What began as a real estate purchase that set off neighborhood alarm bells, has ended amicably and wrapped with a metaphorical pretty bow, as Wilton’s town clerk recorded the sale of 44 Westport Rd. last week. The sale was the last element of a deal struck between town officials and the lot’s owner, real estate developer Patrick Downend.
Downend purchased the property, a one-acre parcel with an antique home, in Feb. 2012 with the intent to raze the historic single family structure and build a 20-unit apartment complex with 30 parking spaces on the one-acre lot. The property is abutted by single-family homes in a residential zone that is zoned for one-acre parcels. Neighbors began organizing local support to mount objections to the proposal in front of Wilton’s Planning & Zoning commission, and accused Downend of trying to “use affordable housing laws” to circumvent local zoning restrictions.
The town resolved the problem in Jan. 2015 by proposing an alternative option: following lengthy negotiations, town officials struck an agreement with Downend, offering to sell him a different, town-owned one-acre parcel of land on Old Danbury Rd. where he could pursue development of an affordable housing project. That location, adjacent to the Wilton Commons Affordable Senior Housing Facility and near Station Rd. and the Wilton train station, was more “suitable” in town eyes. In exchange for the town selling him the one acre parcel, Downend agreed to sell the property located at 44 Westport Rd. and place a deed restriction on it limiting it in perpetuity to single-family residential uses.
Last week, on Tuesday, Nov. 10, Downend–through his 44 Westport Road LLC–officially sold the lot to William and Elizabeth Perry for $475,000. According to the real estate website Vision Government Solutions, Downend originally purchased the property in 2012 for $615,000.
There were three other land transfers recorded in Wilton last week. According to data provided weekly to media by the town clerk’s office, those homes that sold (including addresses, sale prices and photos) were:
- Brendan McQuaid sold 97 Glen Side to Jennet Shelley for $275,000.
- Dhiraj Madan sold 31 Hurlbutt St. to Louis and Carol Kiss for $575,000.
- Joseph and Marianne Dec sold 177 Pipers Hill Rd. to Richard and Adriane Cahi for $610,000.