I’ve been tracking the downward course of prices at Old Greenwich Gables, the 1990 (late 80’s?) condominium project Arthur Collins built on the old Electrolux site. I had thought that the decline was attributable to the slumping condo market as a whole but a visit there this morning with clients revealed another, more ominous cause: the place is falling down.
An entire brick facade on the top floor of one of the buildings is bulging and sagging; I have no idea why there’s no protective scaffolding shield to keep those bricks from landing on the heads of residents when the bricks fall, which seems likely to occur any day now. Regardless, as it’s the first sight to greet prospective buyers when they park, it’s no help in selling.
Then there are the steel exterior stairways, all weeping rust and staining what was once white paint. Again, not a confidence booster. Rotting trim and fascia boards add to the overall effect of entropy, and when the buyers discover that the complex is heated with electricity, it’s game over.
Which is a real shame. The Gables has all the pieces for a great complex: nice exterior layout, incredibly convenient location and a nifty community pool, as well as beautiful plantings and quiet walkways. All the pieces, but they’re falling to pieces, and homeowners equity is following that ruin down the drain.
Your opinion may differ, but my clients and I took it all in and left after sticking our noses in one of the two units we were planning on viewing. Next.
I blame the late Arthur Collins for this. He took some premium land and a decent architectural plan and then built as cheaply and as shoddily as he could. He did the same thing on his other projects in town: the Commons on the Post Road, Palmer Point and, I believe, Lyons Farm. Shabby buildings that lasted long enough for him to pocket his money and get out. Now he’s dead and the owners of the buildings he built are paying a whole new cost.
Isn’t it a pity.