NORWALK, Conn. — Gains in Norwalk’s grand list are partially cancelled out by losses, Finance Director Bob Barron said.
Barron said he talks to Tax Assessor Michael Stewart and the city has lost “millions of dollars in assessed values” due to court cases that challenged assessments. The Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA) can also reduce assessed values, he said.
The comments came at last week’s Common Council Finance Committee meeting, where Council member Doug Hempstead (R-District D) asked for an explanation of why the city’s grand list has grown .5 percent in light of all the new apartments that have been built.
Barron said he’d send Council members a list of the top 200 changes in real estate for 2017; on Sunday he sent it to NancyOnNorwalk:
The list shows $87.5 million in grand list gains but $30.3 million in losses. Gains include $10.7 million for Norwalk Senior Housing, nearly $9 million for The Berkeley apartments on West Avenue and nearly $7.9 million for Head of the Harbor South. Maritime Village added $6.5 million to the grand list, the Norwalk Country Club added nearly $5.3 million and Norwalk Land Development LCC, developer of The SoNo Collection, added $4.4 million. Also on the list of big boosts were St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church at $3.1 million, Belden Square LLC at $3.1 million and SoNo Development partners at $2.2 million.
Losses include $11.3 million for SPUS7 RiverPark LLC (800 Connecticut Ave.) and $9.8 million for Norwalk Power LLC, a.k.a. Manresa Island.
SPUS7 RiverPark LLC bought 800 Connecticut Ave. in October 2015 for $48,559,600, according to the assessment card. Metropolitan Life Insurance bought it for “$0” in 2012 from River Park Property Owner LLC, which paid $106,261,200 for it in 2007.
Norwalk Power LLC sued Norwalk in 2014, appealing a Board of Assessment Appeals decision to uphold the valuation issued by Stewart and calling the valuation of equipment and the property “grossly excessive, disproportionate and unlawful.”
A judgement was rendered in April.
There are 18 six-figure losses listed, headed by St. Paul’s Flax Hill Cooperative at $763,460 and CT Hotel Partners LP at $555,250.
St. Paul’s also sued in 2014, appealing its assessment. A decision was issued in March.
Barron also said the grand list suffers when a building is demolished.
His document shows a $3 million loss in the 2017 grand list for 467 West Ave., the Loehmann’s plaza that is being demolished for Waypointe’s South Block.
“I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but Michael said, ‘Bob think of it this way: You have a $10 million building. A developer buys it and then he knocks it down to build a $30 million building,” Barron said. “For the two years he’s building it, we’ve lost $10 million off our grand list.’ Now, in the third year we get $30 million, it’s all well and good. But we do – all the redevelopment activity sometimes can cost us when they demolish a building.”