckoning, more delicious to the Legislative and Judicial branches of Connecticut government than the prospect of breaking Greenwich zoning laws.  Finally, they’d be able to really show those “rich people”!  Oh sure, they love the (approximately) $1.3 BILLION that Greenwich sends annually to Hartford, but the actual citizens of Greenwich? Ehh..not so much.

So, thanks Mr. Grad!  And while you’re at it, why not a gas station? Or a
Dunkin’ Donuts!

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Blog Censors

Frank Farricker said:  Last night, Gideon posted about his opinion of the Greenwich Reform Synagogue/Stanwich School issue. The article further discussed a personal friend who is also running for office this year as a Democrat.

Chris and I began working together in May, 2009, and a large part of why I was eager to work with him was this blog. First, its fun. Second, it brings in some business and third, I have- and still have – enormous respect for Chris’ courage in speaking out on what he believes, whether it is real estate related, or in his politics. I always tell people that its easy to talk politics with Chris, as it is likely that we have diametrically opposed opinions on a given issue, we know it, no point in arguing. Simple and stress free.

We’ve always had just two guidelines. Guideline one is that he doesn’t hurt the business, and this usually means he doesn’t write about our clients. Guideline two is that he doesn’t write about my friends. No, I don’t stretch that to every registered Democrat and left-leaning independent, but personal friends. We don’t even talk about it, he generally just has placed that in his frontal lobe and all is well.

The article that Gideon wrote last night affected a friend. I don’t agree with the substance of the article, but that’s nothing new, he has a complete right to have that position. I tried to disable the article until I spoke to Gideon, but instead I deleted it. I apologize to him for that, because he really didn’t know the accomodation I have with his brother. So I welcome him to repost if he likes.

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The Greenwich “cheapies”

Gideon Fountain writes:

In the rest of America, $500,000 buys you plenty of house, especially these days.  But what does it get you in Greenwich?  How about $400,000?  Or $300,000??

I’m proud to say that, so far this year, I’ve sold two of these bargains; they were my listings, both were “co-ops”, and both sold pretty quickly.  As for actual houses, here are the 10 cheapest ones

446 Valley Road sold for $540,000 in September.

that have sold in the last 6 months….

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Will Someone Stop This Madness??

Gideon Fountain writes:

Well, this damn good news just keeps pouring in!  Despite all the efforts of local, state, and federal government to hobble American businesses, things are improving anyway! First General Electric and United Technologies, then today, the worst news yet: Caterpillar reported a 44% increase in quarterly profits* and the hiring of nearly 5,000 people!  What the hell are these people doing hiring workers when they should be out buying canned goods and gold bars in preparation for the next crash??

And then, just when you thought Monday could not get any worse, Greenwich home buyers had to chime in with their “good news”: Reported today…

7 accepted offers, with asking prices as follows…

$14,000,000

6,000,000

3,300,000

3,000,000

2,000,000

1,100,000

800,000

Those numbers have been disguised somewhat to protect these new, still “fragile” deals, but the properties are located throughout the town, from the northwest corner, all the way to the southeast.

This is only Greenwich, I know.  There’s a whole lot of hurtin’ real estate out there in places like Nevada and Florida, but it is often said that towns like Greenwich lead the rest of the country out of recession, so…we shall see, shan’t we?

 

 

* “Profits”…ewwww! Evil! Bad!

 

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Fun With Guns

A Viridian Green Laser attaches nicely to your Glock

Gideon Fountain writes:

Folks ask me all the time* (‘specially you ladies), “Gid”, they say, “I’m thinking of buying the little man a laser for his pistol; which one’s the best?” I always say that you certainly can’t go wrong with Crimson Trace   , but I’m intrigued by this new one, called the “Viridian Green Laser”.

There are several advantages to having a laser sighting device on your gun, the most important being accuracy, particularly at night, in a stressful situation.  But there is also the potential deterrent effect.  Everyone knows how criminals, who’ve made the mistake of invading your home, will make a quick exit when they hear the classic “CLICK-KA-SHINK!”  of a pump-action shotgun chambering a fresh round.  But I have read similar, credible reports of bad guys leaving just as fast when they look down to see a laser light shining on their chest.

All things considered, it’s probably best if you can scare the guy out of the house. That way, the cops can dispose of him in the front yard.

So, are ya feeling lucky, punk?  Well, are ya? What’ll it be…red or green?

 

 

*Actually, never.

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What’d They Buy What’d They Get

Gideon Fountain writes:

Well, it’s happened again, as those Car Talk knuckle-heads would say.  More people have gone out and bought real estate, seemingly oblivious to the “real” crash that’s coming (according to doom’n’gloomers).  Yessir, just in the narrow range of $3,000,000-5,000,000, 32 properties have sold in Greenwich in the last 6 months, with 9 more under contract in that asking price range.

Here are the 32 sales. The selling price is revealed at the bottom of each listing.

Sold: $3M, September. Shore Road, in the "Belle Haven Peninsula"

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Where’s Chris?

Gideon Fountain writes:

Ok, everybody calm down back there or I swear I will turn this car around!

So the word is, Chris will be back next week. I know, I know, you’re sick of the Gid & Frank Show, but as you’ll recall, my “Mark Your Calendars” post from last week

Oh , stop being a big baby, especially YOU, "anonymous"! (What 's the plural...anonymeese?)

did include the word “maybe”. So let’s all just hang in there.  Thank you.

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