It's a banner day for Taconic

Well that's not fair: she cheated, and added the Zebra

Well that's not fair: she cheated, and added the Zebra

At long last, love: Designer Cindy Rinfret's house at 304 Taconic Road reports a contract. Started at $15.950 in 2009, it's dropped to $5.3 million today. My guess at final closing price? Low to mid-$4s.

UPDATE FROM FWIW'S SECRET UNDERCOVER CORRESPONDENT: next-door neighbor to this property is Sabine Schoenberg, the lady who conned Tesei et als to start a Greenwich real estate marketing plan.


From FWIW's international correspondent

Toronto man builds park steps for $550 after city estimated cost at $65,000 - $150,000.

The City of Toronto has asked an Etobicoke senior who built stairs to a community park for a fraction of an estimate provided by municipal officials to remove the new access point.
Adi Astl said he contacted his councillor, Justin Di Ciano, to ask for another set of stairs at Tom Riley Park in order to safely access the community garden. He said he was shocked when he was told the estimate to build the stairs was $65,000-150,000.
Astl, a former mechanic, then took action and constructed a wooden set of stairs – for a total cost of $550. Before the new access, he said there was nothing but an embankment with rocks and a yellow rope.
“It took us all together 14 hours. It took us eight hours before they got in and then we had to modify it, and the railings and all that stuff,” Astl said.
READ MORE: Braille on map at new Toronto park ‘not accessible’
He said he has been asked by City staff to remove the stairs and tape was placed across the top. Astl could potentially be charged under a city bylaw.
“We don’t need a great big, huge cement staircase. We just need this,” Gail Rutherford, Astl’s wife, said.
“It’s much safer than what was there before.”

Wanna take a bet on how much Greenwich will spend building a handicapped access path to a relocated bathroom at the Chimes Building down at Tod's?

Bloomberg revisits Greenwich, and the results aren't pretty

My friend Oshrat Carmiel doesn't like what she sees: Greenwich luxury listings tumble as sellers discount or drop out

High-end home sellers in Greenwich, Connecticut, are getting real -- or going away.
After years of mansions piling up on the market, the inventory for luxury homes plunged 21 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the most in at least two and a half years, according to appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Owners of the costliest properties, which had been lingering amid so much competition, either cut prices to close a deal, or pulled their homes from the market to wait for a better day.
“They’ve chased the market and they came up without selling so they’ve retreated for now,” Scott Durkin, chief operating officer of Douglas Elliman, said in an interview. “Many times, sellers had an unrealistic perception of the market.”
Greenwich, a town of 60,000 that many Wall Street executives call home, is contending with a shift in consumer tastes since the recession -- away from lavish estates across several acres and toward smaller properties closer to downtown. Owners of luxury homes, the top 10 percent of the market, have taken a while to adjust to the new reality, clinging to lofty price expectations even as their listings remained unsold.
The number of luxury-home sales, defined for the quarter as priced at $4.25 million or higher, was unchanged from a year earlier at 21. Of those deals, 18 were for less than the seller’s asking price. The average reduction was 8.3 percent, or a $498,889 discount, according to Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel.
Perhaps sellers got tired of waiting. Luxury homes that changed hands in the quarter spent an average of 319 days on the market, compared with 218 days a year earlier. The average reflects only the duration of a property’s last listing and doesn’t account for any previous times the home may have been offered unsuccessfully.
Among properties that sold in the quarter was an 8,535-square-foot (793-square-meter), six-bedroom home on Khakum Wood Road that had been on the market since 2008. Back then, the home, on 2 acres (0.8 hectares) with a pool, was listed for $14.5 million and didn’t sell, according to Greenwich’s property listing service. It returned to the market several times since -- at $9.975 million, $7.645 million and, most recently, $6.65 million.
The home finally sold in April for $5.8 million, or 60 percent less than its 2008 price.