Man returns to land he bought in 1991 for home to find a $1.5m house already on it

  • A man is taking legal action after a $1.5 million house was built on land he owned
  • “I own that and I never sold it,” he said
  • The half-acre strip was bought in 1991 close to the site of his childhood home

Published on Mar 11, 2024 at 1:00 AM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on Mar 28, 2024 at 12:42 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Adam Gray

Picture the scene – you are buying a plot of land with the dream of building your forever home, but you return to find a $1.5 million house built on it.

This is what actually happened to the vacant lot bought by Dr Daniel Kenigsberg.

The doctor, who specializes in endocrinology, is taking the owner of the ‘cuckoo’ house to court.

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The home ended his long-term hopes of owning a house next door to his childhood home.

Situated in New Haven, Connecticut, Dr Kenigsberg bought the half-acre strip at 51 Sky Top Terrace back in 1991.

His father bought the home nearby for just $5,000 in 1953 – so it had sentimental significance.

His family even bought the lot directly from Eleazar Parmly Jr. – the family that settled the area in 1716.

While a lot of the time, it’s a drop in the ocean to Jeff Bezos, who spent a staggering amount on his neighboring estates.

Dr Kenigsberg raised his family in Long Island, after medical school in New York and a residency in Maryland, per Greenwichtime.

Despite leaving the lot vacant for several decades, Dr Kenigsberg never let go of his dream of one day moving back to the area.

“Certainly if one of my children wanted to live in Fairfield, Connecticut, I’d be very happy about that,” Kenigsberg said.

However, on May 31 of this year, he received a call that would shatter that dream.

A friend informed him that a $1.5 million house had cropped up on the vacant land.

Recalling the conversation, he told CT Insider: “I said: ‘I own that and I never sold it’. I was shocked.”

He visited the site and saw an almost-completed four-bedroom house that was valued at $1.45 million to be precise.

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Back to Connecticut and, according to its listing, the home was under offer in March.

Official records state that the land was sold to 51 Sky Top Partners LLC for $350,000 in October 2022.

However, Kenigsberg claims he knows nothing about the sale.

He is taking legal action and suing the firm on nine counts.

These cover charges of trespass, statutory theft and unfair trade practices, as well as an additional $2 million in damages.

He hopes the lawsuit will void the sale of the land.

He is demanding that the company involved removes “any structures and/or materials from the Property and restore the Property to the condition that it was in prior to Defendants’ trespass upon it”.

“I’m angry that so many people were so negligent that this could have happened. It’s more than obnoxious – it’s offensive and wrong,” Kenigsberg said.

The same publication was informed by Fairfield Police lieutenant, Michael Paris, that a criminal probe is underway.

It hopes to discover who received funds from the sale.

It’s been alleged that the power of attorney was granted by Anthony Monelli of Trumbull, Connecticut.

Reports suggest 51 Sky Top Partners have also claimed to be victims of a scam.


Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.