On Monday, Washington Fine Properties listed a home on University Terrace in DC’s Kent neighborhood for $19.5 million—making it the most expensive home on the market now in the District. What does nearly $20 million buy you these days? Five bedrooms and seven baths spread out over 10,000 square feet, plus a guest house, a pool, and gardens on more than six acres. “There’s hardly any other property in the city that has that much land,” says Tom Anderson, president of Washington Fine Properties.
According to DC tax records, the home is owned by “James C. Biddle Trustee.” Biddle, who died in 2005, was president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation as well as an adviser to First Ladies Jackie Kennedy and Lady Bird Johnson on historic furniture.
The house—which came in eighth on our list of 50 Most Expensive Homes last year and is currently assessed for $13.7 million—has recently been home to Biddle’s ex-wife, Louisa, and her late husband, former ambassador Robert Duemling, who died in July. It sits on University Terrace, a woodsy, winding road near Battery Kemble Park in upper Northwest Washington.
If you were to buy the home, you’d be neighbors with former Washington Post executive editor Len Downie Jr., who lives a few houses down in a four-bedroom that’s assessed for about $750,000. Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, also comes home to University Terrace; his five-bedroom is assessed for $3.3 million. A Kent cocktail party might also include TV journalist Tucker Carlson and the power couple of NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and former Chairman of the Fed Alan Greenspan.
According to the listing, there is a “possibility of subdivision,” which may explain the hefty price tag. But is $19.5 million realistic in this economy? “We know the air is always thinner at the top, but there are big buyers out there,” says listing agent Heidi Hatfield. “I’m happy to report the phone is ringing.”
By Kathleen Bridges
Saturday, rain or shine, 12 of the midcentury-modern gems dotting the Alexandria enclave known as Hollin Hills will open their doors to the public as part of the neighborhood's annual House & Garden Tour.
As if you needed another excuse to don your best Betty Draper shift and shake up a fresh batch of Manhattans.
When you walk into a home that dates to 1730, you encounter some things you might expect to find in a 262-year-old property: uneven plank flooring, creaky baseboards, wooden beams. What you don't expect to find, however, is a space that feels modern, even luxurious--which is exactly what we discovered when we took a recent tour of the Rosedale Farmhouse.
Photographs courtesy of Home Visit.
Address: 2030 R St., NW
Details: 6,000 square feet; 6 BR, 4+ BA; roof deck, 3-car parking, media system, elevator; lower-level space could function as gallery or in-law suite.
Listing Agents: Cathie Gill, John Gill, and John Pruski
We know, we’re still in Dupont (and still not completely over that Corcoran Street property we showed you last time). But we couldn’t resist the opportunity to sneak a peek at this four-level Victorian we discovered on a recent trip to the neighboring Phillips Collection.
Basketball coach Jim Larranaga and wife Elisebeth sold a five-bedroom, five-bath Colonial in Oakton for $1.3 million. The house has a two-story stone fireplace in the family room. Jim Larranaga led the George Mason men’s basketball team to the final four in 2006. He’s now head coach at the University of Miami.
Former Redskin Clinton Portis sold a home on Georgetown Pike in McLean for $1.7 million. At the end of a private drive, the five-bedroom, six-bath house has a master suite with a balcony. Portis bought it in 2004 for $2 million. A running back, he played for the Skins from 2004 to 2010; he’s now a free agent.
Lawyer James Comey sold a five-bedroom, eight-bath Colonial on Kirby Road in McLean for $1.7 million. It has two kitchens, two family rooms, and a media room. Former deputy attorney general during the George W. Bush administration, Comey is now general counsel at the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates.
Former attorney general John Ashcroft and wife Janet sold a four-bedroom, three-bath townhouse on Colonial Terrace in Arlington for $1.1 million. John Aschroft, a former senator from Missouri as well as governor of that state, was US attorney general from 2001 to 2005. He’s now an ethics adviser for Xe Services, the military contractor that used to be Blackwater Worldwide.
Lawrence Lindsey bought a five-bedroom, five-bath house on Hampton Way in Fairfax Station for $1.1 million. On more than five acres, it has a master-bedroom suite with a double-sided fireplace and a sun deck with a hot tub. Former director of the National Economic Council at the White House, Lindsey is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank. He’s also CEO of the Lindsey Group, an economic advisory firm.
Shawn Springs sold this six-bedroom home for $5 million. Photograph by David Pipkin
Former Redskin Shawn Springs sold a six-bedroom, nine-bath home in McLean for $5 million. The 11,300-square-foot house has a wine cellar, bar, and home theater. A cornerback, Springs played for the Skins from 2004 to 2008.
Retired Coast Guard admiral Thad Allen and wife Pamela bought a five-bedroom, five-bath Colonial in Vienna for $1.5 million. The 6,300-square-foot house was built in 2009. Allen oversaw the federal responses to Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He’s now a senior fellow at the RAND Corporation.
Republican heavyweight Chris Cox and wife Rebecca Gernhardt Cox sold a six-bedroom, six-bath Colonial on Glen Drive in Alexandria’s Belle Haven neighborhood for $1.4 million. The house listed for $1.6 million and was on the market more than a year. Chris Cox represented California in Congress from 1989 to 2005; from 2005 to January 2009, he was chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He’s now a partner at the Boston-based law firm Bingham McCutchen.
