Norwalk adds $243.7 million to Grand List

SoNoOne at 1 Bates Court is leasing apartments. The property is appraised at $12,379,350, up from $3,535,450 a year ago.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk’s Grand List is up $243.7 million, a 1.65% increase over the total reported last year.

The 2020 Grand List was originally due Jan. 31 but Norwalk got a one-month extension, Norwalk Chief of Staff Laoise King said. It was filed Feb. 26, two days ahead of the deadline and two days after the Common Council set a budget cap.

King said the Grand List is $14,972,207,943. The 2019 Grand List was $14,728,523,380. King offered no further comment.

Last year, Norwalk Communications Manager Josh Morgan produced a five-year Grand List history, so let’s add this year’s to the record:

  • 2015 Grand List: $12,087,667,610
  • 2016 Grand List: $12,220,457,278, a 1.1% increase
  • 2017 Grand List: $12,332,806,676, a .92% increase
  • 2018 Grand List: $14,368,125,568, a 16.5% increase, due to the property revaluation
  • 2019 Grand List: $14,728,523,380, a 2.51% increase
  • 2020 Grand List: $14,972,207,943, a 1.65% increase


The 1.65% increase stands in contrast to the 1% appropriations cap increase authorized by the Council.

In recommending austerity in February, Norwalk Chief Financial Officer Henry Dachowitz said “The problem is, I just don’t see the Grand List going up as fast as our expenses are going up.”

The gain comes even as some property owners have had their assessments reduced, most notably Waypointe, which represents a $10 million hit to the Grand List.

In November, a court authorized these changes:

  • The 2018 revaluation assessment of 11 Merwin St. was dropped from $19.7 million to $18 million
  • The 2018 revaluation assessment of 515 West Ave. was dropped from $99.7 million to $91.3 million
  • The 2018 revaluation assessment of 33 Orchard St. was dropped from $507,577 to $465,040

Also in November, an appeal filed by Merrit River Partners LLC on the assessment for 20 Glover Ave. was settled:

  • The Oct. 1 2016 assessment dropped from $26.9 million to $24.5 million
  • The Oct. 1 2017 assessment dropped from $32.8 million $20.5 million

It’s easy to see where the major increases are coming from – just drive around Norwalk. As an example, Spinnaker Real Estate Partners is now leasing apartments at the Brim & Crown at 230 East Ave. Spinnaker bought the property in June 2018 for $14.58 million. It’s now appraised at $29.6 million.

Spinnaker has appealed the assessment.

Then there’s the massive changes on Glover Avenue, where The Curb is leasing apartments.

  • 150 Glover Ave. is appraised at $79,179,880, up from $67,183,420 a year ago (and $9,862,574 890 the year before that).
  • 200 Glover Ave. is appraised at $71,833,730. It was appraised at $68,895,580 a year ago (and $16,533,890 the year before that).
  • 300 Glover Ave. is appraised at $22,142,765, up from $13,041,520 a year ago.

Appeals are pending on all three of those properties.

M.F. Discala is leasing apartments at SoNoOne, located at 1 Bates Court. The property is appraised at $12,379,350, up from $3,535,450 a year ago.

Last but not least, people are moving into Harbourside SoNo, the six-story development at 123 Water St. Appraised at $50 million now, it was $8,733,310 a year ago.

Harbourside SoNo.


4 responses to “Norwalk adds $243.7 million to Grand List”

  1. Lisa Brinton

    Nancy, thanks for that update. SIMPLE MATH: ‘Density’ not keeping pace with city employee raises & benefits, which added $15M to the 2021-22 budget. From my rough calculations, the taxes collected from $243.7 grand list ‘growth’ equals ~$3.9M (based on last years mill rate. That’s why property taxes & rents increase & we continue to raid the rainy day fund. (Formula: $243.7m x .7 assessed value = $170.5m x .023 mill rate = $3.9m)

  2. Norwalk Native

    Co-mayor Laoise highlights the increase in the assessed value of the Grand List. Here are some questions I would ask her if she were taking any:

    1. What percentage of this dubious assessment is just the City’s “wishful thinking” that will be refuted in court by those contesting their assessment

    2. What is the present value of the future additional expenses caused by all these new developments (Education, infrastructure, etc.)

    3. What are current projections regarding long-term occupancy rates for the new apartment developments that have increased the Grand List? Connecticut is not creating the kinds of jobs that pay enough to support the rents Waypointe and Harbourside are charging. Are these developments likely to become half-filled zombie buildings in the near future; requiring large write-downs in assessed value?

  3. Bobby Lamb

    Must be an election year because here goes Lisa with her half truths again. Yes, the proposed budget increase is $15m – of which 4m is BOE, 4.5m is debt service (to pay for the BOE’s school buildings), the rest is EVERYTHING ELSE. If I remember correctly from the budget presentations Henry made something like $1.5m was contracted wage increases. Lisa – are your budget reading skills that poor or are you just trying to mislead people?

  4. Michael McGuire


    I think Lisa is referring to the fact that it’s still $15 million regardless of what it is for. And the Norwalk taxpayer is on the hook for a shortfall of $11.1 million in real money.

    Norwalk gets the bulk of its revenues from real estate. But the following trends are real and worrisome. The large office market values are dropping like a stone (this started 8 years ago and is only accelerating), large retail are the walking wounded (double hit with e-commerce and covid) so no upside there, draconian Norwalk parking rules are killing off the little retailers in the urban core (that started ~ 6 years ago), and the much touted apartment market is starting to experience headwinds.

    So what remains to carry the ever increasing tax load? The single Family homeowner.

    Consider that Norwalk Public Schools saw a massive increase in ESL students from 2015-2020,and that was with a fairly well controlled southern boarder. What is going to happen to our school enrollments (i.e. your taxes) in the next 2-4 years now that the current administration has an open invitation on the southern boarder?

    Looking forward to hearing your ideas. Or anyone’s ideas. Because I don’t see any good outcomes with all of this going on. But please no half truths.

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