The Town of Darien Is In Contract to Buy a 60-Acre Island for Over $100M

Many people may wonder exactly where their property taxes are going. However, residents of Darien, Connecticut are in a unique position to see this pretty plainly. The town is in contract to buy an island, just off its Tokeneke shores, for over $100,000,000. This massive deal is in the works after multiple bids from end-users and developers, and it’s taken years for the sellers to achieve such a sale.

First listed back in 2016, the $175 million price tag may have been a bit rich for the affluent Fairfield County town. It underwent price and representation changes for years before listing with Jennifer Leahy of Douglas Elliman in February 2022. In an incredible feat, it changed status to pending in mere months. “It was the right moment, we had multiple bids. We went to highest and best,” the agent shared.

It’s easy to see why the town acted on the sprawling expanse, the largest private island ever to be offered for sale on the East Coast. Known as Great Island, the name is simple but true. The property offers over one mile of coastline on the Long Island Sound and 60 acres in total.

The Town Of Darien Is In Contract To Buy A 60 Acre Island For Over 100m 19 Great Island Darien Ct 6

Photograph courtesy of Douglas Elliman Realty

Not to mention, there was no telling when the chance would come again to bring it into the town’s fold. The Steinkraus family, descendents of industrialist and baking powder mogul William Ziegler, are the sellers. Ziegler build the estate in 1905, according to the CT Examiner, and it’s been in his family’s hands ever since.

With a deep-water dock and ample grounds, the town could create parks and public pools, and still have space for a lively retail and restaurant scene. Just imagine this place as a Connecticut summer hotspot in 5 years time. Leahy asserts, “To be able to have this amount of open space…It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the town to be able to program this spectacular piece of land.”