While tech stocks held steady in 2012, Washington’s technorati scooped up big-bucks real estate—as did lawyers, bankers, investors, even members of the restaurant and media industries. The area’s top 50 home sales last year ranged from $3 million to $6.9 million. Here’s a look at 2012’s biggest deals.
Steven VanRoekel, federal chief information officer and former Microsoft executive, struck the top deal of 2012 when he bought a six-bedroom, ten-bath Colonial in DC’s Massachusetts Avenue Heights for $6.9 million. Designed by National Gallery of Art architect John Russell Pope, the house sits on more than an acre and has a pool, pool house, and separate al fresco dining structure.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and her husband, Frank, sold a three-bedroom, three-bath condo in the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton in DC’s West End for $5.3 million to Adam Palmer, managing director of the Carlyle Group. The 3,700-square-foot unit has a Poggenpohl kitchen and Potomac River views.
An eight-bedroom, nine-bath Beaux Arts-style home in the District’s Kalorama neighborhood sold for $5.7 million to businessman Thomas Raffa and his wife and business partner, Kathy. Built in 1930, the house has an elevator, a four-car garage, and a three-tiered garden. It originally listed for $8 million. The couple runs the consulting firm Raffa, which provides accounting, technology, and other services to nonprofits.
At 3303 Water Street—one of DC’s priciest condo buildings—Charles O. Holliday Jr., chairman of the board of Bank of America, traded up from a two-bedroom, three-bath unit to a three-bedroom, four-bath unit for $4.6 million. The seven-story, 70-unit building includes a 24-hour concierge, rooftop pool, and gym, and many condos feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Potomac and the C&O Canal. (Other buyers in the building included the co-CEO of Bethesda-based JBS International, Gail Bassin, who bought a unit for $2.2 million, and retiring National Endowment for the Arts chairman Rocco Landesman and his wife, Debby, who paid $1.9 million.)
Carlyle Group managing director Mark Schoenfeld and veterinarian Dondi Dahlgaard bought a $4.6-million French-country-style house in DC’s Berkley neighborhood. It has five bedrooms, seven baths, an elevator, a wraparound porch, and a pool.
Eugene Gulland, a partner at the law firm Covington & Burling, bought an estate in Loudoun County’s Aldie for $4.5 million. Built in 1800, it sits on 56 acres.
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin bought a five-bedroom, nine-bath Colonial on more than an acre in McLean for $4.3 million. The house has a cherry-paneled elevator and mahogany deck.
Former Merrill Lynch stockbroker Paul Svigos and his wife, Susan, bought a six-bedroom, seven-bath house in Kalorama for $4.3 million. Built in 1919 and once an ambassador’s residence, it sits on a double lot with tiered gardens and a heated pool.
David Brooks—New York Times columnist and author of The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement—bought a five-bedroom, five-bath Victorian in DC’s Cleveland Park with a library and two-car garage for $4 million.
Judge Kathryn Oberly sold a nine-bedroom, eight-bath Colonial in Massachusetts Avenue Heights for $3.9 million. The 6,300-square-foot house has a heated swimming pool.
Sanjay Puri, chairman of the US India Political Action Committee and founder of Optimos Incorporated, bought a nine-bedroom, 14-bath Colonial in Great Falls for $3.9 million. The 24,000-square-foot house was built in 2007 and has two kitchens.
Lawyer Frederick Whitten Peters bought a seven-bedroom, six-bath Victorian in DC’s Cleveland Park for $3.6 million. The 6,200-square-foot house has a heated pool, media room with large-screen projection TV, exercise room, and wine cellar. Peters was Secretary of the Air Force and principal deputy general counsel at the Department of Defense during the Clinton administration.
Real-estate developer Steve Garchik and wife Marla sold a seven-bedroom, nine-bath Colonial in Potomac’s Bradley Farms neighborhood for $3.7 million. Overlooking the fifth fairway of Congressional Country Club’s blue course, the house has six fireplaces and a three-car garage.
Star Scientific president Paul Perito and his wife, Robin, bought a four-bedroom, seven-bath Colonial in Bethesda’s Kenwood for $3.5 million. It has an elevator, a master suite with two baths, and a carriage house. Less than three miles away, they sold their five-bedroom, six-bath Colonial in Chevy Chase for $3.3 million. That house, built in 1908, has a wraparound porch and an outdoor pool with a pool house.
Long & Foster president and chief operating officer Jeffrey Detwiler bought a six-bedroom, eight-bath Craftsman-style house in McLean’s Langley Forest neighborhood for $3.5 million. Built in 2011, it has a library with antique oak panels and a four-car garage.
Stephen Urbanczyk and his wife, Judith, sold an eight-bedroom, six-bath house in DC’s Wesley Heights for $3.4 million. The Tudor-style home has a two-story family room and five fireplaces. Urbanczyk is a partner at Williams & Connolly.
