8 Dairy Road, which sold for $8.2 million in 2010, is now marked down to $6.975, with room to fall from there. This was originally the site, then known as 10 Dairy Road, where the real estate developer (some said he was bit less, or more than that) Andrew Kissel was stabbed (repeatedly) to death in 2006. Another Greenwich developer, Mark Mariani, bought the property, razed it, changed the address to number 8, built his standard Mariani mansion and priced it in 2007 — unfortunate timing — at $10.750. As noted, he finally unloaded it in 2010 for substantially less.
There's nothing particularly surprising about all this: I've been reporting on the pricing collapse of high end homes since, well, 2007. But it does raise a question of both First Selectman candidates hopes for a recovery in Greenwich real estate prices. Incumbent Tesei pins his hopes on a $100,000 public relations campaign, while Litvack insists that we need a new "economic plan" that will attract a new industry to town to replace the rapidly-fleeing financial types. So here's my question: what other industry pays the kind of multi-million-dollar salaries that have sustained our prices?
I'm all for seeing Greenwich return to an upper-middle-class community of plumbers, lawyers and dentists, but home sellers aren't going to like what happens to the value of their homes when they're priced based on the ability of such low-lifes to pay mortgages. It's possible that a new, heretofore non-existent business model will emerge: our economic history is full of such developments, as illustrated by the emergence of Silicon Valley and its tech billionaires, but I don't think a public relations campaign or some sort of economic plan is going to do the trick.
Greenwich and its neighboring towns once had the advantage over New Jersey and New York by offering a haven of low taxes (and no income tax) and a solvent state. Those are now gone, and the Hartford crowd has its sights set on Fairfield County to fund the looming multi-billion-dollar deficits. Would you move here? Maybe — Greenwich is still a beautiful town, with a lot to offer, but it's located in Connecticut, and that's a problem.