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.
MORE BIG DEALS
CEO-Style Houses and Condos
Longtime banker Robert Pincus paid $3 million for a three-bedroom condo on the Georgetown waterfront. It has two walls of windows and almost 3,000 square feet of terraces.
In Bethesda’s Edgemoor neighborhood, John W. Hechinger Jr.—grandson of Sidney Hechinger, who founded the now-defunct home-improvement chain Hechinger’s—sold a six-bedroom house for $5 million. It sits on an acre and has a pool, a tennis court, seven fireplaces, and a four-car garage.
AIG exec Douglas Steenland spent $3.6 million on a six-bedroom Colonial in DC’s Kent. The house, which originally listed for $5 million, has a pool, pool house, and elevator. Steenland, a member of the insurance giant’s board of directors, was CEO of Northwest Airlines from 2004 until its merger with Delta in 2008.
William Walker paid $6.2 million for a six-bedroom Cleveland Park Victorian with a heated pool, a home theater, and views of National Cathedral. Walker is CEO of Walker & Dunlop, a Bethesda-based commercial real-estate company.
In Lorton, businessman Basim Mansour bought a five-bedroom, seven-bath house for $3.6 million. On five acres by the Potomac River, it has a riverside pool, a theater, and a deepwater boat slip. Mansour is president of the home-repair company Michael & Son Services.
Vijay Taneja sold a seven-bedroom, 11-bath Colonial in Potomac for $5 million. The 21,500-square-foot house was sold in bankruptcy auction. A real-estate investor, mortgage broker, and Bollywood movie producer, Taneja pleaded guilty to a mortgage scam that defrauded banks of some $33 million. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Redskins first-round draft pick Trent Williams bought a four-bedroom, seven-bath home in Ashburn for $2 million. The two-year-old house has a bar, gym, and five-car garage. Teammate Derrick Dockery also moved to Ashburn, into a $1.1-million custom home.
Media Buys—and Sales
BET cofounder Bob Johnson collected $4 million for a six-bedroom Colonial on Audubon Terrace in DC’s Forest Hills. Originally listed for $7 million, the house was on the market more than a year. It has a pool, tennis court, and three-car garage. A few miles away in Georgetown, Channel 7’s Gordon Peterson paid $990,000 for a two-bedroom, 1,500-square-foot condo.
Jordanian princess Aisha Bint Al Hussein bought a five-bedroom condo in Georgetown’s Residences at Harbourside for $4.5 million. The two-level penthouse has two terraces, an au pair suite, and river views.
Michigan congressman Sandy Levin collected $995,000 for a five-bedroom Arts and Crafts–style home in Chevy Chase.
Jennifer LaTourette, wife of Ohio congressman Steven LaTourette, bought a six-bedroom, six-bath Colonial on Corliss Court in McLean for $1.3 million. LaTourette served as her husband’s chief of staff before they were married, then became a lobbyist.
Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel paid $1 million for a four-bedroom Tudor-style townhouse in DC’s Woodley Park. A brother of former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, he is head of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
Emanuel’s boss, NIH chief Francis Collins, paid $1.2 million for a four-bedroom, four-bath house in Chevy Chase. A physician-geneticist, Collins has been head of NIH since August 2009.
This article first appeared in the January 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.