New Milford Town Council approves Still Meadow price cut
Published 10:44 am, Wednesday, February 7, 2018
NEW MILFORD — The Town Council recently decided to lower the price of the biggest property on the town’s surplus property list to better reflect the market and help get it back on the tax rolls.
The 19-acre property is made up of two parcels at Peagler Hill Road and 73 Fort Hill Road, near the Big Y on Route 7. The council unanimously voted to list the Still Meadow property for $1.6 million, $500,000 less than the original listing price in April.
Voters would have to approve the sale of the property.
“It puts it in line with the maximum you can get for that size acreage and that type of development,” Toby Brimberg, the listing agent, said at a recent Town Council meeting.
When the property was first listed, Brimberg and some town officials thought the parcel had as many as 15 developmental acres. They later determined that figure was closer to nine acres.
Councilman Paul Szymanski said he surveyed the property last spring and had warned there weren’t as many usable acres as initially thought, based on the slope and wetlands.
Brumberg said he’s received feedback from about a dozen developers who said the price and the development challenges with the topography have been the biggest obstacles to selling the land.
“It’s a challenge and when you have a challenge to develop the site, it’s expensive,” he said.
The property is zoned for general business. Potential uses advertised for the land include an active adult community, retail, motels or hotels, offices, wholesale, manufacturing and automotive uses.
A local developer had offered to buy the property for $2.7 million about 10 years ago to build a center with shops, offices, hotel and banquet facility but voters rejected the proposal.
Councilman Michael Nahom, who was involved in that project, said he encouraged the price reduction if it would allow that property to be developed so the town could again collect taxes on it.
“I don’t see any reason to not drop this price,” he said.
The town has owned the site since 1998 when it bought the land for $2.1 million.
Brumberg said the price reduction, coupled with the fact the adjacent 21-acre property is also on the market, will make this piece more attractive.
The other property, which borders Route 7, is owned by two developers who had planned to have retail or an assisted living community, but those plans fell through.
Councilman Tom Esposito said he was in favor of the lower price from the beginning.
“The only way I’d be in favor of selling this piece of property in this town is if it drove a very large construction project and it drove a lot of jobs,” he said.