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Greenwich Synagogue Buys Osee Place Property

Greenwich attorney Thomas Heagney speaks to the Greenwich Planning and Zoning Commission at a January meeting. Greenwich Reform Synagogue purchased property on April 11 for its proposed new synagogue with Heagney as its trustee.
Greenwich attorney Thomas Heagney speaks to the Greenwich Planning and Zoning Commission at a January meeting. Greenwich Reform Synagogue purchased property on April 11 for its proposed new synagogue with Heagney as its trustee. Photo Credit: Eric Gendron, File

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Greenwich Reform Synagogue officially purchased two pieces of property on Osee Place and Orchard Street on April 11, moving forward with its plans to build a new house of worship there, according to documents in the town clerk's office.

Greenwich Reform Synagogue purchased 22 Osee Place from Randy Caravella for $1.42 million, with Thomas Heagney listed as the trustee of the purchase.

The synagogue also purchased a portion of the property at 96 Orchard St. from Louis and Judith Caravella for $192,000. The transaction also included absorbing part of the property at 92 Orchard St., which was included in a controversial lot line revision.

The proposed synagogue was met with stiff resistance by area residents ever since it was announced early last fall.

Residents neighboring the property formed the group Cos Cob Families Fighting For Residential Rights and hired a lawyer to plead their case to the Greenwich Planning and Zoning Commission. After delaying the vote in November and early January, the commission approved the lot line revision Jan. 29 .

The Planning and Zoning Commission still has to approve architecture and site plans before any construction begins.

Some of the neighbors opposed to the synagogue and the commission's decision have filed a lawsuit, which is pending in Stamford Superior Court.

Greenwich Reform Synagogue announced April 16 it had hired architect Mark B. Thompson Associates LLC to design the facility.

“We are very excited about assisting GRS as a house of faith and community,” said Mark Thompson, the firm’s principal. “We are looking forward to developing its place in both the physical and spiritual landscape of Cos Cob. With the rich history in Greenwich of houses of worship providing support for both their congregations and their neighbors, I believe this project will contribute substantively to the special character of community life that has distinguished Greenwich from its beginning.”

The synagogue said it would submit an official proposal to "relevant town bodies" by the end of the year.

A request for proposal on the synagogue's website outlines a plan for a 20,000-square-foot facility and a 100-car parking lot.

It said, however, "No determination has yet been made on any specifics, including the size of the synagogue or parking lot."

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