When Arlene and Brent Perrott had the idea to buy small houses out of bankruptcy and flip them, they had not imagined they would end up with the 250-year-old 29-acre Monteverde estate in Cortlandt Manor that Arlene had always adored.
The couple was looking into bankrupt houses when they heard that Monteverde was under bankruptcy (former owner Richard Friedberg filed for bankruptcy in 2009).
“I told my husband we shouldn’t miss seeing it before it is sold,” said Arlene Perrott, a current Scarsdale resident. Originally from Mahopac, Arlene is familiar with the old colonial building, originally built for Pierre Van Cortlandt, and its sprawling property and Hudson River views. She said Brent, a British Columbia native, quickly fell in love with Monteverde and in February of this year the couple became the new owners of the former restaurant, spa and catering hall located off of Bear Mountain Bridge Road.
The Perrotts plan to use the property only for special events for at least the first few years. Arlene said they would later consider leasing the building to be used as a restaurant. For now, the Perrott’s are busy dealing with the building’s damage they inherited. They have had to replace the roof and several walls that flooded because of clogged flat roof gutters, deal with other water related issues, and are still in the process of cleaning areas that were left unattended. Plus, Arlene said, people have apparently been breaking in and throwing parties, lighting fireplaces and leaving liquor behind, which left another mess for the Perrotts to handle.
“We are lucky the place did not burn down,” Arlene said of the clogged fireplaces.
“We want to concentrate on getting the main building healthy and beautiful, getting it back to its colonial glory," Arlene said. "It is a labor of love."
As the Perrotts and their contractor, Fernando Velasquez of FV Contracting in White Plains, rebuild walls and clean up the place, they are remodeling the estate to have a more traditional, colonial look than its former owner had given it.
Intricate, detailed molding has been installed to the two upstairs bridal suites, one of which is painted a unique ochre yellow and the other a rich blue.
“I wanted to use more colonial colors in here,” Arlene said of the ochre suite. As Arlene gave a tour of the property she pointed out other moldings that will be replaced and others that will be refurbished.
Hot tubs will be installed on the decks attached to the bridal suites. There will be five rooms in the main house and seven guest rooms in the garden house.
In the time the building was left unattended, copper piping was stolen out of the ground under the main house, garden house, and well pit. “And then all the other pipes burst,” Arlene said.
The internal damage will prevent the Perrotts from using the main building until the fall, Arlene said, hoping the building will be ready by September. But the outside grounds are now ready to be used for special events with catering brought in from an outside service.
They will be hosting their first wedding in August of this year. They have also offered the Town of Cortlandt the use of the property and hope to host movie nights, a safe trick or treat for kids in October and a Christmas light walk-through event, to name a few.
“We won’t be able to do an Easter egg hunt this year, but we hope to next year,” Arlene said.
While the grounds and property will change slightly to reflect more of its historical roots, the name of the colonial property may also be changed. Arlene said they are still unsure if they will keep Monteverde or change to something else.
To inquire about Monteverde you can contact Event Manager: Mary Ellen Fabry at 914-874-9247 or Maryellen.Fabry@gmail.com.