Greenwich’s old Gimbel estate under review: Old barn set for demolition to make way for housing

Photo of Robert Marchant
Plans are under review for six large homes at a portion of the former Gimbel estate off King Street.

Plans are under review for six large homes at a portion of the former Gimbel estate off King Street.

Silver Petrucelli Associates

GREENWICH — Development and construction along King Street and the Glenville section of town has been ramping up, and additional residential construction could be coming to a former area estate.

The Planning & Zoning Commission is currently reviewing plans that call for six housing units on the remaining property of the old Gimbel estate at 1141 King St. The Gimbel family, which ran a large department-store operation in New York and across the country, bought the property in 1925. The 19-acre site, which sold for $2.85 million in 2021, according to real estate listings, is the last parcel to be slated for development. The land on the east side of King Street is bordered by property owned by the Audubon Society and Sacred Heart Greenwich.

Beside the new housing, a “community barn” and solar panels are called for in the plan. An old barn and an old Colonial house are set for demolition.

According to Thomas Heagney, the attorney representing the application, there would be a benefit to the environment since a sensitive area of wetlands put into a conservation area.

“The significant wetland pocket on the westerly side of the property would be enhanced and preserved,” he wrote in the application.

The development organization on the project is listed as Plaza 200 LLC and David Solarz.

Earlier this year, the developers sought a text amendment to the town code that would make a clustered pattern allowable at the site, and changing the setback requirements to do so.

At a preliminary review of the application earlier this year, planning commissioners questioned the size of the homes, proposed to be in the 10,000-square-foot range. The placement of a large array of solar panels on the ground was also criticized.

“A house significantly less than 10,000 square feet would be more energy efficient, and keeping within this idea of a conservation area,” noted Commissioner Nick Macri.

“If you want the solar array, do it on a roof,” added Commission Chairwoman Margarita Alban.

The application is currently pending.

A previous owner of the property, Hope Gimbel Solinger, died in 2016. The rest of the Gimbel estate was developed with new housing in the 1990s. The Gimbels chain closed in 1986.

The north end of King Street has been the subject of an application that would bring large scale residential development to the Greenwich American Center, a large corporate office complex.