Press

Taking luxury condos to another level

WASHINGTON POST by Michele Lerner (freelance writer)

  The clubhouse also will have a gathering room and a full bar.   (  Benjamin C. Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

The clubhouse also will have a gathering room and a full bar. (Benjamin C. Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Kenneth Greenberg eagerly anticipates moving late this year into his condominium unit at Quarry Springs, a gated community in Bethesda, Md., that will feature large homes, terraced rock retaining walls, extensive gardens and a level of luxury well beyond the norm for the Washington area.

Greenberg, whose family has been in the construction and development business since the 1930s, says he studied the plans for Quarry Springs and was impressed by what he saw. “I think Bill Rickman is a genius to have put together this project,” says Greenberg, one of the first people to place a deposit on a home there.

William Rickman, a commercial builder and racetrack owner who died in 2005, came up with the idea for an upscale condo community on the site of the former Stoneyhurst Quarry. He hired architect Robert M. Swedroe to design the 13-acre development.

Swedroe, known for high-end condos in Miami, designed Quarry Springs with a direct-access elevator for each unit, leading from the garage into the unit’s private foyer. In addition, the units feature sightlines that will allow residents and guests to see from the foyer to the opposite end of the unit for sunrise and sunset views.

“The construction of these condos is excellent, with cinder-block walls and 10-foot-high ceilings so you won’t ever hear the neighbors,” Greenberg says. “I also like the pie-shaped design of my home so it isn’t just a boring box.”

Waterfall sounds: Greenberg’s home-to-be has a terrace overlooking River Road and the trees across the road. A second terrace, on the opposite side, will overlook a garden, a waterfall and a swimming pool.

The waterfall will provide a gentle sound of rushing water audible in every unit in the community, says Christine Basso, a real estate agent with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

  The kitchens include a Wolf gas range, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a wine preservation unit. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

The kitchens include a Wolf gas range, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a wine preservation unit. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

John Fitzgerald, managing director for development with 1788 Holdings, the company that bought the property from William Rickman’s son, says some elements of the design were changed.

Fitzgerald says the redesign added 50 percent more closet space to each home, including walk-in closets in every bedroom and large linen closets.

Jeff Akseizer, owner of Akseizer Design Group, consulted on the interior design of the units, each of which has a grand vestibule to separate the master wing from guest bedroom suites and to provide gallery space for displaying art.

Akseizer picked the light fixtures, the Waterworks plumbing fixtures in the kitchen and baths, the Carrera marble counters and the transitional-style white kitchen cabinets. The kitchens include a Wolf gas range, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a wine preservation unit. All the bathrooms have Carrera marble sinks, tub and shower surrounds and floors.

“We expected our buyers to come mostly from people in Potomac who wanted to downsize, and while most of our buyers are empty nesters so far, we’ve found some of them coming from downtown D.C. and Bethesda looking for more living space than the usual condo,” Fitzgerald says.

The units have from 2,235 to 4,455 square feet and come with 200 to 2,172 square feet of outdoor living space.

Plenty of closet space: The Georgetown model, which has three bedrooms, three bathrooms and 3,249 square feet, is priced from $2,899,000 to $3,299,000, with a monthly condo fee of $2,310. This type of unit comes with 637 to 1,906 square feet of outdoor living space, depending on location.

  All the bathrooms have Carrera marble sinks, tub and shower surrounds and floors. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

All the bathrooms have Carrera marble sinks, tub and shower surrounds and floors. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

The living room has a gas fireplace and walls with oversize windows and oversize sliding glass doors leading to one of the unit’s two terraces. On the opposite side of the foyer is the open kitchen and the family room, which has space that can be used for casual dining. A wall of sliding glass doors leads to a second terrace.

The master suite has a vestibule entrance, where there are closets and a door to the master bathroom, which has a double-sink vanity, a soaking tub and a shower with three shower heads and a marble seat. The bedroom has a sliding glass door to a terrace.

Swimming, yoga studio and library: A swimming pool will be the centerpiece of the grounds, whose design includes gardens, lawns and trails. The clubhouse will have a library, a gathering room, a full bar, a game room and a catering kitchen. The fitness center will have a yoga studio, steam showers and saunas. Valet parking is available for residents and guests, and the gated community will have 24-hour security.

What’s nearby: Greenberg says one of the many features that attracted him to Quarry Springs is the location. It feels as if it’s in the country, but it is only about 10 minutes from downtown Bethesda and Tysons Corner and about 20 minutes from downtown Washington. Quarry Springs is also near the Congressional, Bethesda and Burning Tree country clubs, the C&O Canal National Historical Park and the Cabin John Trail.

Schools: Seven Locks Elementary, Cabin John Middle and Winston Churchill High.

Transit: Residents can use Ride-On bus service to reach Bethesda, Rockville and Friendship Heights, all of which have stations on Metrorail’s Red Line.