Thursday, September 07, 2006

Developer of So-Called Preserve Is Coming Back, Suing And Claiming They've Been Offered Big Money To Sell

RiverSound Development, the Lehman Brothers-backed company that earlier this year was denied permission to build 220 houses and a golf course in Old Saybrook, says it is revising its development plan and wants to resubmit it. (It’s not clear whether this new development plan, like the rejected one, will bear the ironic name The Preserve, a moniker which must have made the developers smirk with self satisfaction before the town and the state suggested they go away.)

The company is also suing Old Saybrook for denying it a permit to build in and near wetlands; the state DEP for denying permission to build an access road across a state park; and the Connecticut Fund for the Environment presumably for exercising its civic right to protest a bad development plan (although I haven’t seen the suit so I’m not absolutely sure about this last reason).

Sam Stern, who apparently is one of the developers, told the New London Day that the state was being unreasonable because it offered $7.5 million for the land and won’t go any higher ($7.5 million might be the appraised value and the state is probably legally prohibited from offering more, but the New London Day doesn’t raise that question).

Stern also says that River Sound has had other offers that are “many times higher” than $7.5 million. How much would “many times” $7.5 million be? I’d guess that twice as much wouldn’t meet the definition of “many times” but that arguably three times as much might. So that means River Sound has beeen offered at least $22.5 million by more than one potential buyer. Unless Sam Stern is lying or exaggerating.

If that’s the case, maybe River Sound should accept one of those offers.


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