Some good, some really bad. For the record, I am increasingly convinced that 1978 marked the nadir of the building trade in Greenwich. Cramped, awkward rooms shoddy construction and despicable cheap materials.
But some of the new and newer construction I saw today was very nice, albeit at a high price. They were all in Riverside (that rental on Stanwich I mentioned was as I remembered and I intend to show it) but that’s just the way the day turned out – I ran out of time before I could reach Old Greenwich. So here are three that I consider worth looking at if you’re in their price range and Riverside’s in your area of interest.
5 Gilliam Lane (links to all three properties discussed will be found here). New construction by Riverside’s Lino Marcal, one of the really good builders in town. Good space, with a high vaulted family room off the kitchen so you have an uninterrupted flow on the entire back side of the house. Three childrens bedrooms upstairs plus a master and a master closet that’s just outrageously large – it was explained to me by another builder/broker that Lino had made the smart move of incorporating otherwise unusable (due to FAR limitations) space by keeping the ceiling in this closet low enough to escape FAR doom. So you get a huge closet instead of dead air over the garage. Works very well. Great big basement, super efficient mechanicals, all in all, a good package.
8 Long View is larger (6,798 sq. ft. to 5 Gilliam’s 4,000, but the Gilliam number may not include the basement – I’m not sure) and also good quality. I’m not wild about its exterior design but the interior makes up for that. What gives Long View the edge, in my opinion, is location. Five Gilliam was previously on Riverside Avenue and although changing the driveway gave it a better address, Riverside Avenue remains exactly where it was. Plus, although Long View’s lot is only slightly larger than 5 Gilliam’s (0.39 vs. 0.29) that extra 4,300 sq.ft. makes a noticable difference. Gilliam is crammed in between the old Dorothy Hamill house, since expanded, to the east and the Hobson’s house to the south. And of course, from 8 Long View one can pause reflectively at the foot of the driveway and gaze upon the original Fountain homestead, down the hill two houses away on Gilliam. I should think the historical significance of that view would easily be worth the $200,000 price difference here.
22 Cherry Tree Lane, down in Harbor Point, requires a correction: you can see boats from its “front porch”, even if that porch is actually the back porch (the houses is turned away from the street and even though those boats will be cruising Cos Cob harbor and not, technically, Long Island Sound. But they’ll be on their way to Long Island Sound and in fact the view is quite beautiful. By the way, the sundial on the (real) front porch is accurately oriented North, just as it claims – I checked with my iPhone’s compass (yeah there’sa n ap for that.
The house is on an acre of somewhat unusual dimensions and that forced the design to twist a little bit, yielding a slightly quirky layout that I really like and find a refreshing change from the standard box builders usually put up. It may not be for you but that will be your loss, not someone elses. Top quality finishes and an office overlooking the water that you’ll probably never want to leave. I’m not shocked by its $5.495 million price tag given its location in Harbor Point and its views and the craftsmanship that was put into every part of this home. Good looking house.