Nelson Cunningham and wife Margery sold an eight-bedroom, six-bath Victorian in Georgetown for $3.3 million. The 5,000-square-foot house, built in 1900, has a pool and a master suite with sitting room. A former special adviser to President Clinton and a member of the Obama-Biden transition team, Nelson Cunningham is managing partner and cofounder of McLarty Associates, an international strategic advisory firm. Margery Cunningham, a former managing director at Lehman Brothers, is a VP at Avalere Health, where she manages the private-equity and venture-capital businesses.
A six-bedroom, ten-bath Colonial in McLean’s Langley Forest sold for $3.3 million to lawyer Ki Hong. The 10,500-square-foot house has a library, carriage house with au pair suite, and four-car garage. Hong is a partner at Skadden.
Award-winning architect Suman Sorg sold a five-bedroom, four-bath house in Kalorama for $3.2 million. The contemporary home has six levels, two fireplaces, and a landscaped back yard with a pool.
Booz Allen Hamilton senior adviser CG Appleby and his wife, Nancy, sold a five-bedroom, seven-bath Colonial in McLean for $3.2 million. The house—with exercise room and wood-paneled library—sits on a gated, two-acre lot with a waterfall.
Physicians Peter Pinto and Elizabeth Tanzi bought a five-bedroom, seven-bath house in Kenwood for $3.2 million. The French Provincial-style home has a sauna, five fireplaces, and a library with a spiral staircase leading to a game room. Pinto is a urologist at NIH’s National Cancer Institute. Tanzi is codirector of laser surgery at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery.
Steven Lockshin, chairman of Convergent Wealth Advisors, bought a Colonial in Chevy Chase’s Somerset Heights for $3.1 million. The house, built in 2011, has six bedrooms and six baths.
Tech executive Tom DePasquale sold a four-bedroom, five-bath condo on Connecticut Avenue in Kalorama for $3.1 million. The 5,400-square-foot unit has a dining room with space for 20. DePasquale has held senior positions at several software companies, including Concur Technologies, which provides travel-and-expense-management solutions.
Lawyer and businessman Lester “Ruff” Fant sold a four-bedroom, five-bath Colonial in Georgetown for $3 million. The 5,000-square-foot house has an elevator and catering kitchen. Fant is founder of TowPath Renewables, a finance company that invests in renewable-energy products.
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Billionaire Mitchell Rales bought a 4,000-square-foot home on two acres in Potomac for $2.6 million. It’s the third house that Rales has bought adjacent to his sprawling property on Three Sisters Road, which includes a main house, lake, and art museum. Rales is cofounder of the manufacturing and technology company Danaher.
Facebook general counsel Ted Ullyot sold a five-bedroom, seven-bath house in Chevy Chase for $2.2 million. It has four finished levels and a master bath with a steam shower and soaking tub. Ullyot also served as White House counsel to President George W. Bush.
New-media entrepreneurs Tim and Laura O’Shaughnessy bought a four-bedroom, four-bath Victorian in Kalorama for $2.2 million. The house has three fireplaces and an au pair suite. Tim O’Shaughnessy is cofounder and CEO of the deals company LivingSocial; Laura O’Shaughnessy—daughter of Washington Post Company chairman Donald Graham—is CEO of SocialCode, a Post Company-owned advertising agency that uses social media to expand client brands.
Onetime Real Housewives of D.C. cast member Mary Amons sold a six-bedroom, six-bath Colonial in McLean for $1.6 million. The house, which listed for $2.4 million in September 2010, has a master suite with a private deck.
Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour, bought a four-bedroom, three-bath Federal-style house in Georgetown for $1.5 million. Built in 1791, it has five fireplaces.
Redskin DeAngelo Hall sold a six-bedroom, seven-bath house in Leesburg for $1.2 million. On three acres, it has a master bedroom with four closets.
Restaurateurs also did some home-cooking. Mark Kuller, owner of Proof and Estadio, and catering executive Kristin Connor of Whisk Gourmet Food & Catering bought a seven-bedroom, eight-bath house in Bethesda’s Brookmont neighborhood for $1.5 million. It has an in-law suite and floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
Chef Johnny Monis and his wife, Anne Marler—owners of the Dupont Circle destinations Komi and Little Serow—bought a four-bedroom, three-bath rowhouse near Logan Circle for $1.3 million.
Journalists got in on the act as well. Gordon Peterson, Channel 7 anchor and moderator, and his wife, Anne Fleming, sold a Federal-style house in Georgetown for $1.8 million. Built in 1890, it has four bedrooms and four baths.
Former Huffington Post senior Washington correspondent Dan Froomkin and Paige Fitzgerald, deputy chief of the Justice Department’s civil-rights division, bought a five-bedroom, three-bath Colonial in DC’s Wakefield for $1.1 million. The house sold after eight days on the market and went for $86,000 above list price.
Journalist Margaret Carlson bought a three-bedroom, three-bath condo on Connecticut Avenue in Kalorama for $953,000. The 1,900-square-foot corner unit is in a 100-year-old Beaux Arts building and has a 40-foot foyer. Time magazine’s first female columnist, Carlson is now a political columnist for Bloomberg View.
This article appears in the January 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.