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The Washington uber developer says some surprising tenants are coming to his Hecht Warehouse project in Ivy City. By Marisa M. Kashino
Rendering courtesy of Douglas Development.

Updated Friday, August 29: Ari Gejdenson confirms his restaurant group, Mindful Restaurants, will open three places at Hecht Warehouse. In an e-mail, he says: "We're in the process of wrapping up the lease and I'm thrilled that Mindful Restaurants can be a part of the exciting revitalization of Ivy City and the Hecht warehouse. It's the most beautiful warehouse I've ever seen and, having grown up in NE, it means a lot to me that this historic building and it's surrounding neighborhood will once again be a thriving part of our city."

Unless you're low on gas, have a fast food craving, or want to spend the night in a cheap motel, there's not much to stop for along heavily industrial New York Avenue, Northeast. On Thursday, the city announced plans to attempt to rectify that. The five-year Ward 5 Works plan aims to adapt industrial land to encourage the growth of business, residential, and cultural areas.

It's good news for Douglas Jemal, president of Douglas Development, who made an early—and sizable—bet on Ivy City, the small neighborhood just off New York Avenue, with Hecht Warehouse District. Housed in the building formerly used as the distribution center for Hecht's department store, the project is slated to bring 350 apartments, plus retail and restaurants. By January's groundbreaking, Jemal had lined up two retail tenants for the space: Mom's Organic Market and Planet Fitness.

As it stands now, though, it's tough to imagine, say, a Banana Republic or a trendy restaurant setting up shop there. But Jemal insists that's exactly what's on the way. During a conversation with Washingtonian earlier this week, the developer shared this list of tenants that he expects to open in the Hecht project: Banana Republic, Gap, Nike, Petco, Busboys and Poets, and three restaurants from the restauranteur behind Ghibellina (on 14th Street, Northwest) and Acqua Al 2 (near Eastern Market). We've reached out to Busboys owner, Andy Shallal, and Ari Gejdenson, owner of Ghibellina and Acqua Al 2, for comment, and will update if we hear back.

Construction of the retail space is scheduled to begin early next year—we'll stay tuned. 

Find Marisa Kashino on Twitter @marisakashino.

Posted at 02:58 PM/ET, 08/28/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
DC houses fetch close to $4 million and $7 million. Plus—a former NFL commissioner and player strike deals in the burbs.
This six-bedroom mansion in Massachusetts Avenue Heights sold to a UBS managing director. Photographs by David Pipkin.

This Victorian rowhouse with a wine cellar in Georgetown sold for $3 million-plus.


Stephen and Diana Goldberg sold a nine-bedroom, 11-bath Tudor on Garfield Street in Wesley Heights for $6.6 million. The 12,000-square-foot home boasts a three-story guesthouse, his-and-hers master bathrooms and walk-in closets, a theater, and a pool. The philanthropists are best known for two $25-million donations—in 2001 and in 2008—to Children’s National Medical Center, among the largest ever to an American pediatric hospital.

Dale Gray, a senior risk expert at the International Monetary Fund, and wife Cheryl, a director at the Inter-American Development Bank, bought a Victorian rowhouse in Georgetown for $3.1 million. The renovated four-bedroom, six-bath home has a wine cellar and gourmet kitchen.

Margaret Warner, a correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, sold a five-bedroom, five-bath house on Loughboro Road in Spring Valley for $2.3 million. The Georgian has a master suite with dressing room and fireplace, plus enough parking in its circular driveway for ten cars.

Roderick and Alexia Von Lipsey bought a French Provincial-style mansion in Massachusetts Avenue Heights for $3.3 million. At almost 6,000 square feet, it has six bedrooms and six baths. Roderick Von Lipsey is a managing director at the financial-services firm UBS.

Real-estate developer Conrad Cafritz sold a Colonial on Garfield Street in Wesley Heights for $3.9 million. The four-bedroom, five-bath house features a 60-foot-long pool and was renovated by award-winning architect Mark McInturff. Cafritz is CEO of Cafritz Interests, which owns 100-plus properties valued at a total of more than $1.2 billion.

