“I had rather be on my farm than emperor of the world.” — George Washington
2021 is the year real estate is breaking records everywhere. This property, known as the River View estate, which formerly belonged to George Washington, closed last week for $48 million, the highest price ever recorded across Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Another $2 million was paid for personal property. Mansion Global was the first to report the sale. Originally listed about a year ago asking $60 million, the 16.5-acre property in Alexandria, Virginia, boasts a huge house with gorgeous river views, 400 feet of frontage on the Potomac, and a private dock. Heather Corey of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty had the listing.
Washington purchased the 1,800-acre River Farm in 1760 for £1,210, about $339,000 today. It was one of the five farms, including Mount Vernon, that Washington owned in northern Virginia. Washington never actually lived on or worked the land himself. Instead, he rented it as a tobacco farm. He later gave its lease as a wedding present to Tobias Lear whose bride, Fanny Bassett, was Martha Washington’s niece, and in his will, Washington gifted the couple the farm. River Farm remained in the Washington family for nearly a hundred years, until 1859, and much of the land that once comprised the farm is today owned by the American Horticultural Society, Nowadays, of course, just the 16.5-acre piece of land that just sold, once part of River Farm, is worth a tad more than $339,000.
Jerry Halpin, an early developer of Tysons Corner, Va., and one of the most prolific developers in the D.C. area, purchased the place in 1962, making him just the third owner. Built in 1914 of concrete, because the owner was afraid of fires, the main house then measured about 6,000 square feet.
Robert Stevens, former chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, and his wife, Michelle, became the next owners of the estate in 2014 when they bought it for $18.6 million. They demolished the 1914 concrete house and replaced it with a 16,000-foot Federal-style mansion that contains seven bedrooms and ten bathrooms.
Designed by Bethesda-based architect Jim Rill, the historic-minded home’s amenities include a windowed rotunda with river views, a paneled library, a game room with a full bar, and a home gym replete with an indoor pool and spa. There’s also a three-bedroom guest house and a carriage house with a studio apartment.
The space might fall a bit short for an emperor of the world, but we’re sure Washington would be pleased to call it home.