New Canaan’s highest elected official said during a recent debate that the town has “reached a deal” to purchase the Gulf Station property at South Avenue and Cherry Street.
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan during a July 18 pre-Republican Caucus debate said, “We’re working on a transaction—since there’s no press here—we’ve reached a deal to acquire the Gulf Station, to get the Gulf Station next to the library. That was a transaction people said couldn’t be done, and we have a deal to get it done.”
He spoke in response to a question put to Republican first selectman candidates regarding why they’re the best candidates for the town’s top job.
It wasn’t clear from Moynihan’s comments how far along the “deal” for the property is, whether its current owners are selling or what the town would do with the .31-acre parcel at 36 South Ave.
It was purchased for $4.7 million three years ago, by a limited liability company whose principals include a Norwalk man, according to Connecticut Secretary of the State records.
New Canaan Library owns the rest of the downtown block.
The prospect of the town buying the Gulf station first publicly emerged as a Board of Selectmen meeting in April. There, during a discussion about financing, Selectman Kathleen Corbet asked whether—should the town acquire the Gulf station property—the 1913 building still would need to be moved. (Library officials said yes, and they were right, that relocation is underway.)
It also is unclear, even if Moynihan pursues the acquisition, whether the full Board of Selectmen will approve it.
The prospect of the purchase emerged again at a selectmen meeting this month. Selectman Nick Williams appeared to refer to the potential acquisition of the Gulf station while questioning Moynihan on what kinds of real estate broker fees are paid out in town property deals. Moynihan said he would wait for a future meeting to discuss the matter. The selectmen are scheduled to meet Aug. 8.
The full three-member Board of Selectmen is expected to turn over this year. Williams and Corbet each have announced that they’re not seeking re-election. Moynihan, seeking party backing for his own re-election bid, was defeated by GOP challenger Dionna Carlson at the July 25 Republican Caucus.