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.
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.
Politician and actor Fred Thompson and wife Jeri sold a seven-bedroom, six-bath Colonial in McLean for $3.1 million to politician and businessman Jon Huntsman and his wife, Mary Kaye. The house has five fireplaces, a pool, a gazebo, and a four-car garage. A former Republican senator from Tennessee, Thompson played Manhattan district attorney Arthur Branch on NBC’s Law & Order. Huntsman, who ran for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, is former governor of Utah.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Ken deLaski sold a six-bedroom, six-bath Colonial on Interpromontory Road in Great Falls for $2.5 million. The house, on five acres, has a horse stable and a pool. DeLaski cofounded Deltek, a company that makes software for government contractors, in 1983 with his father. He now lives in Portland and is involved in several foundations and nonprofits.
Financial planner Stephan Cassaday sold a six-bedroom, six-bath Colonial on Seneca Knoll Court in Great Falls for $1.6 million. The house has a two-story foyer and a heated pool. He is president of Cassaday & Company, a wealth-management firm in McLean.
Nonprofit consultant S. Ross Hechinger and wife Susan downsized, selling an eight-bedroom, six-bath Georgian-style home in Spring Valley for $2.9 million; it has a heated swimming pool and pool house. They also bought a three-bedroom, four-bath condominium in 22 West, a luxury building in DC’s West End, for $3.3 million. The 3,000-square-foot condo has floor-to-ceiling windows and a $3,200 monthly fee. Grandson of the late businessman Sidney Hechinger—who founded a longtime chain of local hardware stores bearing his name—S. Ross Hechinger is chairman of the board of the National Children’s Museum at National Harbor.
Senator Claire McCaskill and husband Joseph Shepard, a businessman from St. Louis, bought a unit in the new CityCenterDC development for $2.7 million. The high-end building has 216 units—and McCaskill’s was the most expensive sold yet when she bought it in early February. A Democrat, McCaskill is the senior senator from Missouri.
Hospital executive Richard Umbdenstock sold a house on Laverock Place in the Palisades for $1.8 million. The four-bedroom, four-bath home has Potomac River views. Umbdenstock is head of the American Hospital Association.
Lawyer Robert W. Pommer III bought a home in Chevy Chase Village for $1.9 million. Pommer is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, where he works as part of the government and internal-investigations practice group.
Some sales information provided by American City Business Leads and Diana Hart of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.
This article appears in the May 2014 issue of Washingtonian.
More than 2,500 homes sold for more than $1 million in 2013, with some of the biggest deals happening in Georgetown. For a rundown of home sales, see the slideshow. Below, a look at the top condo sales.
Henry and Carol Goldberg bought a four-bedroom penthouse in the Parc Somerset on Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase for just under $8 million—believed to be the highest price paid for a condominium in Washington. The unit has more than 9,000 square feet of space, including a massive balcony and a marble foyer. Henry Goldberg is chairman of the commercial real-estate company Artery Capital Group.
Alma Brown—widow of former Democratic National Committee chairman and Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and a onetime executive at Chevy Chase Bank—sold in the same building. Her two-bedroom, three-bath condo went for $2.5 million.
Rosslyn’s Turnberry Tower also draws big names. Conservative heavyweight C. Boyden Gray and former sister-in-law Deecy Gray bought, as co-trustees, a three-bedroom condo in the building for $3.6 million. A founding partner of the law firm named for him, C. Boyden Gray was White House counsel to George H.W. Bush. Deecy Gray—who is married to Douglas Ginsburg, former chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit—is the widow of Burton Gray, Boyden’s brother. They’ll be neighbors with Marvin Bush—son of George H.W. Bush and brother of George W. Bush—who bought for $3.8 million.
Perhaps the biggest stir surrounding a condo purchase happened when liberal economics blogger Matthew Yglesias—who once tweeted that home ownership is a myth—paid $1.2 million for a condo near Logan Circle. In a converted Victorian rowhouse, it has exposed-brick walls and a patio. “Sounds like just the place to relax and unwind after a busy day of dismantling capitalism,” the Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher wrote.
Some sales information provided by American City Business Leads and Diana Hart of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.
This article appears in the January 2014 issue of Washingtonian.
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.”
The Georgetown home that former International Monetary Fund Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife, Anne Sinclair, own will soon go on the market. Photo by Erik Uecke
The home that disgraced former IMF head Dominque Strauss-Kahn and his wife, Anne Sinclair, own in Georgetown has been listed with Washington Fine Properties and is expected to officially go on the market within the next two weeks, according to Dana Landry, principal broker at Washington Fine Properties. Strauss-Kahn and Sinclair bought the home—located at 2613 Dumbarton Street, Northwest—in 2007 for $4 million. At the time, the listing described the three-bedroom, four-bath house as an “extraordinary and complete renovation of an East Village Federal.” It said the home had a library and “multiple sets of French doors that open to a huge backyard.” Built in 1900, the red-brick home is currently assessed for $3.8 million.
When questioned about the cost of maintaining one of his yachts, J.P. Morgan replied, “If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it.” But if you’re curious to know what $15.5 million will buy you, look at 1824 R Street, Northwest, a 10,000-square-foot mansion with 8 bedrooms, 13 fireplaces, Toto toilets in all 11 full baths, and a hydraulic elevator.
If the property, on the market since November, sells for close to its asking price, it will be the highest sale since Steve Case’s former home at 1714 Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest, which the AOL cofounder sold to the government of Trinidad and Tobago for $12 million in 2009; it had listed for $14.9 million.
The R Street mansion was once the home of DC’s highest-paid female public-company CEO, Martine Rothblatt—who reportedly made $17.6 million in 2009 as founder of United Therapeutics and Sirius Satellite Radio—and her wife, Bina Aspen Rothblatt, whom Martine Rothblatt immortalized in Bina48, a robotic avatar capable of interactive conversation. Previously, the home belonged to the Embassy of Singapore.
See More: A photo tour of this week's top home sale.
Address: 2123 California Street, Northwest, Apartment D9.
Listing price: $725,000.
Contract price: $725,000.
Seller’s agent: Ellen Sandler.
Square feet: 1,160.
Sale date: March 21, 2011.
Features: Built-in glass-fronted wine rack, wine cooler, and espresso maker in the kitchen; built-in book cabinets in the second bedroom; built-in storage in the master bathroom; free laundry on every floor of the building; parking spot comes with the unit; building has a roof deck.
When Amy and Justin Kim were ready to buy their first home, they came up with a list of what they wanted: a two-bedroom close to the Metro with a back yard for Twiggy, their chihuahua. Their price target of about $500,000 led them to Del Ray.
Bounded by Braddock Road, Route 1, Glebe Road, and Russell Road, Del Ray started out 100 years ago as a community of railroad workers from nearby Potomac Yard—then one of the biggest railroad yards on the East Coast. Today Del Ray is an artsy enclave of working professionals drawn by proximity to the Metro and Old Town; affordable, charming homes; and the sense of community.
The overall real-estate market might have remained slow, but Washington’s rich and famous kept right on buying. Among the big names making big deals were television celebrities, athletes, lobbyists, and politicians. The sales ranged from penthouse condos with Potomac River views to an $8.2-million mansion on more than an acre near DC’s Embassy Row. See our slideshow featuring some of the year’s biggest deals, then read on for more.