Ole’s Boat Yard Has A Deal?

"Ole's Boat Yard", 340 Riverside Avenue, one of the last remaining semi-public waterfront access points, is to be converted to a private residence.

“Ole’s Boat Yard”, 340 Riverside Avenue, one of the last remaining semi-public waterfront access points, is to be converted to a private residence (.32 acres). Started at $2.650M way back in 2009, last ask was $1.4M.  Selling for…$1.2M? $1.3M?

A friend told me he’s signed a contract to buy the sliver of waterfront (creek front) property known as “Ole’s Boat Yard” at 350 Riverside Avenue. The good news is the buyer is known for skillful renovations, so it could have been worse, but what really irks me is the sale represents another addition to the long list of screw-ups and missed opportunities by the Town of Greenwich.

Remember the infamous tearing down of New York City’s Penn Station? Greenwich had its own version of that when Town government aided and abetted the destruction of the beautiful Pickwick Arms Hotel majestically sited at the top of Greenwich Avenue where the (completely boring and unremarkable) Pickwick Plaza office complex presently sits.

It was the 1970’s, the economy was rotten, and the Pickwick Arms owners, in an attempt to survive, proposed to transform some of their larger suites into luxury condominiums, an idea considerably ahead of its time (the famous Plaza Hotel ended up doing the same thing 30 years later). The geniuses who then sat on the Town Planning & Zoning Committee turned down the idea. Having no other recourse, the owners sold the place to developers and we lost a great landmark. Nice job, P&Z!

“Ole’s Boat Yard” is no Pickwick Arms, but it represents, in a small way, a piece of Greenwich’s past. Guess who stood in the way of anyone trying to maintain it as a boat yard? The Town of Greenwich and (of course) Connecticut’s reckless Department of Environmental Protection, who, among other things, prohibited floating docks on the site lest they impact the precious mud. As a Town, as a State, we have truly lost our minds.

Here’s the listing from Tedesco Real Estate.

PS. Speaking of lost opportunities, the lot next door to this place used to belong to the Town. Boatyard owner Eric Amundsen, son of Ole, started parking boats there and after around 20 years claimed adverse possession and sold the land! Now, instead of a small waterfront park, residents are treated to the sight of a six foot-high stone wall and a builder colonial. Thanks, Town of Greenwich! Another job well done!

11 thoughts on “Ole’s Boat Yard Has A Deal?

  1. Wow, I didn’t know any of this…and yet, having dealt extensively with P&Z in Greenwich, I am sadly not surprised. For a Town to lose any property to adverse possession is just ridiculous!

  2. Adverse possession? Seriously? Do you have a list of Town properties where I might park my boat and ultimately achieve a similar result?

  3. I don’t think that’s accurate – adverse possession claims can’t run against the King and, in this case, the sovereign would be the town of Greenwich. What did happen, is that Ole used to own more land, which the town took under eminent domain to build the traffic rotary and reroute West End Avenue, thereby leaving the landlocked parcel you speak of. That was always Eric’s to dispose of.
    At least, that’s how I got the story.

  4. Ah crap.. does that mean Greenwich is the wrong city to move to for anything classified as “sustainable development”, high quality public spaces, vibrant downtown, historical and charming architecture? I’m not talking about the $3.5M homes here either.

    Where oh where can I find a job espousing and building to these ideals?

  5. Interesting post. The only reason I am even remotely interested is that I was born in Greenwich and lived there ’till I left home in 1966 when I was 22, out of the Navy and starting college. I visit occasionally but I’m happy to live elsewhere.

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