All the inside buzz from 2010’s first real estate deals.
By Stacey Grazier Pfarr
VICKI BUYS: Although Victoria Reggie Kennedy hasn’t yet sold 2416 TRACY PLACE NW (the 8,900-square-foot, seven-bedroom house she purchased with her husband, the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, in 1998), but she bought 2128 WYOMING AVENUE NW in Kalorama for $1,650,000 with the help of Jim Bell of Jim Bell Real Estate. The three-bedroom Federal style townhouse, built in 1959, was once the residence of socialite Charles Cudlip, who also resides in Newport, R.I.
KALORAMA RECORD: Last month we wrote that former Defense Secretary and World Bank President Robert S. McNamara’s former home at 2412 TRACY PLACE NW held the record for the highest selling price in Kalorama at $6.1 million, but in fact, 2401 KALORAMA ROAD NW (listed by Ginny Chew of Washington Fine Properties) secured the title in February, 2008, when it fetched $7,165,000. Now there is a pending contract for 2340 KALORAMA ROAD NW that was listed for $8.975,000. This property was set to go to settlement on Jan. 29, 2010, and if it did, it will hold the new record for the highest sale in Kalorama.
COLOSSAL CONDO: The Wesley Heights penthouse apartment of the late Melvin and Estelle Gelman, 4201 CATHEDRAL AVENUE NW #1215 in The Towers, is for sale for $4.3 million. Mr. and Mrs. Gelman, who died in 1978 and 2009 respectively, owned and operated the Gelman Construction Company which built more than 2,000 houses in the Maryland suburbs and 12 apartment complexes in the Washington, D.C. area. On the market for the first time since they built The Towers in 1960, the condominium occupies a whopping 9,400 square feet and is said to be the largest apartment in Washington. The unit boasts a drawing room with a soaring 16-foot ceiling, a two-story grand entry foyer, and a media room draped from top to bottom in green velvet alpaca. The property is listed by Washington Fine Properties’ William F. X. Moody and Robert Hryniewicki.
GEORGETOWN GEM: Rick Rickertsen has listed the historic Laird-Dunlop Coach House at 1214 30TH street NW for $11.5 million. Once part of the larger Laird-Dunlop House property next door at 3014 N Street NW (the former home of Robert Todd Lincoln, Rep. Peter H.B. Frelinghuysen, Smith and Vicki Bagley, and currently the residence of Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn), the site includes a 1799 tobacco smokehouse (now a pool pavilion) and one of the largest and oldest oak trees in Georgetown. In the late 1940s, the original Laird-Dunlop grounds were subdivided when the owner, Mrs. Arthur Woods, a granddaughter of financier J. Pierpont Morgan, sold the N Street mansion and moved to the Coach House, adding a ballroom, or music room, that opened onto the large garden. More recently, Mr. Rickertsen added additional garden space after purchasing adjacent land from Mr. Bradlee and Ms. Quinn. The Coach House was, for 22 years, previously the home of Arnold Sagalyn, a former Treasury Department and Interpol official, and his wife, Louise.
NOT-SO-LUCKY SEVENS: Tom and Randall Phillips didn’t have much luck when they listed their Eaglecrest Compound in McLean (1015 Basil Road) for $17,777,777 last fall. They just dropped the price by nearly 40 percent to $10,995,000. The 16,000-square-foot Georgian Colonial broke records back in 2005 when it was sold for $9,895,000—the highest price ever paid for non-waterfront property in Northern Virginia. Mr. Phillips is currently the chairman of Eagle Publishing, Inc. and the Conservative Campaign Fund.