The Norwalk Land Trust said it has an agreement to buy the 15.4-acre White Barn property in the Cranbury area of Norwalk for $5 million. The nonprofit needs to raise the purchase price by April 1 to complete the transaction.
The wooded property, one of the last large privately owned spaces in Norwalk, is along the Westport border and includes a 1-acre pond fed by the Stony Brook that is part of the Saugatuck River Watershed drainage basin that feeds into the Long Island Sound. Norwalk Land Trust stated that 78 Cranbury II LLC, which has permits to build 15 luxury homes on the property, agreed to work with them on an arrangement that will permanently preserve the property as undeveloped open space.
Norwalk Land Trust is applying for a loan from The Conservation Trust, a national nonprofit, and is fundraising locally to cover the $5 million purchase sum. A $1 million donation has already been made by the family of James Fieber, a senior managing partner at Valyrian Capital LLC.
The land trust protects 90 acres of Norwalk open space, including an existing easement on 5.5 acres of the White Barn property that was home to Lucille Lortel’s White Barn Theatre from 1947 until 2002.