Sometimes you come across a property that’s for sale, and the owner speaks so highly of it that you wonder why he or she is leaving. This story is about one of those.
The Free Lance–Star last visited 425 William St. in 2016, when local developer Mike Adams was completing work on the four-unit condominium also known as Park View, which has the Community Bank of the Chesapeake on the ground floor. Two of the four condo units had already been sold, and one of the two that remained, the one that takes up the entire third floor, was finished only to the point that a new owner could choose flooring, trim, lighting fixtures and kitchen features.
Then along came Bob Stanford, whose company, Zenith Aviation, is based in Fredericksburg, and he was looking for a place to call home. Once he had a look at Unit 301 at Park View, he didn’t need to look any further.
But times and circumstances change, and now he’s looking to leave the condo he’s had a few years to enjoy. He’s listed it with Melanie Thompson and Ben Quann of Century21 Redwood Realty in Fredericksburg. The asking price is $1.6 million.
The condo is listed with about 3,400 square feet of living space on a single level, with three bedrooms, three full bathrooms and a half bath.
But all Stanford wants to talk about is how much he’s enjoyed it.
“With patios on three sides, you can chase the sun,” he said during a tour of the condo earlier this week. “You can enjoy being outside, in sun or shade, any time of day.”
On the one hand, he adds, “You’re high enough to get out of the street noise, but you’re also still a part of everything. We could wave and say hi to people walking by. How many evenings did we spend out here on the patio?” It’s one of those rhetorical questions, the answer being “many.”
On the other hand, Stanford said, “You close these [glass, sliding] doors and you can’t hear anything. You wouldn’t know you had neighbors. I have never heard a noise or a footstep—nothing, ever.”
Being right downtown, close to restaurants and shops is huge: “Everything is a half-block or a block away,” he said. The condo provides yet another fringe benefit—views of Fredericksburg streets and rooftops in every direction.
The building’s design and security help allay any concerns about living downtown. Pull your car into one of the two private garage parking spaces provided for Unit 301, then enter the elevator, and emerge from it in your own foyer without having been in a public space. Stanford said the security allows him to see the UPS guy and let him into the building even if he is traveling outside the country.
Stanford realized at the beginning that he wanted interior design assistance with his new blank-canvas of a condo. He called on local designer Jackie Payne of Allora Interior Designs.
“We went for a contemporary look that doesn’t look like downtown Fredericksburg,” Payne said in a telephone interview. “It has a linear, clean fit and finish—modern and progressive—with no expense spared.”
She loves the custom barn-style sliding doors that were used and the “long and lean” look of the spaces. Getting the lighting right was important to Stanford, so significant time and money was spent on finding unique, high-end fixtures. Indirect lighting is hidden in the tray ceilings and beneath kitchen baseboards. Stanford mentioned during the tour that pretty much every fixture got a dimmer, so the light can always be just right.
The floor plan puts the plentiful square footage to convenient and logical use. At the center of things is the living room with one of the condo’s three contemporary, linear-style fireplaces and a giant ceiling fan that Stanford says silently moves the air just right at very low speed.
Like many rooms, the living room provides sliding-door access to a patio. Also like other rooms, the living room has cable television hook ups and ceiling speakers for the programmable whole-house sound system.
Large and plentiful windows in the living area and elsewhere are equipped with motorized shades to block the sun or provide nighttime privacy. Lightly finished hickory hardwood flooring is used across most of the main living space.
Just off the living room is the galley-style kitchen. Highlights here are are the granite counters, top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances from Wolf, Sub-Zero and Bosch, and contemporary gray cabinetry. There’s a pot-filler faucet over the range, and the backsplash has the look of subway tile. Pendant lighting is just right for over the counter.
The dining area is nearby, though Stanford felt the space better used for his pool table. It also has a unique ceiling lighting fixture—a three-light design that’s height-adjustable using bicycle chains.
The floor plan puts some distance between the bedrooms. The master suite is actually a wing of the condo and has outdoor access to the main patio, or terrace. The bedroom is equipped with a fireplace and wet bar with wine cooler. Stanford has used an adjacent room as his workout space.
Contemporary fixtures are featured in the master bathroom, including rectangular sink, tub and toilet. Porcelain tile covers the floor, which has built-in radiant heat. The glass shower is huge and has multiple sprays.
Two secondary bedrooms are on the other side of the main living area. One has a private bathroom with patio access, while the other shares its bathroom with the living area.
Sandwiched between the kitchen and the secondary bedrooms is a home office that could serve as a spare bedroom in a pinch.
Finally, tucked neatly out of the way at the far end of the foyer, are the powder room and the laundry room, which is equipped with machines, folding counter with sink and a floor made of recycled soft drink bottles.
That spacious main terrace where Stanford said he enjoyed so many evenings has another of the condo’s fireplaces, a stainless steel grill and hood, plus ceiling fans that keep the air moving. All three patios have wire railings to provide unobstructed views.
Stanford notes that the building’s brick construction, with concrete subfloors above and below, keeps heating and cooling costs to a minimum.