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The asking price for the Williams-Addison House is $16.8 million. By Carol Ross Joynt
The Williams-Addison House at 1645 31st Street, NW, is on the market for $16.8 million. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

Because Washington Post managing editor and Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Al Friendly and his family lived there, Georgetowners knew the big brick Georgian on 31st Street as “the Friendly Estate.” He died in 1983 and his widow, Jean, remained there and made it a hub of family life for her five children and 13 grandchildren. It was a festive and, yes, friendly house. When Jean died at home in 2005, though, and a new owner announced wildly unpopular renovation plans, it became known more often as “that damned house.”

But here’s the good news. That unpopular owner gave up and sold the house to a developer, who put it on the market on Tuesday. Now called the Williams-Addison House—a nod to its 19th century roots—the house just hit the market for $16.8 million.

The home has been remade to accommodate 21st century tastes — a grand master suite that's the size of many apartments, an entertainment space big enough to be a ballroom, a media room, wine cellar, health club-sized gym and sauna, plus a broad center hallway that leads to a library, drawing room, dining room, and den. The upstairs has an additional five bedrooms. There are fireplaces throughout. Add to that a guest cottage, garage, and ambitious landscaping plans. Yellow paint was removed to reveal the handsome red brick underneath.

We were given a tour by Victor Valentine of Capital City Real Estate, who is proud of his company’s work with Georgetown architect Dale Overmyer, who got the project underway in 2006 with the previous owner, Marc Teren, a former Washington Post executive who curbed.com described as “notoriously unpopular.” The problems for Teren came when he proposed subdividing the property. There was talk of building a second home on the property, and underground garages. Neighbors balked. Appearances before the Advisory Neighborhood Commission became volatile. There were work stoppages. The Georgetown Metropolitan speculated that “Teren simply ran out of money” and that’s why he sold to Valentine’s group in 2011.

Valentine says he paid about $7 million for the house, which he described as “basically a shell.” The asking price for the finished, 10,000 square foot home, which sits on three-quarters of an acre, is $16.8 million. “You don’t have to worry about development across the street,” he said, noting that the tall front windows look out on Tudor Place mansion and gardens, a National Historic Landmark.

Prospective buyers can tour the house and get a sense of what it would look like furnished as some of the rooms have been staged by Kelly Proxmire, a member of the Washington Design Center Hall of Fame.

Posted at 06:04 PM/ET, 12/10/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
LivingSocial’s Tim O’Shaughnessy and restaurateur Mark Kuller make deals.
Finance exec Andrew Cristinzio paid $4 million for this McLean spread. Photographs by David Pipkin.

Tim and Laura O’Shaughnessy’s new house has a two-story custom rear deck. Price: $1.4 million.

In DC

New-media entrepreneurs Tim and Laura O’Shaughnessy bought a four-bedroom, four-bath Victorian rowhouse near the U Street corridor for $1.4 million. It has a finished lower level with a wet bar and a two-story custom rear deck. 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.

In Virginia

Finance executive Andrew Cristinzio and his wife, Carrie, bought a six-bedroom, seven-bath Colonial in McLean for $4 million. The newly built house, on more than an acre, has a three-car garage and four fireplaces. Cristinzio is a partner at the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Lawyer Thomas Clare bought a five-bedroom, six-bath Colonial on North Lincoln Street in Arlington for $2.8 million. The six-year-old, 7,000-square-foot house has a cherry-paneled library, four fireplaces, and a three-car garage. Clare is a litigation partner at the DC office of Kirkland & Ellis.

Thomas Toch’s Chevy Chase home cost him $1.6 million.

In Maryland

Education expert Thomas Toch and wife Ann downsized in Chevy Chase. The couple sold a five-bedroom, five-bath home on West Kirke Street for $2.7 million. The house, a classic American foursquare, has a library and large front porch. The Tochs also bought a four-bedroom, five-bath Colonial for $1.6 million. That house originally listed for just under $2 million. A former education reporter, Toch cofounded the think tank Education Sector.

Photograph of Alma Brown by Denis Paquin/AP Images.

Perfect Timing?

Alma Brown—widow of former Democratic National Committee chairman and Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and a onetime executive at Chevy Chase Bank—sold a two-bedroom, three-bath condo in Chevy Chase’s Parc Somerset building for $2.5 million. Her son, Michael Brown, is the former DC Council member who pleaded guilty in June to bribery; he admitted to accepting $55,000 in cash from a group of men he thought were trying to do business with the District. The businessmen were actually undercover FBI agents—and the whole thing was caught on tape.

Perhaps the sale of his mom’s condo will help pay for his legal fees, which can’t be cheap. Michael Brown’s lawyer, Brian Heberlig, is a partner at the high-profile firm Steptoe & Johnson, where he heads the white-collar criminal-defense group.

