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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.

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Greenwich Agenda

  • 6th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa’s Workshop

    2014.11.28

    Santa and his LIVE reindeer - Dancer, Dasher, Prancer and Blitzen, are coming back to town for the 6th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival &...

  • 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...

  • The Best of 2014: Cecile Chong, David, Ruth Hiller, David Licata, Loanne Mattera, Jill Parisi, Kristen Thiele

    2014.11.08
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY I Dates: November 8 – December 22, 2014     Opening Reception: November 8, 6:30 – 8:00 PM Public Invited THE BEST OF 2014:  Cecile...

  • Antarctica: Photographs by Diane Tuft

    2014.10.28
     @ Bruce Museum

    October 28, 2014 - February 1, 2015 Selections from Gondwana, Images of an Ancient Land Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT...

  • Exhibition: Native American Pottery from the Bruce Museum Collection

    2014.11.22
     @ Bruce Museum

      Generously underwritten by Gabelli Funds and The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund Over the years, the Bruce Museum has...

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

    Imagine Candy located in Scarsdale Village- Winner of 2014 Best West of Westchester by Westchester Magazine- holds a Belgian Chocolate and Candy...

  • Ellela La Beaute Loft One Year Annual Holiday Bash

    2014.12.20

    ELLELA Cosmetics owned by one of the most sought after, and critically acclaimed award winning makeup artists Elle Murphy today announced the one...

  • Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale for Charity

    2014.11.29
     @ First Congregational Church of Greenwich

    O, Christmas Tree; O Christmas Tree Buy your tree and help those in need this Christmas! It’s time for the annual Christmas Tree and...

  • Interactive Live Nativity at First Congregational Church

    2014.12.21
     @ First Congregational Church of Greenwich

    The Sheep are Back! Interactive Live Nativity at The First Congregational Church of Greenwich 108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich (across from...

  • Family Gallery Tours

    2014.10.26
     @ Bruce Museum

    Designed for children ages 6-10 and their families, these tours will provide an interactive, discussion-based tour of the museum’s current...

  • Shakespeare's 450th Birthday Celebration

    2014.12.31
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    New Year’s Eve - Shakespeare’s Big Birthday Bash: A UNIQUE ELIZABETHAN FEAST CELEBRATING the 450th Birthday of William Shakespeare...

  • Whitby School Open House

    2015.01.11
     @ Whitby School

    When you visit Whitby, you'll see how children take the lead in their own learning, under the guidance of expertly trained and caring...

  • Greenwich Ballet Academy Open Auditions

    2015.01.12
     @ Greenwich Ballet Academy

    Greenwich Ballet Academy will be holding Open Auditions for their Spring Semester and Summer Intensive the week of January 12th, with a designated...

  • Family Fun Day Sunday

    2015.01.25
     @ Hyatt Greenwich

    Best family bonding day ever! Get your tickets now! Enjoy 9,500 square feet of fun, pampering, and family togetherness! Baby loves disco...

  • Positively Me

    2015.01.30
     @ Junior League of Greenwich

  • TuB’shevat-Shanahnah With Sandi

    2015.02.03
     @ Temple Sinai

    For children ages 6 months - 2 years and their parents or caregivers Celebrate a whole year of holidays with the JCC Sara Walker Nursery School...

  • Fairfield County's Giving Day

    2015.03.05

    Fairfield County's Giving Day - bigger and better than ever! On March 5, 2015, join thousands as we celebrate local giving! Fairfield...

  • Spring Gala to benefit Kids in Crisis

    2015.03.06
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    The Kids in Crisis do-not-miss event, The Spring Fling, will be held on Friday, March 6, 2015, at the Greenwich Country Club in Greenwich, CT. It...

  • 2015 United Sole Sisters Luncheon

    2015.04.23
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    Sole Sisters Annual Spring Luncheon and Fashion Accessories Boutique Guest speaker to be announced. Luncheon chairs: Diane Viton and Jill...

  • Greening our Children's Annual Benefit

    2015.05.01
     @ Hyatt Regency

    Greening our Children's Annual Benefit May 1, 2015 Start Time: 6:30pm Hyatt Regency Greenwich With honored guest and Champion...


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