‘Heritage Square’: New Units on Forest Street Are Selling, Bucking 2015 Trend in Condos


Five of the seven new condominiums going up on Forest Street downtown are in various stages of being sold—bucking an overall trend among New Canaan condos and a nod to the strength of new construction in this buyer’s market, Realtors say.

Located above what will be street-level retail in a mixed-use development near the corner of Locust Avenue that’s been named ‘Heritage Square,’ the condos include four 2- and 3-bedroom units in the 1,800- to 2,000-square-foot range, two 4-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot penthouses and a 3,500-plus-square-foot “duplex” that encompasses two floors, according to Bill Hecker of Houlihan Lawrence, sole agent representing seller/developer Chris Gatto.

Commitments are in place for purchasers to snatch up five of the seven units at the new Forest Street mixed-use retail-and-residential development. Credit: Michael Dinan

Commitments are in place for purchasers to snatch up five of the seven units at the new Forest Street mixed-use retail-and-residential development. Credit: Michael Dinan

Just two of the smaller-sized 3-bedroom units are available—they’re listed at $1.8 million—and the condos should be move-in ready next spring, Hecker said.

“This to me is a really good sign because there is not a whole lot you can see there right now,” Hecker told NewCanaanite.com. “You can see the structure but if you walked into any of the units it’s just studs—there’s no drywall in yet, so for the buyer to envision what is being delivered is a very big challenge on the part of myself and Christopher Gatto, the developer. He has developed renderings to show what a finished product in a particular unit will look like, because it’s very difficult for the average buyer to envision what they are buying. It is very difficult prospect.”

He added that to say five of the units are already spoken for—meaning there’s been a deposit put down on them, or they’re under contract—“that is really very positive for the development.”

It’s also bucking an overall trend in condominiums, according to data compiled by Jeanne Rozel, a Realtor with Halstead Property and a veteran of the condo market in New Canaan.

Overall, the number of condo units sold through the first nine months of 2015 is down 36 percent year-over-year from 2014, from 66 to 42, Rozel said. That said, the average selling price is up from $798,630 to $844,047 in the same time period, Rozel said.

Last year, 2014, was an unusually strong year for condo sales—the highest ever, in fact, in the 25-plus years that Rozel has been tracking data on the market.

Here’s a snapshot of MLS-only sales through the first nine months of a calendar year, from 2012 to 2015:

Condominium and Cooperative Sales, New Canaan*

YearUnits Sold
*Sold in the first nine months of the calendar year, MLS only
Source: Jeanne Rozel, Realtor, Halstead Property


“People like new construction,” Rozel said of the data. “They love new construction and they pay for it.”

She pointed to new construction on Richmond Hill Road that sold for more than $2 million and strong sales at the former Ardsley site at Maple and Park Streets as recent examples.

Mary Higgins of Halstead Property, exclusive listing agent on the newly built condos at the former Jelliff Mill, said eight of the 10 units available there have closed. (One of those still available is the 3-bedroom, 2,824-square-foot unit that overlooks the dam itself—listed at $2,325,000, according to Higgins’ Realtor page.) The last unit to close at Jelliff, she said, number six, was a 3,600-square-foot freestanding house with an attached garage that went for $1,825,000. When buyers commit to new construction that’s still underway, Higgins said, they receive substantial discounts over those who come later.

Overall, Rozel said, New Canaan is seeing a strong buyers’ market, with 386 active residential listings on the MLS through Sept. 30—that’s up 31 percent over 2014. At the same time, about the same overall number of houses were sold in New Canaan year-over-year through the first three quarters, Rozel said.

For Hecker, one strong selling point for Heritage Square is that owners are “buying into the first ‘urban living’ condominium development that New Canaan has ever seen.”

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