Anyone who’s passed by 1216 Albermarle Road (between Westminster and Argyle Roads) over the past several months can attest to how much better it’s looking now than it looked for a good number of years there–but did you know the house was being built by neighbor Azad Ali, who’s renovated multiple local homes, for the purpose of selling? The New York Times has a fascinating look at the property today, including some background you might not know about the house, as well as Azad’s own success story. Says the Times:
In 2003, a woman had bought what was a modest 1965 cottage at that address, with plans to expand it and create her dream house, a redbrick Colonial McMansion. Many neighbors objected, complaining it would be out of character with surrounding homes, but the Landmarks Preservation Commission assented to the addition. After all, the existing house, while not a 19th-century charmer, had its own historic pedigree of sorts. It was one of three mid-century-style homes built next to one another on a corner lot where a grand Victorian had burned down in the 1950s.
But shortly after construction began, the woman’s contractor absconded with a six-figure deposit, and the project stalled behind decaying plywood fencing. After years of trying to sell it, for as much as $1.9 million in 2007, she was forced by the bank into a short sale. Mr. Ali paid a mere $218,000 in December 2012, though he was essentially buying it just for the land, since he tore down the house.
He then spent much of the next year fighting with the commission about what the house should look like. The commission initially wanted him to hue closer to the redbrick midcentury house, but he fought back.
“I’m trying to restore a vision of what was originally there, not some mistake made 50 years ago,” Mr. Ali said.
While the consensus seems to be that this home is exponentially better than the fenced lot and rotting plywood it replaced, we aren’t the only ones unsure about the price–Azad and Corcoran’s Laura Rozos are now asking $2.975 million for the 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home. That’s $775,000 more than 147 Rugby Road, the most expensive home ever sold in the area, which has 7 beds, 4.5 baths, and lots of original details.
“It still has the look and feel of those homes,” Rozos tells the Times of 1216 as compared to surrounding properties, “but it’s totally modern, which is why we think it commands a premium price.”
And we get it–whether or not they need a central vacuuming system or sidewalks with radiant heat (good news, neighbors who suffered through icy walks to the train this winter!), prospective buyers will know they won’t have all the problems they might encounter with an older home. It will be easier to heat, and it’s not like you’ll have to replace the boiler or electrical right off the bat.
All of this is to say, the house looks beautiful, we’re so glad someone finally did something with it, Azad’s vision turned out beautifully, he deserves his success, and the whole, very entertaining story is worth a read if you haven’t given it one already. Taking all that into account, do the home’s special features make it worth nearly $3 million?