Historic Skaneateles land becomes the newest CNY Land Trust preserve

For decades and decades, most land sales in and around Skaneateles, New York haven’t come close to the size of the property Canaan Realty sold on County Line Road this year.

The property is nearly 150 acres (147 +/-), just minutes walking distance to the eastern shore of Skaneateles Lake.

According to sales records, there has only been one other property in Skaneateles (170 +/- acres) that had more acreage and sold since at least the year 2000.

Listed in January of 2020 and eventually sold/closed in October of 2023, not only did this truly large-acreage and one-of-a-kind property present some unique circumstances, but Canaan Realty reflected on the amount of interest generated throughout the listing process.

“We had a high amount of interest on the property when it first listed, including solar offers,” said Samantha Leader, Real Estate Salesperson and Administrative Manager at Canaan Realty.

The CNY Land Trust made an offer on the property in October of 2021 and the property remained under contract until its eventual closing two years later. For the average purchaser of a home, two years might seem an unfathomable amount of time to wait.

“That’s a pretty long process to finally get it sold,” remarked Grace Roberts, Real Estate Salesperson and Listing Coordinator at Canaan Realty.

“I think in some ways, this really speaks to how unique a process selling large tracts of land can be. It is often a longer process and can take much longer to find the right buyer.

”With the level of interest on this property, and the sheer amount of rare acreage available in such a destination town as Historic Skaneateles, this property is a reminder of a colloquial phrase often suggested by Real Estate Broker and Owner of Canaan Realty, Allen Olmsted.

“The process of selling land can often be like watching paint dry,” reminds Olmsted.

It’s Canaan Realty’s understanding that the Land Trust likely plans to keep the land ‘wild,’ as opposed to developing it for any other uses.

According to the organization’s mission statement:
The Central New York Land Trust seeks to preserve and protect natural areas in order to provide our communities clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat, and a chance to connect with the land.

There was quite a bit of negotiating to get an accepted offer, but when we did, the seller had knowledge that the process would take a bit longer to close. The Land Trust had multiple moving pieces that had to come together to close on this offer,” said Leader.

Some of those pieces included securing a state grant, which required multiple appraisals of the property. Leader also said the other pieces inevitably came together over a long, but smooth process.

Solar companies often bring their own unique processes and timelines when it comes to purchasing land to develop into solar farms. That was certainly true of County Line Road, however, with such a large tract of land in Skaneateles, a two-year process to accept the Land Trust’s purchase offer ended up being just the right fit.

Olmsted and Canaan Realty have a great relationship with the CNY Land Trust, developed over more than 35 years of experience buying and selling land. Known as “The Land Experts,” the brokerage has been involved in the purchase and sale of more than 50 different land properties in 2023 alone, with December not yet recorded.

Perhaps the sale of County Line Road is just a simple reminder of yet another colloquialism that Olmsted has said over the course of his real estate career.

“People often ask, ‘When is the right time to sell my property?’ What I tell people is, ‘When is the right time to sell? Whenever the seller is ready.”

The Central New York Land Trust reports 51 preserves, 18 of which are open to the public. County Line Road will join High Hickory Wildlife Sanctuary as the only two Land Trust properties in Skaneateles.

For more information on CNY Land Trust and the organization’s plans for County Line Rd can be found at cnylandtrust.org.