Best ZIP code ever? Study has high praise for Greenwich 06830

A section of midcountry Greenwich has been named the wealthiest area in the country. But this likely comes as no surprise to residents who know of the area or have marveled at the home prices.

The area is bordered on the west by Round Hill Road, on the north by the Merritt Parkway, on the east by North Street, and on the south by Ridgebrook Road, Andrews Road and a small section of Ridgeview Avenue between Ridgebrook Road and Andrews Road.

The study, done by Stephen R. Higley, professor emeritus of Urban Geography at the University of Montevallo, which is based in suburban Birmingham, Ala., refers to the area as the Golden Triangle, but it could also be looked at as the Golden Tooth, as it faintly resembles a tooth.

One report that looked at Mr. Higley’s results highlighted ZIP code 06830 as the wealthiest suburb in the country, but real estate agent Mark Pruner said that’s a mistake. While the area in question is part of 06830, so are Byram and Chickahominy, which are more densely populated and less wealthy sections of town.

“That’s a pretty wide divergence of people and incomes,” Mr. Pruner said about the entire area of 06830.

While Mr. Pruner takes exception to the reported view of 06830 as a uniform area filled from one end to the other with multimillion-dollar homes, he does say Greenwich is a desirable community that is one of the wealthiest in the nation.

“What the study does show is that Greenwich is a great place to live,” he said after listing the number of multimillion homes that are for sale or have been sold.

Connecticut is one of the wealthiest states per capita in the country, Mr. Pruner said, with Fairfield County a wealthy area in the state and Greenwich the wealthiest town in the state, he added.

Mr. Higley’s data is derived from the American Community Survey 2006-2010. He places contiguous block groups with a mean income over $200,000. Block groups are subdivisions of census tracts. Mr. Higley writes that a typical census tract will have 5,000 residents and be composed of five block groups of 1,000 residents each.

First Selectman Peter Tesei said the survey confirms what he and others know about the community.

“I can’t say that I’m surprised with the study,” he said. “I think it is an affirmation of what we already know.”

He said Greenwich’s reputation for affluence and as a center of financial corporations has left a deep imprint on how it is viewed.

“When you say Greenwich, it automatically triggers certain thoughts and images in people’s minds,” he said.

A local business owner isn’t surprised by the survey’s results and notes his family’s interior decorating has had a long-standing connection to that area. Vince DiMarco said his family’s business, Elizabeth T. DiMarco LLC, began as Greenwich Antiques Shoppe in the 1920s at 256 West Putnam Avenue.

“My grandfather [Alfred DiMarco Sr.] had a lot of clients in that area. The Rockefellers and Simmons were clients and we are still working with many of them,” he said about descendants of those families and other families in the area.

William Rockefeller, brother of John D. Rockefeller and his partner in Standard Oil, moved to Greenwich in the late 1800s and purchased a considerable amount of land in town, including along Lake Avenue. His family remained in the area. Simmons refers to Zalman Simmons Jr., son of the founder of Simmons Manufacturing Co. The younger Simmons moved to Greenwich in the early 1900s and lived on a 164-acre estate almost in the central part of the area of the Higley 1000 study.

Mr. DiMarco’s mother created the interior decorating firm in 1955 as she worked under her father. She is now retired, and Mr. DiMarco and his aunt Kathleen Miloro are co-owners of the business. Mr. DiMarco said he doesn’t have any problems with Greenwich being known as a wealthy community. He does take some exception that for many people it’s the town’s only image.

“I just have a problem in people not realizing how diverse the community is,” he said as he took time from dealing with a client. “There are a lot of people on the other side of the tracks as well.”

That’s a point that Mr. Tesei agrees with and said isn’t included in the study. A longtime critic of the perception that Greenwich is home to the ultra-wealthy and elite and no one else, Mr. Tesei said it’s important to remember Greenwich’s diversity and strong working class population.

“It doesn’t take into account other sections of the community that live a more modest lifestyle,” he said.

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