Inside stories behind area real estate deals

To celebrate the warmer weather, we’ve brought you six exquisite listings that are sure to spring to life this season.



It’s spring! Well, not according to the calendar. But in realty life—which is not the same thing as real life—spring begins in February, when the season’s first for-sale signs crop up in the snowdrifts. We’re celebrating by bringing you six lovely listings, from a reclaimed barn in Weston to a 52-acre estate owned by the estate of a late copper-mining heiress in New Canaan.

Darien Waterfront
$18 million

Called Home by the Sea, this shingle-style estate won a Home Building Industry “Best Custom Home” Award when it was completed in 2008. The “sea” is actually a quiet cove along Long Island Sound, and the home was designed to take advantage of its water views, perhaps best enjoyed from the wraparound porches. The 12,000-square-foot interiors include a home theater, billiards room with a built-in bar, six bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. The three-acre grounds also have a pretty pool and terrace, rolling lawns and a private dock. Eileen Hanford of Halstead Property in Darien has the listing. 203-656-6570.

New Canaan Colonial

This 14,400-square-foot estate offers too many amenities to list, so we’ll just focus on our favorites, starting with the lower-level, Art Deco–style theater with lipstick-red seats and a separate lounge, lobby and concession stand—it’s where we’d like to watch the Academy Awards later this month. The lower level also boasts an Art Deco bar and billiards room with a tin ceiling and four tapped kegs. While downstairs, check out the home gym and sauna, plus the 4,000-bottle wine cellar built with 13th-century stone. There’s more fun outside around the vanishing-edge pool and in the pool house, which has a kitchen, full bathroom and laundry room. On the terraces, find an outdoor kitchen with a wood-fired pizza oven and built-in grill, along with a fire pit. We’ve yet to go upstairs—in the elevator, if you please—to tour the six bedrooms and nine bathrooms, including a master suite with a fireplace and his-and-hers bathrooms and closets. And of interest to all of us who suffered through Hurricane Sandy: There’s a 100KW generator, powerful enough to run the whole house. Larry Palma and Becky Walsh, both of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, share the listing. 203-912-0828 and 203-858-5909.

Beachside Avenue

This property was once called the Penney place and not because it ever sold for such a lowly sum. Rather, the grounds are part of the old J. C. Penney estate upon which this Mediterranean manse was built in 1982. Today, the four-acre spread is a gracious blend of old and new. From the past: its pride of place along Beachside Avenue, arguably Westport’s best address, where celebrity residents include Harvey Weinstein and his designer wife Georgina Chapman and Don and Deirdre Imus, whose home is also for sale. The grounds feature a pond, a tennis court, a swimming pool and terrace and a boat house. A tour of the 10,637-square-foot home starts in the two-story foyer with double staircases leading to a dramatic second-floor landing with its own expansive terrace overlooking the pool and gardens. The second floor offers a private master suite with a fireplace and a “children’s wing” with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. On the third floor are an additional two en-suite bedrooms. Michelle & Company, affiliated with William Raveis in Westport, has the listing. 203-454-4663.

Newly Constructed Colonial

The latest, greatest amenities have been built into this newly constructed Colonial, sited along the Saugatuck River within walking distance of downtown Westport. Designed by Beinfield Architecture, the 5,750-square-foot home offers five bedrooms and four bathrooms (plus two half bathrooms), including a master suite with a fireplace and views to the river. On the .65-acre lot: river access and a private dock. It’s listed with Jillian Klaff  and Leslie Smith Clarke of William Raveis in Westport. 203-858-2095 and 203-984-1856.

Weston Antique

“Unique” is a word that’s tossed around a lot in real estate copy, but in this case it fits. The heart of the 3,200-square-foot home is a reclaimed barn from Pennsylvania that was attached in 2004 and now houses the cool, commercial-quality kitchen and a cozy family room with a stone hearth. The addition blends beautifully with the original circa-1830s home that was a “worker’s cottage” for the tool company once located along the river. It offers four bedrooms and three bathrooms, along with one half bathroom. On the nearly two-acre terraced property: private river frontage with a dock and separate, timber-framed barn with flexible space for work or play. Ryan Cornell of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Wilton has the listing. 203-247-0718.