Photograph of Kuller by Scott Suchman.

Fitting Amenity

Restaurateur Mark Kuller sold a five-bedroom, five-bath Victorian-style farmhouse on Wissioming Road in Bethesda for $1.3 million. The house has an in-law suite and, according to the listing, a “world class wine cellar.” A tax lawyer, Kuller owns the DC restaurants Proof, Estadio, and Doi Moi. His personal wine collection encompasses 7,000 bottles.

Some sales information provided by American City Business Leads and Diana Hart of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

This article appears in the December 2013 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 10:31 AM/ET, 11/22/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
John Marriott III sells for $4.4 million. Plus—a $7.4-million jaw dropper in Great Falls and two $5-million deals in Georgetown.
Lawyer John Bentivoglio bought a Chevy Chase house for $2.5 million. Photographs by David Pipkin.

In Maryland

Hotel exec John W. Marriott III sold a seven-bedroom, eight-bath Georgian-style house on New London Drive in Potomac for $4.4 million. The 12,000-square-foot home sits on more than two acres and has an indoor basketball court and 15-car garage. Marriott, the middle son of hotel magnate Bill Marriott, is an executive in his family’s company; like his father, he loves cars and collects Ferraris, Camaros, and Firebirds.

Commercial-real-estate executive Marc Duber and wife Nancy sold a home on Elgin Lane in Bethesda to developer Dave Pollin and wife Kirsten for $3.4 million. Duber is executive vice president of the Bernstein Companies, which owns, develops, invests in, and manages real estate. Dave Pollin is cofounder of the Buccini/Pollin Group, a commercial-real-estate company.

Lawyer John Bentivoglio bought a six-bedroom, six-bath Arts and Crafts-style house in Chevy Chase for $2.5 million. Bentivoglio is a partner at Skadden, where he represents pharmaceutical, medical-device, and biotechnology manufacturers.

In DC

Arturo Brillembourg and Jennifer Feldman-Brillembourg paid $5.4 million in Georgetown.

Finance executive Arturo Brillembourg and wife Jennifer Feldman-Brillembourg, an anesthesiologist, bought a six-bedroom, six-bath Federal-style home in Georgetown for $5.4 million. Built in 1900, the brick house has a wall of glass with views of the Potomac River and the Rosslyn skyline. Brillembourg is founder of AEB Capital, a hedge fund in Arlington.

This Georgetown mansion sold for $5 million to Otto W. Hoernig III.

Entrepreneur Otto W. Hoernig III bought an eight-bedroom, six-bath Georgian-style home in Georgetown for $5 million. The 8,000-square-foot detached house was built in 1916. Hoernig cofounded SpaceLink International, a government contractor in Dulles that he later sold for more than $150 million. He’s now president of the Tysons telecommunications firm Trace Systems, and he also runs Casa Noble, a high-end tequila distillery in Mexico.

Health-care executive David Wheadon sold a five-bedroom, six-bath Victorian on Capitol Hill’s Maryland Avenue for $2.8 million. The 5,900-square-foot house has a wine cellar and a roof deck with views of the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Wheadon, a doctor, is head of research and advocacy at JDRF, formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

In Virginia

Businessman Richard Hanlon and wife Pamela sold a six-bedroom, nine-bath stone manor on Innsbruck Avenue in Great Falls for $7.4 million. The gated house, which had been on the market more than two years, has a wine cellar with tasting area, a theater, a music room, a gym, a pool, and a three-car garage. Built in 2007, it sits on five acres. Hanlon is a former senior vice president at AOL. Arnold & Porter trusts-and-estates lawyer Thomas W. Richardson was also listed as a seller.

Some sales information provided by American City Business Leads and Diana Hart of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

This article appears in the November 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.

Posted at 10:22 AM/ET, 10/28/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
The billionaire spent $2 million on the home of former basketball star Gheorghe Muresan. By Mary Clare Glover

Mitchell Rales purchased the former home of 7-foot-7 Gheorghe Muresan. Photograph via Wikimedia Commons.

Billionaire Mitchell Rales paid retired Washington Bullets star Gheorghe Muresan $2 million for a four-bedroom, four-bath home on Glen Road in Potomac. Over the past few years, Rales has been gradually buying up properties near his sprawling Potomac mansion, which is assessed for just over $13 million and includes a main house, a lake, and an appointment-only art museum called Glenwood. 

Muresan’s former home is adjacent to three other properties Rales has recently bought, all on Potomac’s Three Sisters Road. Muresan originally listed the home for $2,425,000 in September 2012, but it was withdrawn from the market last December. According to that listing, the gated farmhouse sits on two and a half acres and has several amenities that would befit someone of Muresan’s size (he’s 7-foot-7): a two-story foyer, a kitchen with a cathedral ceiling, and an “oversize” granite center island.

