A GIFT for Greenwich



It is no secret that Greenwich has been hurt by the most severe recession since the 1930s. Our town is at or near the epicenter of the
financial earthquake that has spread across the country and the world, and when the tremors die down it’s safe to say that nothing is going to be quite the same. The economic impact on Greenwich is magnified by the sudden fall from the heights of prosperity spawned by Wall Street’s million dollar bonuses and the outsized earnings of many of our local hedge funds. The pain of adjustment is manifested in the sudden loss of value in both residential and commercial real estate.

At last count there were twenty-two stores in the Central Business District available for lease. The decline in retail sales varies widely by store according to the Chamber of Commerce, but they have been substantial. Recently, with leasehold costs more reasonable, brokers are seeing an increase in negotiation over new storefront space. Office space, however, has yet to turn around. As of September 745,844 square feet, or 17 percent of the total market was available for rent or sublet, with a disproportionate increase in sublets as companies downsize or close. Meanwhile, the median price of homes has tumbled 22 percent, and at the present rate of sales it will take over two years to eliminate our inventory of high-end homes. Not surprisingly, rental occupancy has increased as owners put their unsold homes up for rent.

Still, Greenwich is not like Las Vegas, Phoenix or a retirement community. We have a solid foundation of domestic and international business, as well as many hedge funds and other financial companies that have survived the worst of the financial tsunami. Signed contracts for single family homes have increased each month through August, albeit from a dismal historic low in January. While Greenwich may take longer this time to return to full economic well-being, it has shown an amazing ability to spring back from previous recessions. Its balance sheet of assets is so uniquely appealing that we need to remind ourselves, as well as our neighbors, what a fabulous town this is in which to live and work.

This is precisely the mission of a new campaign that has grown out of several brainstorming sessions sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Under the umbrella name GIFT, standing for Greenwich Initiative for Tomorrow, it is a cooperative advertising and promotion campaign designed to burnish the image and enhance the reputation of our town. For many living in the city or elsewhere, the mention of Greenwich conjures up images of the rich and super-rich living in imposing mansions behind gated entrances. It should be noted, however, that many of the town’s most outstanding facilities would not have been created were it not for the generosity of some of our wealthiest residents. And, what is lost to many not living here is our wide diversity that includes a large and important middle-income population as well as a solid number of families in the service industry and low income housing projects. This diversity extends beyond wealth. There is a rich tapestry of different cultures from around the world, of languages and races including both Hispanic and a growing number of Asians. Even among those born in the United States, so many of us have moved here from elsewhere that born and bred Greenwichites are becoming a distinct minority. Rather than a liability, this diversity has made Greenwich inter-esting and vibrant.

The GIFT program will remind us and neighboring communities of our town’s impressive list of amenities that include the availability to residents of a wide range of cultural and recreational activities at little or no cost. To touch on a few:

We have Long Island Sound at our doorstep for sailing, fishing, swimming and crew; eight private golf courses plus our world class municipal course; riding on backcountry trails; hiking and bird- watching in our multitude of parks.

The YMCA with a new fifty-meter pool, the YWCA with pool and fitness center, and the Boys & Girls Club with both pool and indoor skating rink provide outstanding facilities.

Cultural opportunities abound with the Bruce Museum of Art & Science; the Greenwich Historical Society, preserving 375 years of Greenwich history; Greenwich Library plus three neighborhood branches the Symphony and the Choral Society.

For our health and safety, a superb new hospital, a top-rated ambulance service and our recently completed police headquarters, incorporating hi-tech emergency communications systems, play major roles.

High on the list of many a prospective homebuyer is our excellent public school system including eleven elementary schools, three middle schools, and a high school. In addition there is a choice of three private schools pre-K through 12 and six pre-K through 9.

There are at least eighteen nonprofit organizations serving children, senior citizens and everything in between. Whatever a person’s needs or interest may be, there is an organization or service that provides them. We doubt there is another town or city anywhere the size of Greenwich that offers so much.

Last but not least, Greenwich is widely known as a premier shopping destination. The GIFT message will be delivered in cooperation with stores and businesses that want to enhance the image of Greenwich not only as a place to live and work, but as an attractive commercial center offering quality products and services at fair prices. The vitality of our retail business has a direct influence on the value of properties in Greenwich as a whole.

We are blessed with a wonderful place to live, work, play and shop. With real estate prices low, there has never been a better time than now to buy a home or lease space for your business in Greenwich. This is the bottom line message of GIFT.

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • Foot and Ankle Surgeon and Physiatrist join ONS

    2014.09.02
     @ Orthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialists, PC

    We are pleased to announce that orthopedic surgeon Sean Peden, MD and interventional physiatrist Christopher Sahler, MD have joined the ONS...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • Greenwich Harbor Sunset Wine Cruise | Greenwich, CT

    2014.06.05
     @ Delamar Hotel Dock

    The boat "Prudence" departs from the Delamar Hotel Dock on 500 Steamboat Rd. All the wine is sponsored through VALS with food...

  • GREENWICH FASHION ON THE AVENUE

    2014.09.05
     @ Greenwich Avenue

      GREENWICH FASHION ON THE AVENUE TO BE HELD SEPTEMBER 5 FEATURING LIVE RUNWAY SHOW, CAR AND BOAT SHOW Greenwich Avenue will...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • Exclusive Tour of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery

    2014.09.09
     @ Yale University Art Gallery

    Join JCC Greenwich for an exclusive tour with museum curator Elizabeth Manekin. The collection is noteworthy for exemplary works from the...

  • Junior League of Greenwich's New Member Open House

    2014.09.09
     @ Junior League of Greenwich

    Please join us for cocktails and casual conversation to learn more about the Junior League of Greenwich and how you can become a member. ...

  • Understanding the Gaza War: Strategic & Political Implications

    2014.09.09
     @ Greenwich Library, Cole Auditorium

    Dr. Efraim Inbar is a Professor in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and Director of its renowned Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic...

  • Bruce Museum: Look and See - Into the Deep

    2014.09.10
     @ Bruce Museum

    A program especially designed for children ages 3-5 years and their adult caregivers, who will explore the Museum’s exhibition through...

  • College Admissions Boot Camp | Greenwich, CT

    2014.09.13

    College Prep 360 will be offering two college admissions “boot camps” in their Greenwich office over the summer. The first workshop...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • Greenwich Area Newcomers Annual Lobster Fest

    2014.09.14
     @ Tod's Point Clambake Area

    This is our kickoff event each year-held at Tod's Point Clambake area. The event is scheduled for Sunday September 14th starting...

  • Information Fair

    2014.09.16
     @ YMCA

    Our Annual Information Fair - This event showcases non profits , community businesses, schools and  services in the Greenwich...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

    2014.09.18
     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • Arts & Crafts on Bedford

    2014.09.20
     @ Bedford Street

    Shop at over 100 craft and artisan boutiques on Bedford Street, which will be closed to traffic for the weekend. Dine in our extended sidewalk...


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