A Ginter Park mansion built for a granite magnate and on the market for more than a year was among the five priciest home sales in the Richmond area last month.
While the early November sales of the 10,000-square-foot Windemere mansion and the 40-acre Walnut Hill estate in Rockville snagged the month’s top and third spots, at $3.5 million and $1.49 million respectively, the century-old Gresham House at 3501 Seminary Ave. rounded out the top five as the fifth-highest sale at $1.3 million.
The 8,000-square-foot, stone-construction house, which bookends the avenue just north of Union Presbyterian Seminary, was listed in May 2015 at $1.49 million. It was relisted twice before it sold Nov. 10 below its original asking price.
Robb Moss of Long & Foster | Christie’s International Real Estate had the listing and also represented the buyers, listed in city property records as John and Jacqueline Naparlo. He said one of the relistings was prompted by his move to Long & Foster from The Steele Group | Sotheby’s International Realty, which he was with when he listed the property last year.
Moss said the other re-listing was due to a personal issue involving the sellers, Kevin Dodson and Rebecca Wright-Dodson, who purchased the 1.4-acre property in 2003 for $799,000.
Moss said he expected the house to go to an out-of-town buyer and was surprised that it sold to the Naparlos, who are local and approached Moss specifically for the listing.
John Naparlo is a Burger King franchisee with Williamsburg-based N&R Dining and MHF Dining, which operate 15 restaurants in Virginia and North Carolina, according to his LinkedIn page. Jackie Naparlo is a booking and marketing director with SMG Worldwide Entertainment.
“We had several people with other representation that were interested at the time, too,” Moss said. “We thought for a little while we might get multiple offers, but (the Naparlos) moved ahead quickly and had no contingencies, so the sellers went with it.
“I just think it was a matter of finding the right buyer for that house. It’s over 8,000 square feet, just the house alone, and a lot of people who looked at it thought it was just too much house for them. That’s what I heard a lot.”
Built in 1906 for granite magnate Thomas Gresham, the six-bedroom, 4½-bathroom house features four two-story monolithic columns in the front, oversized windows, and 14 rooms across three stories. While granite and stonework dominate the exterior, the interior features hardwood floors and accents, a grand wooden staircase that snakes up three floors, six fireplaces, two parlors, a library, a conservatory and a third-floor billiards room.
Moss said the home’s original details and large yard were what appealed most to the Naparlos. The home and a detached carriage house, converted into apartments, had previously been owned by the seminary, which used the carriage house for student housing before it sold the property in 2002.
“The house really had not had anyone that had gone in and made a lot of changes from the original structure,” Moss said. “It had the original moldings that had never been painted, which is so rare for a house that was built over 100 years ago.”
The house forms a sort of granite-sided gateway to Seminary Avenue with the similarly constructed Paschall House across the street – built for Lee Paschall, who co-owned Wise Granite and Construction Co. with Gresham. Both houses were designed by noted architect D. Wiley Anderson and were intended to showcase the granite company’s capabilities.
A city assessment valued the property at $1.19 million, an increase from its valuation at listing of just over $1.1 million.
Moss said his transition earlier this year from a Sotheby’s to a Christie’s affiliate didn’t affect the sale. He said Long & Foster recruited him with an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“Moving from Sotheby’s to Christie’s is pretty equal, as far as the tools that you have from a real estate sales standpoint. With both, you can advertise internationally,” he said. “I don’t think that really had an effect on it. It’s just all about the timing.”
While Gresham House joined Windemere and Walnut Hill as a top-five seller, two more homes sold last month with higher purchase prices, according to the Central Virginia Regional Multiple Listing Service. A home in Manakin-Sabot, at 702 Old Stream Road in Kinloch, was the second-highest sale at $1.89 million. 500 Sandalwood Drive in Tuckahoe South in Henrico came in fourth at $1.43 million.
Meanwhile, the buyer of Walnut Hill recently listed his Riverside Drive home for $1.75 million. The home was listed as pending within a week.