The Penn Quarter home of an Italian deli co-founder, which was listed at $489,000, is under contract to an all-cash buyer. (Photo by Lindsay Hobson)
Selling points included this gourmet kitchen, and free Taylor Gourmet for 5 years

Casey Patten, co-founder of Italian deli Taylor Gourmet, recently received multiple offers for his Penn Quarter condominium. Could it have been the “free hoagies for five years” clause that sealed the deal?

Real estate agent Jay Bauer, with Lindsay Reishman Real Estate, says the one-bedroom, one-bathroom home, which was listed at $489,000, is under contract to an all-cash buyer.

“Casey had us set up hoagies and cookies and a bunch of other food at the open house,” Bauer says. “The buyer had his first hoagie there, but I’m pretty sure he would have bought the place even without the hoagie.”

The seventh-floor condo at 777 Seventh St. NW has a private terrace, expansive windows, hardwood flooring and, as would be expected of a foodie, a chef’s kitchen with high-end Viking stainless-steel appliances, imported subway tiles and rolled steel countertops. In addition to the location in the heart of Penn Quarter’s shops, restaurants and night life, the building offers a fitness center, a business center, party room and a large terrace for residents who don’t have their own.

Bauer says Patten lived on H Street NE when he opened the first Taylor Gourmet, then moved to Penn Quarter. Now that the deli has multiple locations, Patten wants to move to a larger home near U Street.

This resort-style swimming pool is one of the amenities for residents at Harmony Place in Bowie. (J Elberson Photography)
The Facebook effect on housing inventory

Two thousand real estate agents and dozens of real estate brokerage firms have joined a Facebook group to share information on homes before they go on the market.

Frank Llosa, broker/owner of
, started his Facebook forum for “coming soon” homes in June to help his company’s clients find places in spite of the shortage of inventory. The forum exploded, with agents clamoring to join the Northern Virginia, D.C. or Montgomery County groups to share pre-market information. Hundreds of homes have been listed on the site, and at least two pre-multiple-listing-service sales have been completed.

Llosa, who says his goal is to get 10 to 20 percent of all MLS homes listed on the forum first, says the “coming soon” groups are an extension of the “office stand up and announce system.” Traditionally, real estate agents share information about homes they are about to put on the market at office meetings, so that other agents who have buyers who might be interested can get a first chance at the property. The Facebook group reaches agents who work for a variety of real estate companies. Membership in the forum is free and only open to agents.

Llosa purchased the domain name as a gateway to the Facebook page and has added a service for buyers who haven’t found an agent yet, so they can be matched with an agent in the network.

Buyers should ask their agents to join the forum, Llosa says, so they can access to pre-MLS listings. Agents can friend Llosa on Facebook and ask him to add them to a group according to their location. Sellers who want their home marketed before it’s officially listed can ask their agents to promote it on the Facebook page.

“We don’t want this to be a one-way street,” Llosa says. He says that although agents don’t have to put all their listings on the Facebook page, he also doesn’t want agents using the site just to troll for properties for their buyers without sharing any of their listings.

Wheaton office building’s new life as apartments

Architect Bonstra Haresign and contractor Whiting Turner are collaborating to redevelop a five-story office building next to the Wheaton Metro station into a 12-story apartment building.

The building, owned by Lowe Enterprises, is being designed to appeal to professionals who want quick access to downtown Washington and neighboring Silver Spring. It is one block from the Westfield Wheaton mall and is part of an area earmarked for more restaurants and shops.

The 194-unit building, anticipated to be complete in 2014, will have 48 studios, 136 one-bedroom apartments and 10 two-bedroom apartments.

Units will have 91 / 2-foot-high ceilings, wood floors, quartz kitchen countertops, stainless-steel appliances, walk-in closets and washer-dryer combos. The top floor of the building will be a community space and include a fitness center, clubroom, business center, and patio with a grill and fire pit.

Bowie complex aims to meet demand for luxury

Luxurious apartments with amenities such as resort-style swimming pools and entertainment spaces might be common along 14th Street in Northwest Washington, but they’re hard to find east of the Beltway near Bowie.

Questar Properties says it designed the new Harmony Place to meet the demand for upscale rentals in the Prince George’s County community. The development is at Bowie Town Center, within walking distance of shops and restaurants.

The apartment complex includes a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse with a movie theater, a game room, a library, a resort-style swimming pool with cabanas, a fitness center, an aerobics and yoga studio, and a business center.

Some residents are already moving into their apartments, which feature walk-in closets, smartphone-compatible security systems, granite countertops, bamboo flooring, stainless-steel appliances, and full-size washers and dryers. The homes have sound-matted flooring and high-quality windows for a quieter environment.

The one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments range in price from $1,650 to $2,530 per month.

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Michele Lerner

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