Town of Darien purchases Great Island for $85 million

On March 6, 2023, the Town of Darien reached a final amended agreement on the purchase of the 60+ acre parcel of land in Darien known as Great Island. 

Last year, after a series of Town meetings and a vote of the Representative Town Meeting, the Town and current owners, the Steinkraus family, signed a $103 million agreement for the purchase. This agreement was subject to certain due diligence procedures, which have now been completed.  The finalized agreement reflects an amended purchase price of $85 million, with a closing date of May 5, 2023.

Darien’s First Selectman Monica McNally appreciates the dedication of the Steinkraus family, caring for the property for the last 120 years. The Town will continue to preserve the integrity of Great Island.

Ned Steinkraus said, “Our family has cherished Great Island for over 120 years. It is a magical place and we are saddened to see it go, however, we are also excited to pass the torch to the Town. We are confident they will be top-notch stewards of the land and preserve it for all to enjoy.” 

McNally said, “Great Island is a pristine landscape with approximately one and a half miles of coastline in an environmentally sensitive cove on Long Island Sound. With this purchase, we have prioritized the conservation of this magnificent property, saving it forever from intensive development.  We have added significant open space for Darien, which is needed more and more as our Town enters a new development phase.”

After the May 5th closing, the Town will begin to perform some physical work on the site to accommodate users, including widening roads, creating parking areas, and addressing some safety, accessibility, and environmental issues. The early stages of this work will necessitate restricted access until critical updates are completed.
McNally continued, “Great Island is a Great Investment for Darien.  We will move forward, exploring opportunities to utilize the land in a careful and considerate manner, while keeping residents informed as we move through the process of opening the property to the public.”
“The success of this purchase is due to the efforts of many individuals,” McNally concluded. “The support and ongoing efforts of the Board of Selectman were critical to our success, as was the support of the Board of Finance and the RTM.  We appreciate the thoughtful input and continued support of so many of our residents. I also want to thank Town Hall departments and employees who worked tirelessly on this long and winding process.  Wayne Fox, our Town Counsel, was instrumental in leading our team, and Jim Palen, Chairman of the Board of Finance, provided expert guidance throughout.  It takes a Town to make a project like this a reality.”

*Image courtesy

Submitted by Darien, CT

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