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.

Open Space Advocates Eye Dream Greenway in New Canaan

Open space advocates are eagerly anticipating the sale of a Weed Street property that could lead, if all goes well, to the creation of a pedestrian path connecting Irwin Park to the New Canaan Nature Center. If things pan out as they hope, New Canaan could see a “greenway” from the woods out back of the Nature Center, through New Canaan Land Trust property and all the way to Weed Street and Irwin Park (which itself may eventually connect via sidewalk to the top of Elm)—in other words, a walk-able loop encompassing the heart of downtown New Canaan and all those town treasures along the way. All that’s needed is the transfer to the town of a strategically placed 425-foot strip of land that’s about 15 to 30 feet wide (see map detail at right), according to New Canaan Land Trust Board of Trustees President Chris Schipper. Right now, that strip is part of a property at Weed Street near the intersection of Wahackme that has been on the market for a little over one year. Asked about the status of the property, listing agent Susan Blabey of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty confirmed that there’s an accepted offer and declined to say more, citing the owner’s privacy and the fact that the deal is not yet done.

PHOTOS: ‘Absolut Kuba!’ Opens at Carriage Barn Arts Center

Steve Certilman of Greenwich has spent more than 15 years visiting Cuba at least annually, forging long-term relationships with artists whose work he admires and scouring Havana and environs for emerging painters, sculptors, assemblage artists and others. On Saturday, about 80 of the pieces that Certilman has amassed—roughly one-third of his private collection—went on display in “Absolut Kuba!” at Carriage Barn Arts Center. Featuring about 50 artists’ work, the free exhibition marks the first-ever public showing of the diverse collection. According to Arianne Kolb, co-director of the Carriage Barn Arts Center and, with Certilman, curator of the exhibition, “Absolut Kuba!” is a chance to experience about 20 years’ in Cuban art in person without physically going there. “Unless you are planning on going to Cuba regularly or planning to go in the near future, this is a rare opportunity to see an incredible, really well-chosen assemblage of contemporary art that has been produced over the last 20 years,” Kolb said as dozens of appreciators moved through the roomy gallery in Waveny for the opening reception.