In Maryland

Paul Tagliabue and wife Chandler bought a three-bedroom, three-bath condo in Chevy Chase for $2.9 million. The 2,500-square-foot space includes built-in shelving, multiple balconies, and a master bath with a whirlpool tub. Paul Tagliabue was commissioner of the NFL from 1989 to 2006. A graduate of Georgetown University, he’s currently chair of the school’s board of directors.

Built in 1925 and since expanded, this Dutch Colonial in Arlington went for $1.8 million.

In Virginia

Joan Rohlfing and husband Pallav Das bought a five-bedroom, four-bath Dutch Colonial in Arlington for $1.8 million. Built in 1925 and since expanded, it includes a sunroom and a spacious patio. Rohlfing is president and chief operating officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit focused on preventing the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

Steve and Terry Largent sold a Colonial-style townhouse on Randolph Court in Arlington for $1.6 million. The three-bedroom, five-bath home has an elevator, theater room, and large master suite. Steve Largent played 14 seasons as a wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks before serving as a congressman from Oklahoma from 1994 to 2002.

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

This article appears in the September 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 08/26/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Opera star Renée Fleming lands in the Palisades for $1.9 million, and Redskins coach Jay Gruden buys in Leesburg for $2.5 million.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden bought a model house built by Apex Custom Homes. Photograph courtesy of Apex Custom Homes.


Renée Fleming and her husband chose a new Federal-style townhouse with views of the Potomac River. Photograph by David Pipkin.

Opera soprano Renée Fleming and husband Timothy Jessell bought a three-bedroom, five-bath Federal-style townhouse in the Palisades for $1.9 million. Built this year, the home has Potomac River views, a rooftop terrace with a fireplace, and a master bathroom with heated floors and a jetted tub. Fleming became the first classical singer to perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl in February. Jessell is a partner at Greenberg Traurig.

Diane Guglielmino-Terpeluk, widow of Republican fundraiser and former ambassador to Luxembourg Peter Terpeluk, bought a Tudor in Wesley Heights for $2.7 million. The five-bedroom, five-bath home, built in 1932, was renovated in 2009. It features a flagstone terrace and an au pair suite.

Attorney Robert Litowitz bought a contemporary loft-style penthouse on Adams Morgan’s Champlain Street for $1.8 million. The three-bedroom, three-bath condo has soaring ceilings and 1,900 square feet of private terrace. Litowitz is a partner at the intellectual-property law firm Kelly IP.

In Maryland

Financial executive Mark Spindel and wife Kathryn bought a five-bedroom, eight-bath modern house in Glen Echo for $4.1 million. The award-winning home, designed by Robert M. Gurney, overlooks the Potomac River and boasts a saltwater lap pool and a detached guest suite and home office. Mark Spindel is founder and chief executive of the investment-management firm Potomac River Capital.

Construction executive Brian Abt sold a four-bedroom, five-bath Colonial on Rollinmead Drive in Gaithersburg for $1 million. It features a library and sunroom. Abt is division president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic region for Clark Construction.

This Wesley Heights Tudor, with five bedrooms and five baths, sold for $2.7 million. Photograph by David Pipkin.

In Virginia

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and wife Sherry bought a newly built home for $2.5 million at Creighton Farms, a gated golf-course community in Leesburg. The four-bedroom, five-bath French Provincial boasts a wine cellar and a grand walk-in closet/dressing area in the master bedroom. The home comes with access to concierge services and the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. A bonus: Gruden now lives just a few doors away from RG3.

Former congresswoman Margaret Heckler,Secretary of Health and Human Services during the Reagan administration, sold a three-bedroom, three-bath, two-story penthouse condominium on Oak Street in Arlington for $1.7 million. The unit has panoramic views of DC and the monuments and a private elevator.

Attorney L. James D’Agostino and wife Joan sold a six-bedroom, six-bath Colonial on Litton Lane in McLean for $1.7 million. The house has a wood-paneled “clubroom” with built-in bar. D’Agostino is a partner at Greenberg Traurig.

