The six-acre waterfront Greenwich estate once owned by President Donald Trump is back on the market, with a 29% price cut.
The current owners, who bought it from Ivana Trump in 1998 for $15 million after she kept it in her divorce from The Donald, have been trying to sell the 20,000-square-foot Georgian mansion since 2009 when it first hit the market at $50 million. The price was bumped up to $54 million in 2014 and 2015, then dropped to $45 million in 2016 as Trump tied up the Republican nomination. It was off the market for a year, then relisted for 12 months in early 2018 for $45 million, according to Zillow data.
Now, it’s back, newly listed with Joseph Barbieri of Sotheby’s International Realty in Greenwich with a $38.5 million price tag.
Barbieri doesn’t mention any link to the president in his description of the estate, but he does suggest a potential use for the property: “Opportunity to renovate or build new on 3 sub-divided lots, approximately 2 acres each.”
The location is breathtaking, at the tip of a private peninsula, in one of the most desirable locations in Greenwich. It's set in Indian Harbor, one of Greenwich's famed "private neighborhoods." That means: Don't even think of driving down the street. There's a gate blocking the road intended to keep out the riff-raff before you get anywhere near Trump's former estate.
Donald and Ivana Trump bought the estate in the early 1980s for about $4 million. It was a few miles away from the Greenwich vacation home of Trump's mentor and original "fixer," Roy Cohn. Author Peter Manso, who now lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts, remembers a dinner party at Cohn's Greenwich home in 1981 when he was seated next to Donald Trump, who tried to sell him a condominium in Trump Tower, then under construction.
“Roy and Donald Trump were very close,” said Manso. “I wouldn't have surprised me if Trump bought the Greenwich estate because of Roy's influence.”
Greenwich, a town in Fairfield County that's about 30 miles north of Manhattan, is known as a hedge-fund haven. That's not just because of the many fund managers who own estates in the seacoast town of 61,000 people. Some of the world's biggest hedge funds are headquartered there, such as AQR Capital Management, Lone Pine Capital, and Eddie Lampert’s ESL Investments.
The town’s real estate market has been struggling in recent years, for a variety of reasons. The tax reform bill passed by Congress at the end of 2017 made it costlier to own luxury real estate in areas with high property taxes like Greenwich. Wall Street financiers who once drove demand in the Greenwich market are choosing other locations to live, including Manhattan’s plethora of shiny new condo towers. The Hamptons, the collection of villages on Long Island’s easternmost tip, are seen by many as a more glamorous location for a summer home.
The median price of a home in Greenwich fell 17% to $1.69 million in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to a report by Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The average size of single-family homes that sold shrank for the third time, the report said. Meanwhile, the number of luxury houses on the market jumped 68% to 232.
"There's a recalibration going on at the high end of real estate in some luxury markets, including the markets in the New York area," said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel.