Peebles’ Priorities

by Editorial
The wine cellar has a built-in refrigerator; the decorative chandelier creates a focal point in the center of the room.

The wine cellar has a built-in refrigerator; the decorative chandelier creates a focal point in the center of the room.

Family time was a large factor in Katrina and Don’s recent decision to try to spend more time in Washington as their children get older. Katrina loves the accessibility of the city for teenagers, and Don particularly appreciates the family ties they have here, as well as the District’s mid-point proximity to Bridgehampton, N.Y. and Coral Gables, Fla., where the couple also has homes. The family is in a period of transition right now, Don says, and this house may not be right for them at their current juncture. While officially on the market, Don has mixed feelings about selling the house. “A part of me hopes it doesn’t sell,” he confessed “then we can really enjoy it for a few more years.” Unfortunately for Don, this property is a rare find, and even in the face of a general real estate slump, offerings in the highest brackets of the market have continued to sell briskly this year.

Perhaps another, less obvious reason for the Peebles’ love of Northwest Washington is that this is where Don and Katrina met, one afternoon in the fall of 1989, on M Street. As Don describes it, he was driving towards the Key Bridge when he spotted Katrina, who was walking into the salon where he usually had his hair cut. He looked at her, and “she didn’t look away, so we sort of flirted from afar.” Don quickly determined that he needed a hair cut right away, so he changed his plans, and made sure that he and Katrina “bumped into” each other as she was walking out the door of the salon. Their first date was at the Four Seasons that same evening, and they were married a little over a year later. Today, after almost twenty years together and two beautiful children, Don still lights up as he tells the story of their courtship.

Regardless of their precise address, the Peebles plan to be a part of the fabric of Washington, D.C. for a long time. In addition to his current properties, which include the Courtyard by Marriott Convention Center and 10 G Street, NE, Don is hoping to start a hedge fund based in the District, that will invest in small to mid-range real estate developers (as he himself was, once) and allow them to benefit from Peebles Corp.’s access to capital and its institutional relationships. Projects like this are indicative of a new brand of socially responsible investment that Peebles believes in, and practices. “If I can be part of the revitalization of an economically depressed neighborhood, and it’s a sound investment, too, then I think that’s the best of both worlds.”

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