‘Taste of the Town Stroll’ Benefitting Food Pantry, Lions Club Set for Thursday Evening

The weather forecast calls for clear, sunny skies on Thursday for New Canaan’s annual Taste of the Town Stroll. A “food-raiser” for the New Canaan Food Pantry that this year will double as a benefit for the Lions Club (see below), the Taste of the Town Stroll is to be held 6 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 24. Sponsored exclusively by Berkshire Hathaway New England Properties and organized by the Chamber of Commerce, this year’s event downtown will feature 24 participating shops and restaurants “that are going to provide food or a taste of some sort,” Chamber Executive Director Tucker Murphy said. “A new feature this year is that we partnered with the Lions Club so not only can people bring a food donation but you can bring gently used eyeglasses or hearing aids that will be refurbished and donated to people that need them,” she said.

Condo Sales Surge in New Canaan

New Canaan in 2014 saw what experts are calling a record number of condominiums and cooperatives sold, and those that came in at above-asking price increased ninefold over the prior year. In 2014, New Canaan saw 79 condos sold (the figure includes 10 non-MLS sales)—a 25 percent increase from the prior year, according to a local Realtor who’s been tracking MLS and non-MLS sales data since 1989. And among those 79 units, nine were sold above asking price, compared to just one in 2013, said Jeanne Rozel of Halstead Property, a New Canaan resident for 40 years. They’re statistics that Rozel said “shocked” her when she compiled the data. “I can’t figure this out,” Rozel said.

Bucking ‘In-Town’ Trend, Realtors Turn to New Canaan’s ‘Upper East Side’

Kelly Kraus says that when she came to New Canaan in 1999, prospective homebuyers moving here overwhelmingly wanted homes on four-acre lots north of town. Then in 2004, the sale of a home at 110 South Ave. (and soon after, another on Brooks Road), kickstarted a trend of tearing down and building anew “in town”—call it above Farm Road to about St. Mark’s, and as wide as a walkable distance to the business district. Realtors hyper-focused on that geography—driven by the tastes of prospective residents as well as New Canaanites already here who were seeking to downsize to more manageable properties after, say, their kids moved out, Kraus said.

Federal-Style Townhouses Planned for Main Street Draw Praise

Plans for two Federal-style, adjoining townhouses on Main Street are drawing praise from some preservation-minded residents and neighbors in a town that often sees modern, custom-built homes maximize lots after tear-downs and loom conspicuously large. Designed by Fairfield-based Richard Swann Architect, the homes at 474 Main St. (between Woodland and Elm Place) maintain “village character and add dignity where it had begun to erode away with the previous cookie cutter duplex,” said New Canaan resident Martin Skrelunas, an architecture and landscape preservationist. He noted the “townhouse format with hidden parking, and an elegant face on the street.” Slightly different in size though appearing identical from the curb (the southern unit is listed at $1,650,000, northern at $1,495,000), the townhouses are on track to be constructed this fall, according to builder Kaeser Homes. Swann told NewCanaanite.com that what drove his design for 474 Main St.