Mark and Donna Gaver are raffling off one of their houses to raise money for their alma mater, Middletown High School. (Chris Crummitt Picture Perfect)
$475,000 Frederick County home can be yours for a Benjamin

Here’s your chance to snag a four-bedroom, 31 / 2 bathroom house valued at $475,000 for $100.

Mark Gaver, owner of GTI Federal, an IT contractor for the U.S. government, and his wife, Donna, are using their 3,224-square-foot house in Middletown as a fundraiser for their alma mater, Middletown High School in Frederick County.

The couple credit their experiences at the school for their personal and financial achievements. Mark Gaver, Class of 1979, was a football player at the school. Donna Gaver, who graduated in 1980, was a cheerleader.

The Gavers, who split their time between Middletown and Bonita Springs, Fla., decided to raffle the house to raise money for the Middletown High stadium, which is in dire need of repair.

Their brick-front house, which is occupied by a tenant, has a first-floor library, lower-level office, two-story foyer with hardwood flooring, an eat-in kitchen and a master suite with a luxury bath. It sits on nearly an acre.

“The winner of the raffle can sell the house, donate it to another cause or rent it out,” says Amy Benton, project manager for the Middletown Dream Home Raffle.

The Middletown High School Sports Club hopes to sell 15,000 tickets for $100 each. The raffle will be held June 13 at the Hollow Creek Golf Club in Middletown. Benton says at least 6,000 tickets must be sold before the drawing will go through. For a chance to win, call 301-371-3502 or go to .

At last, victory for the Victoria condominium site

After more than five years of courtroom battles, the concrete slab at 1443 Chapin St. NW in Columbia Heights will finally become the luxury condominium community the developer envisioned.

Steve Schwat, a principal of Urban Investment Partners (UIP) in the District, bought the land with an acquisition and construction loan in 2005 from a bank that was later acquired by PNC Bank. The two-year loan had two six-month extensions built in, which could be used as long as the loan was current. In 2008, PNC claimed that Schwat and UIP improperly filed a request for a loan extension and stopped funding the loan.

Although a Maryland court found that the extension was valid and ruled in favor of Schwat, PNC appealed the decision. After years of delay, PNC and Schwat went into mediation at the end of 2012 and settled the matter.

Schwat says he regrets the time and money spent on the litigation but adds,“On the positive side, we’ll be delivering the building in a strong market.”

The building, called the Victoria, will have four floors with four units per floor. An elevator will reach all the levels, as well as an underground parking area for nine cars. Sales will start within the next month or two, and residents will move in about March.

“The top four units each have a roof deck, eight other homes have balconies, two have patios,” Schwat says. “They all have big windows, and you can see all the way downtown because this is on a hill.”

The building will have one- and two-bedroom homes priced from the low $400,000s to the upper $600,000s. The homes will range from 627 to 1,354 square feet and will feature hardwood flooring, Quartz kitchen countertops, deep soaking bathtubs, 91 / 2-foot-high ceilings and large kitchen islands.


Median days on market for homes for sale in the Washington metro region in April, the lowest of any month since the peak of the housing boom in 2005, according to RealEstate Business Intelligence.

Curtain to rise on Ontario Theatre plan

The old Ontario Theatre at 17th Street and Columbia Road NW in Adams Morgan will be razed, but parts of the structure will live on.

Those elements will be incorporated into a mixed-use development on the site. The Peterson Cos. , one of the region’s largest privately owned real estate development companies, plans to build 80 condominium units and 9,000 square feet of retail space.

The Eisen Group is designing the development, which will have studios, one- and two-bedroom homes with hardwood floors, private balconies, walk-in closets, granite kitchen countertops and underground parking for 35 cars.

“We think these will appeal to young professionals who are looking for a small, low-maintenance home with low condo fees,” says Stuart Prince, senior vice president, residential, at Peterson. “Our smaller units will sell from the upper $200,000s to the low $300,000s, and then the larger units will likely be priced in the $600,000s to the low $700,000s.”

The building will have a private roof deck. Prince says demolition has started, and construction will begin in the fall. Sales will begin early in 2014, and the building should be complete in spring 2015.

— Michele Lerner

Lerner is a freelance writer. To pass on a tip or news item, contact us at and put “Town Square” in the subject line.