FAR HILLS, N.J., Sept. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In early 2010 real estate developer Tom Maoli purchased the now deserted Morristown mansion, Alnwick Hall, better known as "The Abbey," with the express hope of saving a last remnant of what was formerly known as Madison Avenue's "millionaire's row."
For decades, the stretch of Madison Avenue between Morristown and Madison was also referred to as "the street of 100 millionaires," and the "finest four miles in the world." Aside from nearby Glynallyn Castle, the Abbey stands on Madison Avenue in Morris Township. as a lone testimony to a more opulent time for the Rose City of Morris County. But, until the 1929 depression, the Abbey was just one of a stretch of homes that belonged to such business tycoons as banker Otto H. Kahn, business executive Hamilton McKoon Twombly, Charles Mellon, Eugene Higgins, the Frelinghuysens, Claflins, James, Allens, Wolffs and Kountzes. Alnwick Hall was originally the residence of American Telephone and Telegraph company executive, Edward Peter Meany and his wife, Rosalie Behr.
Today, the Abbey is nothing more than a shell of its former glory, deserted now since its last reincarnation as an office complex ultimately failed when the office market crashed after the Lehman Brothers and stock market crash of 2008. Maoli says, "The Abbey is such a landmark no matter where I go, whether it's a cocktail party in New York City , the Hamptons or in Palm Beach. When I mention that I own the Abbey, faces light up and their responses typically are how gorgeous the building is. The thought of it languishing and decaying is truly tragic. And while it is sitting empty and decaying it might as well go to good use and allow a good cause to host their fundraiser there."
Tom Maoli is not a man to go on quixotic missions. He's known as someone who looks for business opportunities and seizes them with his vision in mind, transforming losing enterprises into profitable ones. Maoli has built a burgeoning automobile dealership empire and a profitable real estate enterprise, but he is also a well-respected philanthropist. Maoli has a track record for both business and civic success. And, maybe now lost causes as well? Such as purchasing Alnwick Hall. Mr. Maoli wanted to purchase The Abbey in hopes of turning it into something commercially viable.
Maoli states, "it's sad, but eventually something has to be done, or The Abbey will fall down from disrepair. In addition, I can't keep carrying a vacant building and paying taxes to the town at an alarming rate. The unfortunate reality is that the Abbey is at the end of its rope."
Maoli is committed to saving The Abbey, and he believes even though the future is grim for the building, it still can muster one last special moment for a special purpose. That event will be in May of 2017, when Maoli will team with the Women's Association for Morristown Medical Center (WAMMC) for the 18th Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens. They will turn The Abbey over to a team of interior designers to transform the decaying 21,000 square foot mansion back into the beautiful swan it once was and showcase it to thousands of people throughout the tri state area. All of the proceeds will go to the Morristown Medical Center.
"This is a chance for some of the area's finest interior designers to showcase not only their own wonderful talent, but also to remind visitors to the fundraiser what a spectacular residence the Abbey was," says Maoli.
The Abbey will open its doors to the public as the Mansion in May for 2017. Its doors will be open to the public from May 1 to May 31, 2017 and will be available for private tours and private events. Advanced tickets will be available online and at select local retail locations in early 2017.
In addition to his car dealerships, Maoli is President and CEO of Real Estate Opportunity Investments, LLC. REOI is a real estate company that specializes in purchasing, holding, developing and operating retail shopping centers, office buildings and residential developments throughout the Northeast. He was named to Governor Christie's Presidential Leadership team and is also now a member of Donald Trump for President fundraising and transition team. Maoli was also honored as the Morris County Columbus Day parade's Man of the Year. No stranger to good causes, Maoli is also a large supporter of the Morris County Community Food Bank and the Morris County Interfaith Food Pantry.
Contact: Larry M. Weiner, APR, Fellow PRSA
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SOURCE Tom Maoli