Residentially speaking, Potomac stands for two-acre lots - ranging from $60,000 to $95,000 - and big houses, which now start at about $225,000. House prices of $300,000 are no longer making eyes pop in the area north of Potomac Village.
More thn a dozen builders and land developers are at work in the unsewered, well-watered area of western Montgomery County keyed to River, Travilah and South Glen and Piney Meetinghouse roads.
More than a hundred large houses are built and sold a year in that area. The builder usually complete five to 10 houses a year.
Since the Crowell-Baker building and development firm pioneered with the Riverwood community early in this decade, developers have been moving further and further out River Road.
William Crowell says that Potomac is "growing outward toward Darnestown and Rte. 28. And Darnestown, (near where W.C. and A.N. Miller, among other building firms, is building traditional houses on large lots) is growing toward Potomac."
Active Potomac builders in recent years have included C.W. (Bud) Gosnell, who now is building a new solar-heat-assisted house for his own family in his Beallmont community, and Robert Blitz, Cowan and Hodgkin, Schwartz & Co., Rocky Gorge Development Co., Brendan O'Neill, Witte & Cohen, Julius Bogdan, D. Jay Hyman, Steven Kokes and others.
This year two new faces appeared on the upper Potomac building scene. Rodge Guthrie, 35, and David White, 28, who now do business as Design-Tech Builders Inc., out of Montgomery Village, carved out 11 lots on two culde sacs on a 35-acre site between Essworth and Travilah roads, just east of River Road. They formerly built near Laytonsville.
Their new "collection" houses were designed by architect Al Clapp with a blending of American and European styling on exteriors. There are skylights, soaring fireplaces and even "cinema rooms" for entertaining on Redskin Sundays and other red-letter TV events.
Joan del Castillo and Stel Gibson of Panormama Real Estate said they already have buyers for five of the houses. On secluded contemporary built by Design-Tech off South Glen Road recently sold for $315,000. It has step-down rooms, planter boxes near stairways and old English trim inside the modern facade. It also has an entrance driveway somewhat tight for a big car to turn around.
There will be more than ample turn-around space in the football-field long, in-and-out driveway being completed in front of the $1-million, Mediterranean-style village custom of dwelling for Dr. Laszlo Tauber, surgeon and real estate developer, and his wife. The most impressive new dwelling in Potomac, it is located on 36 acres fronting on Kentsdale Drive east of Potomac village. (Tauber is principal owner of Jefferson Memorial Hospital and was the developer of Westwood Shopping Center, the Parklawn Building and other buildings, many of them leased by the federal government.)
Even the village itself is evidence of the new Potomac. One new shopping center to the west has joined several others developed in the past decade.Land broker Harry Semmes and his brother David have a brick office building scheduled for September completion next to an old, semi-Victorian residence in which the Happy Pickle restaurant once operated.
Maryland National Bank is gussying up the house on the northwest corner of Falls and River roads and plans to call it the Happy Pickle branch.
Out River Road the pole field at Travilah is scheduled to be subdivided into estate lots, as are more riverfront farms west and south of River Road. The historic, 220-acre Heurich farm, between River Road and the Potomac River, was one of those recently reported sold to a developer. CAPTION: Picture, Surgeon and real estate developer Laszlo Tauber and his wife are building this $1 million house in Potomac; By Gerald Martineau - The Washington Post