INSIDE STORIES BEHIND AREA REAL ESTATE DEALS
Clean and Green
It's clear why a homeowner would invest in energy-efficient technology: Over the years, photovoltaic panels, to cite one common green feature, recoup their cost in electricity-bill savings. But why would a builder erect a "green" house on spec when he has to pass his increased costs onto buyers—most of whom, in these times, want a bargain? Robert Stillman is the kind of all-too-rare developer who is interested in reducing the environmental footprint of the houses he builds. A Yale University-educated engineer, Stillman estimates that the green features he chose for his $5.6 million spec home in Westport cost approximately $300,000 more than they would have if he had built the house more conventionally. "The market for green-built homes is still so new," says Stillman. "Is 'green' a draw? I hope so."
Let it be said that if green isn't a draw, this Panhandle Lane listing will almost certainly sell anyway. It has 9,250 square feet of luxuries seldom seen in spec homes, including six bedrooms; a cherry-paneled library; a 450-square-foot living room with an antique, hand-carved white marble mantel imported from France; a gorgeous kitchen (including a 48-inch Viking stove and 48-inch Sub-Zero refrigerator) and a lower level that features a gym, a 1,000-bottle wine cellar and a media room. Its 2.66-acre lot includes a glade of tall pines and views over the Saugatuck River.