A newly formed company last week acquired seven residential properties in New Canaan for a combined $5.1 million, records show, including three contiguous homes on East Avenue totaling .8 acres.
All of the properties—they’re multifamily dwellings on East Avenue, as well as Mead Street, South Avenue and Park Street (see below)—were sold by New Canaan Country School.
It isn’t clear just who the buyer is.
Created in June, the company that acquired the properties—called ‘New Canaan Realty Partners LLC’—is itself owned by a New York City-based limited liability company, according to Connecticut Secretary of the State records.
That company is called ‘Capricorn Investment Group LLC’ and is based in New York, N.Y., the records show—yet a search of the New York Secretary of State’s business filings show no such company.
A California-based ‘Capricorn Investment Group LLC’ does exist, however—one of its managing directors is a Canadian billionaire who had worked as eBay’s first president. A woman who answered the phone there Thursday said she could not confirm or deny that it was the same Capricorn that purchased the New Canaan properties.
Here’s a summary of what was sold, according to property transfers recorded July 26 in the Town Clerk’s office:
Properties Purchased by 'New Canaan Realty Partners LLC'
|Total||1.83 acres||$5.1 million|
|301 Park St.||.39 acres||$950,000|
|13 Mead St.||.17 acres||$418,514|
|79 South Ave.||.28 acres||$652,437|
|83 East Ave.||.19 acres||$771,103|
|105 East Ave.||.37 acres||$912,957|
|109 East Ave.||.22 acres||$715,634|
|117 East Ave.||.21 acres||$679,355|
Asked what the properties had been used for and why New Canaan Country School sold them, officials with the school said the homes had been used to house participants in its Apprentice Teacher Training Program.
The program “provides on-the-job teaching experiences for approximately 26 apprentice teachers each year,” Country School officials said in an email.
“These teachers work alongside lead teachers in Pre-K through Grade 6, enriching the students’ experience. The program was one of the first of its kind and attracts candidates from all over the country. Since 1952, nearly 1,000 apprentices have been trained in this program.”
The housing is provided to apprentices “for a modest fee,” the email said.
“Over time, the school purchased several multi-family properties to meet the needs of its growing employee base. Recently, the school made a strategic decision to sell the properties in order to have a more flexible approach to meeting the housing needs of its apprentice teachers and other employees.”
Country School CFO Bob Mueller said in a statement: “Our commitment to our Apprentice Teacher Training Program is as strong as ever, and in order to fulfill that commitment, we need the flexibility to provide the best housing options, in terms of the number and types of housing, for any particular cohort of employees at a given time.”