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

This article appears in the August 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 11:43 AM/ET, 07/28/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
What we’d buy with $1.345 million. By Michelle Thomas

Regardless of how you might feel about the recent trend toward splitting old Victorian rowhouses into multiple units, this one—on Riggs Place in Dupont—comes close to sophisticated perfection. Light and airy, with just the right touches of historic detail, this condo is the two-story penthouse in a four-story home that dates to 1916. Lock 7 Development transformed the place into its current iteration, featuring knockout design choices such as dark hardwood floors, elegant moldings and medallions along the walls and ceilings, big picture windows, and a gorgeously intricate (closed-off, but still!) fireplace mantel in the open-layout living area. Off the upstairs bedrooms—there are three—is a two-level private deck overlooking the city skyline. It’s listed at $1.345 million. Take a quick peek below, then go to Lindsay Reishman Real Estate for more (or check it out in person Saturday at the open house).


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Posted at 01:44 PM/ET, 06/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Developer SB-Urban will turn the historic home into luxury micro-unit rentals. By Michelle Thomas
Photograph by Sean Shanahan, courtesy of TTR Sotheby's.

The sale of Dupont Circle’s Patterson Mansion may not have been the quickest deal in Washington real estate—the historic home has been sitting on the market since the spring of 2013—but on Monday the property finally closed at $20 million. That is $6 million under list price, but still makes it Washington’s priciest residential sale since 2011, according to TTR Sotheby’s, who brokered the transaction.

Bethesda-based developer SB-Urban bought the 37,000-square-foot residence. In February, the developer submitted plans to convert the mansion into 90 350-square-foot luxury micro-units, combining the original marble and brick four-story building with a new, seven-story addition.

The property boasts a storied history—originally built in 1901 for Chicago Tribune editor Robert Patterson and his family, in 1927 the mansion was briefly the temporary home to President Calvin Coolidge while the White House underwent renovations. The Washington Club has owned the property since 1951, and it's been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972.

Posted at 11:15 AM/ET, 06/24/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Politico’s Richard Berke settles in the Palisades for $2.4 million. Plus—NBC’s Peter Alexander and Channel 7’s Alison Starling buy in Arlington.
Modern luxury for $2.4 million in DC’s Palisades. Photographs by David Pipkin.


Richard Berke, executive editor of Politico, and husband Martin Barron bought a modern three-bedroom, four-bath house in the Palisades for $2.4 million. The open-concept home features outdoor dining and lounge areas with a fireplace and Brazilian-walnut deck. Berke, a former New York Times political correspondent and senior editor, joined Politico last year.

Lawyer Morgan Hodgson and husband William Lake bought a four-bedroom, six-bath Federal-style rowhouse in Georgetown for $2.9 million. The Civil War-era home has original hardwood floors and a large family area. Hodgson is a partner at Steptoe & Johnson. Lake is media bureau chief at the Federal Communications Commission.

Lawyer Arif Hyder Ali and wife Salma Hasan Ali, a writer, bought a six-bedroom, six-bath Colonial in the Palisades for $2.4 million. The house has a library and music room and a butler’s pantry. Arif Ali is cochair of the international arbitration practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Salma Hasan Ali is a contributing editor at the Islamic Monthly.

Former US Chamber of Commerce senior vice president Arthur Rothkopf and wife Barbara bought a four-bedroom, four-bath condo in Kalorama for $2.2 million. The 2,897-square-foot unit is in a 1917 Beaux Arts building with a rooftop deck. Arthur Rothkopf was a deputy secretary of Transportation during the George H.W. Bush administration. Barbara Rothkopf is on the Washington Ballet’s board of directors.

This Bethesda house—and its six fireplaces—was sold by William Tauscher for $2.1 million.

In Maryland

Business executive William Tauscher sold a seven-bedroom, nine-bath Colonial in Bethesda for $2.1 million. The house has six fireplaces, an au pair suite, and a swimming pool. Tauscher is CEO of Blackhawk Network,which provides prepaid gift-card systems to companies such as Starbucks.

Local entrepreneur Mei Xu bought a six-bedroom, six-bath house in Bethesda for $2 million. The Arts and Crafts home has a library, wet bar, and breakfast room. Xu and husband David Wang cofounded Pacific Trade International.

