Builders don’t often construct $14 million homes without a buyer in mind, but Mike Mafi of the Building Group has. After controversy scuttled his attempt to build Le Chateau de Lumiere in one Great Falls neighborhood, Mafi found another Great Falls enclave in which to erect the mansion.
Now the McLean-based builder is looking for a buyer. Perhaps a member of Trump’s affluent coterie, someone who is moving to the Washington area to be part of the new administration, will snap up this homage to Versailles in the Northern Virginia suburbs.
Back in 2012, Mafi intended to build the great house for health-care entrepreneur Young Yi in the Hidden Springs community. Neighbors objected to the size of the 25,424-square-foot manor and the removal of trees on the property. Former Gannett executive Craig Dubow and his wife, Denise, sued, claiming the mansion would decrease property values and compromise the woodsy feel of the neighborhood.
After the lawsuit was settled and Yi chose to go in another direction, Mafi began scouting for another location to build the mansion, which he named Le Chateau de Lumiere because of the light that glows inside and outside the home. He found a 5.6-acre lot off Georgetown Pike where he has constructed a scaled-down version of the original.
Architect James McDonald designed the home under Mafi’s guidance. The builder was inspired not only by French chateaux but also America’s palatial estates.
“All those mansions in Rhode Island played a major factor in the design,” Mafi said.
Although the square footage was reduced to 24,000, the home doesn’t feel downsized. Set on a slight rise behind a gated entrance, the sprawling manor exudes sheltered luxury.
“Privacy was the main thing,” Mafi said.
The ornate gold-leaf, hand-forged-iron and glass entry doors open to an opulent entry hall. Mosaic medallions crafted from Italian stone grace the floors. Stately Corinthian columns encircle the soaring rotunda modeled after the one in the Library of Congress’s Jefferson Building. The rotunda was nearly Mafi’s undoing. It took eight months to complete the gilded plaster rosettes.
“I don’t think I’ll do this again,” he said.
The interior design was by Mafi’s wife, Mandy. The main level includes formal living and dining rooms, a glittering ballroom, a mahogany-paneled home office, a sumptuous family room and two expansive kitchens, a main kitchen with a catering kitchen next to it.
The home has three master suites, one on each floor. The second-floor master suite is 3,500 square feet, with a sitting area, his and her closets, a wraparound balcony and 16 chandeliers.
The lower level has 11-foot ceilings, a home theater with a 200-inch screen, a card room, a wet bar, a basketball court, a workout room with a water feature, a massage room, a steam shower and a sauna.
Besides the three staircases, an elevator runs to all three levels. There are eight fireplaces and two garages that fit six cars.
The pool cabana embellished with more Corinthian columns and archways is ideal for outdoor entertaining. A wood-burning fireplace warms the space. Fire bowls surround the swimming pool. A stone path leads to a gazebo.
Le Chateau de Lumiere received Home of the Year at the Great American Living Awards this year. It also was honored twice more by GALA.
The eight-bedroom, 13-bathroom home is on the market for $14 million.
Listing agent: Sepideh Farivar, Keller Williams Realty
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