Connecticut town contracted to buy $100 million private island

No man is an island — and perhaps, instead of an individual buyer, that’s why the affluent suburb of Darien, Connecticut is buying a la...


No man is an island — and perhaps, instead of an individual buyer, that’s why the affluent suburb of Darien, Connecticut is buying a large private island right in the heart of town.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the city – about 80 km from New York – concluded a contract to buy the roughly 60-acre Great Island, owned by the descendants of baking powder entrepreneur William Ziegler, for more than $100 million. It is one of the largest remaining undeveloped parcels of land in the area.

Ziegler, who died in 1905, bought it around 1900 to use as a summer residence.

“There will never again be an opportunity for the city to control the fate of this property, or add an asset to all of us like this,” Darien First Selectman Monica McNally said at an April meeting of the City Board of Selectmen. “I believe that in 200 years, when people look at this property, they will view this transaction favorably.”

Great Island is accessible via a causeway.
Great Island is accessible via a causeway.
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman
Great Island has approximately 1 mile of coastline along Long Island Sound.
Great Island has approximately 1 mile of coastline along Long Island Sound.
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman
A private beach.
A private beach.
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

Further details, at this time, are not available. McNally told the Journal that inking the contract is just the “first step” in a multi-tiered process that will require approval from other city officials – and she declined to comment further on the deal. .

The propagation for sale in February asking for $100 million. In 2016, he originally asked for a much higher $175 million.

Great Island, accessible by causeway and owned by a trust controlled by the Steinkraus family — who are descendants of Ziegler’s granddaughter Helen — includes more than a mile of shoreline along Long Island Sound.

The equestrian facility has a vaulted ceiling reminiscent of Grand Central - and that's because the two share an architect in common.
The equestrian facility has a vaulted ceiling reminiscent of Grand Central – and that’s because the two share an architect in common.
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman
The equestrian facility also has a granite stable.
The equestrian facility also has a granite stable.
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman
Another shot inside the establishment.
Another shot inside the establishment.
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman
Spread over some 60 acres, there is plenty of room to sit outside.
Spread over some 60 acres, there is plenty of room to sit outside.
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

But more than an island, it’s also a showpiece – inspired by an Italian villa, measuring 13,000 square feet and dating from 1905. The island also has a guest house, a caretaker and a deep water dock.

There’s even an equestrian facility on the grounds – and its appearance might look familiar to commuters. The late architect Rafael Gustavino, known for his work on Grand Central Terminal, lent his touch to this amenity – and its vaulted ceiling resembles that found in parts of the downtown train station. It also has a granite stable and indoor and outdoor rides.

Needless to say, one of Ziegler’s descendants, the late William Steinkraus, won a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City in the individual jump.

Jennifer Leahy of Douglas Elliman had the list. Leahy told the Journal that the island has received offers from end users and developers.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Connecticut town contracted to buy $100 million private island
Connecticut town contracted to buy $100 million private island
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