TV news couple Peter Alexander and Alison Starling chose a Craftsman with five bedrooms and five baths.

In Virginia

Husband-and-wife TV news broadcasters Peter Alexander and Alison Starling bought a five-bedroom, five-bath Craftsman in Arlington for $1.5 million. Built in 2008, the 5,213-square-foot house features a master suite with a walk-in closet and soaking tub. Alexander is a national correspondent for NBC News. Starling is an ABC7 anchor.

Former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and wife Mandy sold a six-bedroom, seven-bath Colonial in Leesburg for $1.1 million. The home is a ten-minute drive from the Skins’ Ashburn facility. Shanahan was fired from the team last year and is now offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.

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

This article appears in the July 2014 of Washingtonian.


Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 06/24/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Redfin reports on the neighborhoods that mark the largest flipping price gains nationwide—and our city counts four of the top ten. By Michelle Thomas
Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

To locals, it’ll come as no surprise that renovating and reselling homes is big business in Washington’s many booming neighborhoods. Now, confirmation: A report released Thursday from the real-estate site Redfin ranked the country’s top ten neighborhoods for price increases due to flipping—and the Washington market counts four of the ten. Which one comes in on top? That would be Petworth, which ranked number one in the country with an average of $312,400 gained per flip. Next up is Brookland, listed at number three with $271,900 per flip, with Fort Totten and Stadium Armory a little further down the list, at numbers six and seven with $233,000 and $230,400 gained, respectively. Other cities with neighborhoods in the top ten include Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Redfin defines a flip as a home that was purchased and sold again within a year—and of course, a pricing increase doesn’t necessarily mean a profit, since improvement costs are often sunk into the home before reselling. 

The report includes a few other interesting tidbits about home flipping in our city: Last year, more than 4,000 area homes were flipped in about 172 days, according to Redfin’s analysis of MLS stats—and with 2013’s average of $104,100 gain per flip (that’s higher than the national average of $90,200), don’t expect it to slow any time soon. This year is already on pace to lap last year’s total.

Head to Redfin to see the full report.

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Posted at 11:53 AM/ET, 06/19/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The elite school is spending $40 million to consolidate all its students in Tenleytown. By Benjamin Freed
Photograph via Facebook.

Georgetown Day School says it has reached agreements to buy two Tenleytown lots currently occupied by Safeway and a car dealership to clear the way for a massive campus expansion. In deals expected to close Thursday, the elite private school will buy the Martens Volvo-Volkswagen dealership and the Safeway store across the street.

The purchase will allow Georgetown Day to finally merge its upper school in Tenleytown with its lower and middle schools, which are on MacArthur Boulevard about four miles from the Tenleytown location.

“We’ve been waiting about 45 years to reunite the campuses,” says Alison Grasheim, a spokeswoman for Georgetown Day.

Actually bringing the schools together will take several years longer, though. Safeway, at 4203 Davenport Street, Northwest, and Martens, at 4800 Wisconsin Avenue, will remain in their locations for at least 10 months under leaseback deals with Georgetown Day.

It could be another five to seven years before all Georgetown Day students attend an expanded Tenleytown campus. The school has not made any decisions on tearing down its new acquisitions or planning its new lower and middle schools. Grasheim says designs for the built-up campus will take Tenleytown residents’ concerns into account. A press release from the school reads that the eventual campus will “be consistent with the beauty and character” of the neighborhood, with an emphasis on green spaces and pedestrian and bicycle access.

Georgetown Day buying the Safeway lot also drastically shifts long-term plans for Tenleytown. The supermarket chain had been considering replacing the 38,000-square foot store with a larger one with a 150-unit apartment complex above.

The school is spending about $40 million to buy the two properties, Grasheim says. That’s a great deal for Safeway and Martens, which have a combined assessment of about $10.2 million, according to DC property tax records.

Posted at 03:10 PM/ET, 06/05/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Redfin tells us all the stats, including how many of those 1-percenters are purchased in all cash. By Michelle Thomas
Georgetown is home to our region’s top tier of expensive homes, and this N Street rowhouse easily makes the cut at $7.98 million. Photograph courtesy of MRIS.