Michael Kinsley and Patricia Stonesifer, along with Stonesifer’s daughter Sandra, bought a four-bedroom, six-bath Victorian near Dupont Circle for $2.5 million. The seller was interior designer Lori Graham. The house has a top-floor master suite with a “midnight kitchen” and a roof deck with outdoor shower. Kinsley is an editorial adviser for Bloomberg View, a new opinion section of Bloomberg News, and is founding editor of the online magazine Slate. Patricia Stonesifer, former chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s board of regents.
Former United States CEO of Volkswagen Stefan Jacoby and his wife, Roberta Bantel, sold a four-bedroom, five-bath Federal-style house on Q Street in Georgetown for $2.2 million. Jacoby is now CEO of Volvo.
Lawyer Robert Reznick sold a five-bedroom, five-bath Colonial on Sedgwick Street in Spring Valley for $1.9 million. The house has three fireplaces and a home office. Reznick is a litigation partner in the DC office of Orrick.
Banking executive Frank G. LaPrade III bought a five-bedroom, four-bath house on Newark Street in Cleveland Park for $1.7 million. Built in 1896, it has original architectural details such as Palladian windows. LaPrade is chief enterprise-services officer at Capital One.
Former Channel 9 news anchor Tracey Neale sold a Federal-style home on 33rd Street in Georgetown for $1.3 million. Built in 1865, the former carriage house has three bedrooms and three baths. Neale founded Veronica’s Story, a nonprofit that advocates for vulnerable children.
Journalist Katherine Boo and her husband, professor and scholar Sunil Khilnani, sold a five-bedroom, four-bath Victorian on O Street near Logan Circle for $1.1 million. Boo is a staff writer for the New Yorker; Khilnani is director of South Asia Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Some sales information provided by American City Business Leads and Diana Hart of TTR Sotheby's International Reality.
This article appears in the September 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.
Journalist Tucker Carlson and his wife, Susan, traded houses. The couple sold a six-bedroom, eight-bath Colonial in Kent for $4 million. It has a heated pool, six fireplaces, and an in-law suite. Less than a mile away, also in Kent, they bought a seven-bedroom, six-bath Colonial for $2 million. The new house has a two-car garage and an au pair suite. The former host of CNN’s Crossfire and MSNBC’s Tucker, Carlson is cofounder and editor of the online news site the Daily Caller.
Longtime local banker Robert Pincus and his wife, Roxanne Little, sold a three-bedroom, five-bath condominium along the Georgetown waterfront for $3.3 million. The condo—which carries a monthly fee of more than $4,000—has 2,700 square feet of outdoor terraces with views of the Potomac River and the Kennedy Center. Vice chair of Bethesda-based EagleBank, Pincus is former head of DC National Bank and Franklin National Bank, which was bought by BB&T in 1999.
Lawyer David Webb bought a three-bedroom, four-bath house on Chain Bridge Road in Kent for $3 million. Built in 1936, it sits on more than an acre. Webb is senior managing director for the real-estate firm Cassidy Turley.
FCC chairman Julius Genachowski sold a seven-bedroom, four-bath house on Porter Street in Cleveland Park for $1.8 million. It has an in-law suite with two bedrooms and parking for four cars. Genachowski has led the FCC since June 2009.
This five-bedroom in the Outer Banks sold for $505,000 in March. Photograph courtesy of Twiddy & Company Realtors
In July and August, thousands of Washingtonians head to the beach. Among the throngs playing in the sand are news anchors, chefs, and high-profile lobbyists. Here’s where some well-known locals spend their summer—plus a look at how the real-estate market is faring from Lewes to the Outer Banks.
Former White House chief of staff Josh Bolten sold a home in Bethesda’s Brookmont neighborhood for $1.4 million. He bought the house in 2006 for $1.5 million. Bolten was chief of staff to President George W. Bush from 2006 to 2009; before that, he was director of the Office of Management and Budget. He’s now a visiting professor at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs and cochair of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
Lawyer Peter Kreindler sold a four-bedroom, four-bath Colonial on Dalecarlia Drive in Bethesda’s Westmoreland Hills for $1.5 million. Built in 1951, the house has a koi pond. Kreindler is senior counsel at McDermott Will & Emery.
Sports and tech impresario Ted Leonsis and his wife, Lynn, sold a home on Sorrel Street in McLean for $9 million to telecommunications executive Chris Rogers and his wife, Nalini. The house has eight bedrooms, 13 baths, and eight fireplaces. An AOL executive for many years, Ted Leonsis is, among other things, owner of the Washington Capitals hockey team and Washington Wizards basketball team. Chris Rogers was one of the founders of Fleet Call, which became Nextel Communications.
Marvin Bush sold a four-bedroom, five-bath home on Fort Hunt Road in Alexandria’s Belle Haven neighborhood for $2.5 million. On more than an acre, it has a guest house with a media room and office. The youngest son of former President George H.W. Bush, Marvin Bush is cofounder and managing partner at Winston Partners, an investment firm based in Arlington. He recently bought a $2.5-million condo in Rosslyn’s Turnberry Tower building.