Daily Archives: November 28, 2011

Uh oh, touched a nerve up there on Beacon Hill

The two "Beacon Hill Greenwich" buyers?

My comments regarding the Lotto winners Lacoff and Skidmore’s failed condo project on Sound View Drive elicited a rather zingy reply from either the builders, the listing agent or a buyer who has seen his “investment” disappear into the dust cloud generated by the empty land next door. Most of the rant is unfit for a family newspaper and so it, and its writer, have been consigned to the spam folder, but this part’s fun:

First of all…get your facts straight.. I’ve been watching Beacon Hill from the beginning and I think the developers have done a great job there. Beacon Hill has been slowly selling units and I’ve been tempted to make an offer. Stop making your miserable life problems everybody else’s and go out there and make an honest buck for once. You never have anything positive to say.  Miserable people like you is [sic] why our world is the way it is!

“Slowly” is the word; exactly two units were sold here, one by the listing agent, Katherine Clauss and the other by Christopher Finlay. No comment. Both sales, for around $3 million, occurred in 2009. There have been no sales since.

So two sales, a ton of unsold units and a second phase that has never broken ground and almost certainly won’t in my lifetime. If the pissed off reader really is “tempted to make an offer’, then now’s her chance. I’d start by offering $500,000 but her valuation may be lower.


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This is pretty amusing

Although I can sympathize with Mr. Friedman.

During the worst of the Iraq War, the media research group FAIR noted that New York Times columnist Tom Friedman had declared “the next six months” the crucial turning point for the Iraq War for no fewer than 14 times over the course of a two-and-a-half year period.That led the blogger Duncan Black to coin the term “Friedman unit,” which Wikipedia defines as “any event or ‘critical period’ which is repeatedly expected to happen in the near future, but repeatedly fails to occur.”

The author of this piece goes on to gauge the likelihood of the collapse of Europe and concludes, who knows? I get it.


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What price, Glenville?

(Fluffy little clouds provided by realtor)

There’s a new listing at 6 Sherwood Farm Lane asking $5.250 million. Well, maybe. These houses, almost all beautifully built, sold in the low-to-mid threes a decade ago and when more were built in 2006, as this one was, we saw two sales at $5 and $5.2. The most recent sale, number 8 Sherwood, tried asking $5.8 in 2007 and finally sold for $3.8 in early 2009. I’m not aware of anything that’s occurred that might return prices here to their glory days but what do I know? We’ll wait and see.


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Happy to oblige


Patagonia has urged its customers to refrain from buying its goods. I’ve used (and purchased) the company’s products since the early 70s when Yvonne Chouinard was banging out pitons on his forge, and I’ve always been impressed by the quality of their products if not the prices. But hey, if they don’t want me as a customer I don’t want them as a vendor so I flagged their email to me as “spam” and got off their mailing list. See ya, fellas.


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Curiouser and curiouser

Teri Buhl alerts me that our newest Connecticut Lottery winner Brandon Lacoff is not only the failure behind Greenwich’s Beacon Hill, he’s now involved in resurrecting a failed Norwalk development. Want to see a picture of that project? Well here you go. Say, wait a minute, that’s a picture of Beacon Hill! Guess they couldn’t afford a new picture, or they just believe in recycling.

And here’s another curious thing: the winning ticket was sold November 2nd yet no one stepped forward to claim his winnings until yesterday. Although Fudrucker would never admit it, the Lottery Commission ran a bogus billboard campaign asking the winner to appear. When Mssrs. Lacoff et als did show up yesterday they did so accompanied by a lawyer from Long Island who “represented” the boys at the Lottery’s press conference by repeating “no comment, no comment, no comment” all afternoon. Is it possible that the attorney’s vocabulary has shrunk after decades spent representing low-level Mafiosi? Who knows? And who knows if the reason for the lengthy delay in claiming the prize was due to a desire to shield those big bucks from the grasping claws of rapacious creditors? I sure don’t and asked about it by Scuzie, FWIW’s top investigative reporter, Lacoff said this: “no comment”.

UPDATE: Teri points out that Madoff’s Lacoff’s winnings were deposited into a “family trust”. What’s that about, do you suppose?


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A big Kahuna goes to contract

"I'm big, I'm ugly and I vote!" Maxine Waters

Jordan Saper’s latest spec job on 38 Langhorne Lane has a contract; asking price was $7.350 million. I’m no fan of Saper’s work because, to me, it typifies the big box, boring neo-shingle styleless dreck that has so cheapened Greenwich in the past decade, but so what? Saper builds what he knows will sell and sell he does. He’s the Mariani of slow building. At least this one, tucked away in the far reaches of the Back Country, won’t be visible to the casual traveler.

Saper paid $1.250 for this land in 2007, by the way, and tried to resell it a year later for $4.150. No one wanted it at that price or, a year later, for $2.650 (never pay full ask, okay?) so he went ahead and built. Mortgage is just $3.6 million so there’s plenty of room for profit here.

Thus enabling Saper to go forward and do it again.


