Coal billionaire linked to purchase of former Pear Tree School
DARIEN — The land of the former Pear Tree Point School has sold for $8,650,000 — a record price so far this year in Darien.
The property was purchased by the 2005 Irrevocable Kirmar Trust, which is managed by Darien resident and coal-industry billionaire Hans J. Mende.
Mende is also linked to several other high-end properties within Darien. This includes 256 Long Neck Point Road under Maria Mende and 253 Long Neck Point Road, which is owned by an LLC which Mende is principal of.
The sale of the Pear Tree Point School closed on July 16, 2018 and brought the state $108,125 in conveyance tax and $21,625 for Darien.
Mende is a co-founder of Greenwich-based American Metals and Coal International Inc. (AMCI) and serves as its Chief Operating Officer and President. A call to AMCI
seeking comment from Mende was not returned and future plans for the site are unknown.
Nearby 21 Butler Island Road is also owned by Kirmar Investment Incorporate, which Mende is the president of. These properties combine for a total of around 8 acres of land in the Long Neck Point area owned by Mende.
The Pear Tree Point property alone stretches for 5 acres and has direct water access. According to the listing the property is situated on an expansive lot with year-round water views running from Pear Tree Point Road up to Long Neck Point Road.
“You get a great view of Long Neck,” said Liz Parks, one of the Halstead agents who sold the property. “You get gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. It’s a very prestigious part of Darien.”
Becky Munro, the other Halstead agent who completed the sale, said the property is within walking distance of Pear Tree Point Beach as well as the Darien Boat Club. It’s also two miles from Noroton Heights and the Darien train stations.
“On one side you’re on Long Neck Road. One of the beautiful areas of town. On the other end you have a waterfront,” said Munro.
Pear Tree Point School announced its closing in September 2017. The private elementary school was formerly advertised as “Connecticut’s only Core Knowledge School” with an emphasis on each individual student.
The school, as well as a separate art building, remain on the land for now.
“As far as we know they are just leaving it the way it is now,” said Munro. “I think they just love it.”
Parks said the property could’ve been subdivided into lots if wanted, with each lot having their own individual value.
There are also two parcels of land, she said. One is where the school was located, and the second provides access to the waterfront.
“There’s nothing like it,” said Munro. “No other piece of property in Darien has those capabilities.”