Real estate developers hoping to build a senior living facility on Pimpewaug Rd. will have to go through an independent appraisal for their offer on the purchase of a small sliver of town-owned land that abuts the property. That’s the recommendation made by the town’s Real Estate Committee to the Board of Selectmen at Monday evening’s BOS meeting.

Last month, the developers of a proposed Brightview Senior Living project spoke to the BOS about their plan for a seven-acre parcel on Pimpewaug Rd., and their hope to also purchase a .209 acre sliver currently that touches Danbury Rd. and is currently owned by the town.  That small piece of ground is an important one, as it would give the entire project literal connection to Danbury Rd. and all the zoning and land use privileges and requirements that come with the location. It also helps increase the value of the overall property.

The developers have offered the town $75,000 for the purchase of the small triangle of land–an amount they say was chosen after a review and recommendation from an independent, third-party appraiser.

However, the Real Estate committee told the BOS it should get its own independent appraisal to get an unbiased value for the land. “There’s always a chance the appraiser is trying to please their client. Although it’s not a large number, just for the sense of having it be truly independent it ought to really be that way,” said Jeff Rutishauser who chairs the Real Estate committee.

Tom McDevitt, a member of the real estate committee, said there are several firms in CT qualified to do such an appraisal, including  Cushman and Wakefield and CBRE. “It’s a small piece of land but an important one, and we want to make sure the town gets a fair price and that we’ve had professional organization with all the right designations make that determination, and the board and real estate committee can evaluate their conclusions,” he said. “Then we can look at it and make sure their assumptions aren’t off-base.”

He estimated the cost of an independent appraisal will be between $4,000 and $6,000–but it’s a cost the developer will have to cover. He also said

Rutishauser noted that the small piece of land in question is not buildable itself, which would likely diminish the value of it.

*Disclosure:  A GMW editor is the owner of a neighboring property.