A prominent home on God’s Acre—neglected for years while tied up in foreclosure, then rebuilt in a closely followed effort featured by TV’s “This Old House”—has been sold, documents show. Located next to St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, the home at 4 Main St. was purchased for $3.4 million, according to a property transfer recorded March 20 in the Town Clerk’s office. The sale bookends a fraught and complicated period for the historic property, a ca.
Those overseeing a major rebuilding project on Route 123 in New Canaan say they’re preparing to file for a federal loan in hopes of starting construction in June or July. The estimated $45 million Canaan Parish project “is moving along nicely” and a Federal Housing Authority loan commitment could be in hand within about two to three months, according to Scott Hobbs, chairman of the New Canaan Housing Authority. The volunteer agency is partnering with New Canaan Neighborhoods Inc. to rebuild Canaan Parish, a 60-unit Section 8 housing complex at New Norwalk Road and Lakeview Avenue, in a single five-story structure and to construct a new, 40-unit structure of the same height. Both buildings would count toward the state’s affordable housing requirement.
Unanimously approved in August 2018 by the Planning & Zoning Commission, the project involves “taking an older, out-of-date structure that we are going to demolish and building a much more state-of-the-art, better energy efficiency [residence] with the green space that we now know people need, in a combination of different-sized units,” said Arnold Karp, a local builder who serves on the New Canaan Neighborhoods project committee. “So we are really taking something that had outlived its useful life and updating that,” Karp said.
Two of the four residential buildings at the widely anticipated Merritt Village development on the edge of downtown New Canaan are now framed out, and should be ready for move-in by the end of this year, the project’s developers say. A total of 59 apartments will be available between the two buildings now nearing completion, and 40 condominiums will be available on the other two nearer to Park Street, according to Arnold Karp and Paul Stone of New Canaan-based Karp Associates Inc. The condo buildings will be ready by the spring 2021, they said. “We are on time, we are on budget and the buildings are as attractive as I thought they were going to be, with all the extra time and effort that we spent on design, materials and quality of workmanship,” Karp said Monday morning, standing with Stone in an area amid the buildings that is to become a wide green of open space that wends through Merritt Village, flanked by terraces with benches and fire pits for residents.
“I think when you ask neighbors, I think the general view from the town is that they have digested the project,” Karp said. “They see that it’s not looming over anybody, that it’s well-planned-out and well constructed. We are not going to make everybody happy, but I would say that overall we have gotten only favorable comments, especially in the last several months.”
Located south of Maple Street and east of Park Street, the landmark project received final approval from the Planning & Zoning Commission in November 2016 after several months of emotionally charged public hearings.
During a contentious hearing last week, two appointed officials abstained from voting to accept the final re-construction of a prominent God’s Acre home. In voicing concerns about the material used for the roof of a portico at 4 Main St., Historic District Commission members Carl Rothbart and Mark Markiewicz drew criticism from the builder who has overseen the widely publicized rebuilding project.
Arnold Karp of Karp Associates Inc. told them he’s had as many as 3,000 people come through the home since its unveiling in September as the “This Old House” 2019 Idea House.
Many of those visitors “are architects or people who are involved in historic preservation or architecture in general, including an [American Institute of Architects] event this evening,” Karp said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held Thursday at Town Hall. “And not a single person has commented to us on, Geez that is an issue, and we have heard all sorts of comments on the house,” Karp said. According to Markiewicz, members of the Commission in meeting about the project at Karp’s office “discussed about doing a flat roof” there rather than one with a metal standing seam. Rothbart said, “You have done a really nice job in restoring the house and the thing that really stands out—this is why we are making an issue of it—I mean, if you showed that standing seam roof on the drawings and we approved it, so be it.
Construction is progressing apace at the ‘Merritt Village’ redevelopment, and the frame of the first building in the apartment-and-condo complex will start to go up this week, according to the project’s owner. The widely anticipated 99-unit project on time and on budget, Arnold Karp of property owner M2 Partners LLC said Monday during a walkthrough of the site at Park and Mead Streets. “As developers that’s always the part that you worry about,” Karp said. “With the weather we’ve had different issues but we’ve luckily figured all that into our timing.” When the complex is completed in 2021 it will consist of four buildings, Karp said.