What does Rales, the cofounder of the manufacturing and technology company Danaher and a notoriously private man, plan to do with all these houses? We can only guess that this is part of his plan, announced in 2012, to transform Glenstone into a museum the size of the National Gallery’s East Building. One thing is certain: Laying out $2 million is nothing for Rales, who Forbes estimates is worth $3.4 billion.

See also: Buying Up the Block 

Posted at 11:15 AM/ET, 10/23/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
A Jackie Kennedy-designed property and the former site of Robert E. Lee’s office are now on the market. By Michelle Thomas
Perkins House in Charles Town, W Va., left, and Wexford, in Marshall, Va. Both images via MRIS.

Hey, history buffs—if you’re in the market for a new home, you’re in luck. Two homes, each with a fascinating backstory, have hit the market in recent days.

In West Virginia’s Charles Town (about 60 miles from Washington), Perkins House is a 7,000-square-foot brick mansion with a score of Victorian-era indulgences including a 113-foot turret, Tiffany windows, Waterford chandeliers, and 19-foot ceilings. But the real draw for history lovers? The home formerly housed Civil War General Robert E. Lee’s office, and was the site of abolitionist John Brown’s hanging execution in 1859. Asking price: $975,000.

Looking for something with a more recent claim to fame? Check out this home in Marshall, Virginia (about 50 miles from Washington), which was listed this week and was once used as a retreat for JFK. He only spent two weekends at the home before his assassination, but Jackie Kennedy designed the property, which was built in 1963 and sold soon after the President’s death. The 5,050-square-foot home sits on 166 acres and has a pond, a pool, a tennis court, and mountain views. List price: just under $11 million.

Posted at 02:30 PM/ET, 10/22/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Carlos Bulgheroni has ties to the Kennedy Center and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. By Carol Ross Joynt
The Bulgheroni home at the corner of 31st and P streets in Georgetown.

Billionaire Argentine businessman Carlos Bulgheroni has confirmed through his agent that he and his wife, Natalia, are the buyers of one of Georgetown’s most luxurious properties, a corner mansion at 3053 P Street. They paid $7 million for the nine-bedroom, seven-bath home, which comes with a garden, a pool, ample parking, and a garage. It initially went on the market with an asking price in the range of $12 million. The seller was Dr. William Haseltine, a founder and the former chairman of Human Genome Sciences of Rockville, Maryland.

Bulgheroni, who has homes also in Buenos Aires and Rome, is considered one of Argentina’s richest men. His family founded the Bridas Corporation, the largest privately owned oil and gas exploration company in Argentina. Bulgheroni works with his brother, Alejandro. Forbes puts their combined net worth at $5.5 billion.

In Washington Bulgheroni is a trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and is a past co-chairman of the International Committee of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, on which he still serves. While the Bulgheronis come to Washington from time to time for business, they are moving here on a longer-term basis while one of their young children is treated at Children’s Hospital.

The sale of the house was handled by Mark McFadden of Washington Fine Properties.

Posted at 10:29 AM/ET, 10/18/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
The house in Massachusetts Avenue Heights once belonged to a former Fed chairman. By Carol Ross Joynt
Check out Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s new house. Photograph courtesy of Washington Fine Properties.

After being confirmed by the Senate this summer, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, the Chicago hotel heiress and philanthropist said to be worth more than $2 billion, has found herself a nice new home in Northwest DC.

Pritzker plunked down $7.95 million for the home in Massachusetts Avenue Heights, according to sources. In a recent press release announcing the sale, though not the buyer, listing agent Washington Fine Properties described the home as “a perfect example of true Georgian architecture with meticulous renovation. It features intricately detailed crown molding, magnificent millwork, ten-foot ceilings, and seven bedrooms.” It was built in 1929 and occupies an “extremely private” 12,865-square-foot lot with a front security gate. One of the former owners of the home was the late William McChesney Martin Jr., who served as US Federal Reserve Bank chairman from 1951 to 1970.

Called “Chicago royalty” by National Journal, Pritzker hails from the family that founded Hyatt hotels. A longtime friend and supporter of President Barack Obama, she served as his campaign’s national finance chair in 2008 and was sworn in as the 38th secretary of Commerce on June 26. The agency’s website describes her as “a civic and business leader with more than 25 years of experience in the real estate, hospitality, senior living, and financial services industries.” She attended Harvard for her undergraduate degree and Stanford University for her MBA. According to Forbes, Pritzker’s net worth is $2.2 billion, landing her at number 277 on its list of billionaires in the United States.

Posted at 03:07 PM/ET, 10/16/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
The seven-bedroom house is the former home of the longest-serving Fed chairman. By Carol Ross Joynt
The Massachusetts Avenue Heights home sold for $7.95 million. Photograph courtesy of Washington Fine Properties.

