Saturday, March 31, 2007

Kissel House Sells for $2.3M

Ah, the wonders of the wide world of blogging! Today's headline scoops the Local Rag, aka the Yellowwich Time, by almost a full day. Remember, dear reader, you heard it here first!

On an otherwise uneventful Saturday morning your scribe betook himself to 43 Burning Tree Road to attend the foreclosure sale of Andrew Kissel's last remaining house in Greenwich. Actually, it's not so much a house as a forest of sticks, having been framed but not much else. The lumber has weathered and warped, and is probably only good for firewood these days.

Kissel began the house almost two years ago, in the summer of 2005, back when he still had some cash flow from his various financial shenanigans. But the project stalled almost immediately, and has been a neighborhood eyesore ever since.

In fact, it was a nearby neighbor who bought it, tired of looking at it every day. He is also a builder himself, so although he does not plan to live on the property, he has some ideas as to what to do with it.

The bidding was fairly competitive, opening at just over $1.8 million with a book bid from the Hudson Valley Bank, an earlier mortgage holder on the property. Only three bidders participated from there on, topping each other in $25,000 increments. Then one of the three dropped out, leaving two obviously interested parties going head to head with each other - an auctioneer's dream.

The auctioneer, Art Morin, handled the sale very well. He put no pressure on the bidders, and gave them plenty of time to consider what their next bid might be. At the end he allowed that the sale had gone better than expected (the appraised value of the property was $2.2 million), and your scribe thinks Mr. Morin can take full credit for that fact.

The winning bidder had never met Kissel - in fact, no one there, including many curious neighbors, appeared to have met the man, even though he was a nominal member of the nearby Burning Tree Club. Your scribe did learn that his former wife, Hayley, is sometimes seen there, and is still a member. Needless to say, she did not attend the foreclosure sale.

Pictures of the house - er, sticks - and the signing of the contract will follow, once developed. You will see, dear reader, that the building is as hollow as the man himself apparently was. The new owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, will be tearing down most or all of what's left, if only to improve the view out his front windows. And thus will end the saga of the Fall of the House of Kissel.


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