Connecticut’s island home market just got a little more crowded.
Tavern Island, a 3.5-acre island in the Norwalk Islands archipelago, was listed last week for $12.9 million. The asking price includes mainland garage, parking and deepwater dock.
The listing follows two islands in the the Thimble Islands chain to the east coming on the market in August. There are at least a half-dozen islands for sale in Connecticut.
See more photos of Tavern Island and other islands for sale in Connecticut.
Tavern Island includes a Tudor-style, 6,100-square-foot main house with six bedrooms, four full bath and three half-baths. The house was built around 1900.
In addition to the main house, the island features an 1,200-square-foot caretaker’s cottage; a 1,100-square-foot boat house with a recreation room; and a 440-square-foot “Tea House.” The grounds include a 75-foot, freshwater swimming pool and a flagstone boat dock.
Doug Werner, an agent with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Darien who has the listing, told me the current owner has updated the buildings on the island and extensively landscaped the grounds since purchasing Tavern Island in the early 1980s.
You can see the Manhattan skyline on a clear day, Werner said.
According to the listing, the island was first inhabited by European settlers in 1651. (During a landscaping project, Zesiger unearthed a cannon which is now on display.) Playwright Lillian Hellman finished “The Little Foxes” on the island in 1938. It was once owned by theatrical impressario Billy Rose.
Read my story about other islands for sale in Connecticut.
Werner told me the owner of Tavern Island decided to sell after owning the island for 30 years and now, “it was time to move on.”
Werner declined to name the owner but public records show it is Albert Zesiger, principal in the Manhattan-based Zesiger Capital Group, a money-management firm. A 1982 story in the New York Times reported that Zesiger paid $950,000 for Tavern Island in 1981.
Islands along the Connecticut coast are increasingly being marketed as second homes to the well-to-do who live and work in New York City. Zesiger and his wife Barrie live on Tavern Island year-round.
Werner noted the island is within a one-hour commute from mid-town Manhattan.