The trend of luxury real estate sales continues in DC, with word that a historic Massachusetts Avenue Heights house, formerly the home of a Federal Reserve Bank chairman, sold for its asking price of $7.95 million.

The seven-bedroom home, which was listed by Ellen Morrell, Matthew McCormick, and Ben Roth of Washington Fine Properties, was built in 1929 on a 12,865-square-foot lot.

According to the sale announcement, the property was the former home of the late William McChesney Martin Jr. and his wife, Cynthia Davis. He was the longest-serving Fed chairman, serving from 1951 to 1970 during the administrations of Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon. He was succeeded by Arthur Burns.

Martin, a Yale man and an Army veteran, died in 1998 at the age of 91.

As Washingtonian has reported, in Georgetown alone in the past several months, eight homes have sold for $6 million or more.

*This post has been updated from a previous version.

Posted at 01:21 PM/ET, 10/07/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
William Haseltine reportedly accepted $7 million for his P Street mansion. By Carol Ross Joynt
The house at 3053 P Street, Northwest, has been sold for $7 million. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

In July we wrote about seven Georgetown properties that had sold in six months, all for $6 million or more, plus a notable mansion that still had a for sale sign out front: 3053 P Street, with an asking price of $8.9 million. That sign has been replaced with a Sold sign. Washington Fine Properties, which handled both buyer and seller, confirmed the deal closed for $7 million.

The seller is William Haseltine, a founder and former chairman of Human Genome Sciences and currently president and chairman of Access Health International and chairman of the Haseltine Foundation for Science and the Arts. 

Posted at 02:29 PM/ET, 10/02/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Debra Lee of BET sells for nearly $5 million in DC’s Massachusetts Avenue Heights.
Freestanding houses in Georgetown fetch top dollar. Stephen Goldsmith sold this four-bedroom for $4.4 million. Photographs by David Pipkin.

Entertainment executive Debra Lee sold a five-bedroom, six-bath contemporary home on Rock Creek Drive in Massachusetts Avenue Heights for $4.7 million. Designed by Edward Durrell Stone, the Kennedy Center’s architect, the house has heated bluestone floors, a heated pool, and a cabana. Lee is the CEO of BET Networks.

Stephen Goldsmith, the former mayor of Indianapolis, and his estranged wife, Margaret, sold a four-bedroom, seven-bath home in Georgetown for $4.4 million. The house has two master suites, a media room, and a wine cellar. Goldsmith served two terms as mayor of Indianapolis in the 1990s; in 2010, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed him deputy mayor, a position he held until August 2011. He’s now a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and an adviser at the DC law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge. In 2011, the Goldsmiths made headlines when he was arrested on a domestic-violence complaint at their Georgetown home; he and his wife recently filed for divorce.

Ambassador Charles Rivkin bought a home on Prospect Street in Georgetown for $3.9 million. Part of a new development called Wormley Row, the townhouse has four bedrooms, seven baths, and a private elevator. Rivkin is US ambassador to France and Monaco.

Roy Pfautch collected $2.5 million for a stone house in Kalorama.

PR bigwig Roy Pfautch sold a five-bedroom, eight-bath home in Kalorama for $2.5 million. The stone house was built in 1929. Pfautch, a supporter of the Republican Party, is a longtime lobbyist and man about town.

Maxine Isaacs sold a condo on 15th Street near Logan Circle for $1.9 million. The two-story penthouse has three bedrooms and three baths. Isaacs, an expert in public policy, was part of Walter Mondale’s press team during his Senate term, vice-presidency, and 1984 presidential candidacy. She now teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Lawyer Anne O’Brien bought a three-bedroom, four-bath Cape Cod on Hoban Road in Berkley for $1.3 million. The house has a library and in-law suite. O’Brien is senior counsel at Arnold & Porter, where she specializes in trusts and estates.

In Maryland

Nobel Prize winner Steven Chu sold this Chevy Chase Colonial for $1.7 million.

Physicist Steven Chu and wife Jean sold a five-bedroom, four-bath Colonial in Chevy Chase for $1.7 million. The house sold in four days for $115,000 over asking price. Chu, who won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1997, was President Obama’s Secretary of Energy from January 2009 to April 2013.

Investment executive Neal Simon and wife Jennifer bought a five-bedroom, nine-bath Colonial in Potomac for $2.8 million. The house, on more than three acres, has a temperature-controlled wine cellar, heated pool, and five-car garage. Simon is CEO of Highline Wealth Management, a financial-planning firm in Rockville.

Some sales information provided by American City Business Leads and Diana Hart of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

This article appears in the October 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.

Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 09/27/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()