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Fudrucker, pay-off in pocket, disappears from Greenwich

Or at least I haven’t seen him since the day before Thanksgiving. But left behind are three Greenwich guys who have collected $7 trillion from the Connecticut Power Ball lottery. One of them, Brandon Lacoff, is the brains behind that failed condominium project “Beacon Hill” on the hill leading up to Field Point Road. The units were grossly overpriced – over $3 million each, I believe and only two sold before construction shut down (might make you wonder who the real estate agent was who sold her customers such a dog, eh?). Mr. Lacoff now purports to offer, for a fee, investment advice. So long as he limits that advice to “here’s a dollar – go find a gas station”, he should be on solid ground.

Thanks, Cos Cobber, for alerting me to the connection)


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Even BMW admits that its cup holders suck

2014 BMW

Or at least, its North American CEO does. I’ve never quite gotten the allure of BMWs. If I see a 500 or lesser series on the road, I figure that its driver couldn’t afford a 700. And the 700s’ style changes so often that the snazziest, most expensive model looks dated in just a year or two and then I figure, poor bastard can’t afford a new car. My dream car is actually a pickup, so I have no dog in this fight, but if the purpose of a luxury car is to impress one’s fellows, BMW fails miserably.


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So you say that the Democrats don’t hate America?

Barnie Frank will be replaced on the House Banking Committee by Maxine Waters. Sure, Frank was a corrupt pervert but Waters is certifiably crazy, stupid, illiterate, ignorant of the most basic economic principles and a racist to boot. Hoo boy!


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Price reduction

12 Mountain Wood

I never much liked 12 Mountain Wood Drive, a spec house that sold for $8.4 million in 2005 and has been up for sale pretty much ever since (it was rented out for a while there) at, first, $9.750, in 2006 and now, as of today, $6.950 million. Maybe its latest price reduction will make me like it – a substantial reduction can do that – I didn’t think it had the quality to demand almost ten million dollars, but in the mid-sixes, well, it is a nice location.


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Well, we may have difficulties but at least we aren’t trying to sell property on lower Lake Avenue

69 Lake is back on the market again which makes, I think, something like 4,000 days it’s been for sale. It started at $2.650 million in 2007 and is asking $1.7ish now, but I don’t know if that’s going to do the trick. The mortgage is $1.5 million, so there’s a hint of financial hurt in the air. Nice antique (1780 or something) house, renovated in 2006, but lower Lake was probably a far nicer location before the invention of dump trucks and cars.


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Friends don’t let friends buy in King Meritt Acres

Aw, that’s not really true, but I notice that one acre lots have retreated to 1999-2000 levels. Ninety N. Bowman, marked down to $775 from $850,000 is reported as under contract today. These lots were getting between $660 and $750 a decade ago and I guess they are again.

There was a nonsensical editorial (redundant, I know) in the New York Times yesterday denouncing Mitch Romney’s proposal to let the marketplace take care of housing prices as cruel and illogical. The Times didn’t have a better solution – naturally, it thinks federal price supports would help – but made no mention of the upside of the current mess: affordable housing. In the Times’ world view, affordable housing should only be achieved through government subsidies but here’s hoping not everyone has such a statist vision.


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Should I request that no muslims attend my mother?

"But we just love dissection class!"

Whacko muslim medical students, bless their hearts, are boycotting classes on evolution and biology because such teaching conflicts with the koran. I’m pretty sure there are fundamentalist Christian schools down south who can accommodate these people and, so long as they confine their practice to each other, I have no problem.


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Life is like a box of chocolates

Well shit!

And sometimes it comes up coconut. No sooner had I posted my paen to gratitude this past Thanksgiving than I heard a horrible crash downstairs and discovered that my mother Leatrice, 87, had suffered a serious stroke. I don’t believe in a god who causes sparrows to fall but if there is anyone in charge of the universe, I find some comfort in knowing that it has a black sense of humor, like my own.

In any event, we rushed her off to the hospital (thanks to our GPD and EMS guys – nothing like them in traumatic times) and … we’ll see. Recovery from these things is measured in weeks and months, not hours and days, something I’ve grown tired of explaining to friends who keep calling wanting to know whether she’ll get better. I’m tempted to set up a recording on the answering machine promising to call if there are significant developments but of course I realize that friends and family are just concerned, and calling because of their love for the Fountain matriarch.

But she’s in better hands than mine and, other than visiting her there’s nothing I can do, so I don’t. Blogging, however, is always a good relief valve. Back to politics and real estate, two other things out of my control.


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I thought this was obvious three years ago

Democrats and Obummer have abandoned the white working class and will focus the messiah’s 2012 campaign on intellectuals and poor folk – ie, “minorities”. The shift to class warfare, always in evidence, has become even more pronounced in the past few months and of course Obama and his crowd have done everything in their power to kill off blue collar jobs – witness his axing the oil pipeline project (20,000 jobs), the attack on fracking and his environmental policies designed to shut down industry. Oh, and his NLRB’s elimination of the Boeing plant in South Carolina.

The goal? Reelection in the short run, complete subjugation of the citizenry long term. The illiterati spawned by our colleges love this stuff and the po’folk just want someone else to pay their rent. We continue to live in interesting times.

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