Whether this is good news or bad might depend on your budget: An analysis from Redfin released Tuesday reports that while home sales in general are down from this time last year, there is one sector of the market that’s still on the upswing. In the Washington area, sales for the top 1 percent of the most expensive homes increased 2.4 percent over last year, while the remaining 99 percent of homes fell 8.7 percent.

So what’s that top-tier home gonna cost you? In DC, that means a home of at least $1.64 million, which is 4.7 times the median sale price in our market and sets us right in the middle of the cities Redfin examined—twice as expensive as Raleigh and Atlanta, but less than half as pricey as Los Angeles and San Francisco. The real estate site also conveniently puts things in perspective: In order to own said $1.64 million home, you’d need a suggested income of at least $281,000 a year. Your monthly mortgage? $6,551. Exactly where those homes are located isn’t much of a shocker, if you’ve been reading our luxury homes reports—Georgetown (where the average luxe home costs $2.895 million), Rosslyn, and Kalorama. And then there’s Redfin’s final tidbit: More than 25 percent of buyers paid for their high-end home all in cash.

Want to see the full analysis? Take a look on Redfin’s blog.

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Posted at 12:00 PM/ET, 05/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman sells his Kalorama home for $3.8 million and moves to McLean.
Fans of Bravo’s Top Chef may recognize this DC house, which Jon Huntsman sold for $3.8 million. Photographs by David Pipkin.


Politician Jon Huntsman and wife Mary Kaye sold a five-bedroom, six-bath home in Kalorama for $3.8 million. The house—where Bravo’s Top Chef: Washington D.C. was filmed—has five fireplaces and a two-car garage. Huntsman, who ran for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, is former governor of Utah. The couple recently paid $3.1 million for a Colonial in McLean.

Investment executive Thaddeus Paul bought a Colonial in North Cleveland Park for $2.6 million. The five-bedroom, five-bath house has a yard with terraced gardens and two seating areas. Paul is managing director at the Carlyle Group, the private-equity powerhouse.

Thaddeus Paul of the Carlyle Group paid $2.6 million for this house in North Cleveland Park.

In Maryland

Real-estate executive Colin Dyer and his wife, Anne, bought a three-bedroom, five-bath condominium in Parc Somerset for $5 million. The 4,500-square-foot condo has a library, a master suite with private study, and his-and-hers walk-in closets. Dyer is chief executive officer of Jones Lang LaSalle, a commercial real-estate firm.

Nonprofit executive Eric Adler and wife Suzanne, an endocrinologist, bought a five-bedroom, six-bath Arts and Crafts-style home in Bethesda’s Edgemoor neighborhood for $3.9 million. The nearly 8,000-square-foot house has a home theater and library. Adler is cofounder of the SEED Foundation, which operates urban boarding schools for inner-city kids.

Eric and Suzanne Adler spent $3.9 million on a five-bedroom home in Bethesda.

Lobbyist Peter Roberson and journalist Alexandra Stoddard bought a Colonial on Leland Street in Chevy Chase for $1.8 million. The five-bedroom, five-bath house was featured in Better Homes and Gardens. A former adviser to the House Financial Services Committee, Roberson is a lobbyist for Intercontinental Exchange. Stoddard is associate editor of the Hill newspaper.

The home of the late George Huguely III—a five-bedroom, five-bath Colonial on Armat Drive in Bethesda’s Longwood neighborhood—was sold for $1.3 million. The house has an au pair suite with a separate entrance. Huguely’s grandson George Huguely V is the former University of Virginia lacrosse player convicted in 2012 of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love. The Huguely family has owned a local lumber business since 1912.

In Virginia

Republican heavyweight Frank Carlucci bought a three-bedroom, four-bath condo in the Broadway of Falls Church building for $830,000. Carlucci held sever-al senior government positions throughout his career, including Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan and deputy director of the CIA under Jimmy Carter.

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

This article appears in the June 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 10:46 AM/ET, 05/23/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()