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Old Town Hall Taxes Challenged

The new owners of the Old Westport Town Hall are suing the town to get their taxes lowered. Lawsuits against the town and the tax assessor were filed in the Town Clerk's office for the parcels at 90 and 100 Post Road East on April 27.

Suing for a reassessment isn't uncommon when a property owner feels the taxes are grossly out of alignment. For tax purposes the assessment is held at 70 percent of the property's fair market value. TD Bank N.A. sold the old town hall on March 30 for $2,325,000 to a group that became Old Westport Town Hall, LLC. The Old Westport Town Hall is actually two adjacent properties. The tax assessment on the main building at 90 Post Road East is $3,507,910. The drive-through, listed as 100 Post Road East, is assessed at $2,175,014.

“Anything the town can do to help bring down the taxes will help us put new tenants into the building,” said leasing agent Franco Fellah, executive vice president at HK Group. He said interest in the property is high and the price is right. At $50 a square foot, space in the historic building is half the cost of nearby businesses on Main Street. If the price alone doesn't tempt potential tenants, the building has a unique asset: parking. The main building comes with 35 parking spaces and rights to use 17 more in the municipal parking lot.

“Parking is something you just don't get on Main Street,” Fellah said.

Most recently Commerce Bank operated a branch there until bought by TD Bank.

Robert Haroun is listed as the principal owner in Old Westport Town Hall, LLC. Haroun also owns SIR Development and is a member of the law firm Sofer and Haroun LLP. Rumors circulate that Haroun will move one of his offices into the building. Fellah would not verify which potential tenants might lease space in either of the buildings. While some have shown interest in just the drive-through at 100 Post Road East, Fellah wants to focus on getting the main building occupied first.

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