Steamboat Road Acquisitions, LLC, has filed applications with the Greenwich Dept of Public Work’s Division of Buildings to demolish two multi-family dwellings at 702-708 Steamboat Rd, known as Sun Dial Apartments.
The buildings, built in 1835, are owned by Steamboat Road Acquisitions, LLC, a Delaware LLC registered to Lynne Ward, 485 West Putnam Ave in Greenwich.
The owners were the contract purchasers of the property from Morgan Jenkins in December, 2016 for $7,000,000.
Many residents will recognize the existing structures, which are visible from Grass Island and from the Island Beach Ferry.
Sun-Dial Apartments now have a hodge-podge of porches, fire escapes and satellite dishes a stone’s throw from the Indian Harbor Yacht Club.
Long before providing tenants with affordable waterfront rentals, the property was a seasonal hotel built by Jared Mead to attract wealthy summer visitors.
Carl White wrote his Greenwich Library history blog, Historically Speaking, that when Mead built the summer boarding hotel there were still woods and cultivated fields on three sides, and access to the water on the west. Mead named his summer getaway ‘The White House.’
After years of struggling, Mr. Mead sold the hotel to two women who sold it a year later to Thaddeus Silleck, who renamed it the “Silleck House.”
Mr. White said that in 1850, Silleck House was the oldest hotel on either side of Long Island Sound between New York and Stonington, and the arrival of the railroad contributed to the hotel’s success.
In the 1920s, the house was fitted for steam heat, and this made it possible for the boarding house to be open year round.
Until a few months ago, Sun Dial Apartments was home to a roster of tenants including Sergeant Adams, a US Army veteran, who called the former summer retreat home for 15 years. Adams, an avid fisherman, said that over the years he caught Striped Bass, using Bunker for bait.
Describing his fellow tenants as friendly, but very respectful of each other’s privacy, Adams said the building was haunted.
“There is an energy in this place that is hard to describe,” Adams told GFP in an interview in October 2016. “I believe it’s haunted – people leave auras.”
At an October 2016 Planning & Zoning meeting, attorney Bruce Cohen, who represented the applicant, Morgan Jenkins, said, “From a zoning point of the view, the existing building is probably non-conforming in every possible way. It has an FAR of .78. What is required is .55. And, it has a total of 29 apartments, and 35 bedrooms.”
Mr. Cohen pointed out there were four stories instead of the permitted three, and less parking than would be required.
The application was approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission on April 19, 2016.
Tenants could be seen moving out over a period of several months before chains were put across the driveways, and more recently tall fences were erected.
This week demolition signs were posted.
Objection to the demolition must be filed in writing with the DPW-Division of Buildings within 45 days, or the required 90-day waiting period established by Town ordinance will waived.
Further information concerning this pending application may be obtained by contacting the DPW-Division of Buildings 203-622-7755.