- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 22, 2003

A lavish penthouse of 3,800 square feet tops the amenity-filled Promenade high-rise in Bethesda. More than 20 acres of mature trees and manicured lawns surround the Promenade’s two towers, located on Pooks Hill Road.

The Promenade has an impressive, luxurious lobby entrance. It’s a smooth elevator ride to the 18th floor, where mahogany-stained double doors at the end of the hall highlight the foyer entrance. A closer look reveals marble flooring and a concealed package drop in a lighted alcove. The doorway has been prewired for telephone, intercom and video.

Beyond the doors of the $1,495,000 residence, the interior comes alive with an arched ceiling foyer flanked on both sides by floor-to-ceiling waterfalls of Volga blue granite and an inlaid floor of white marble with Indian black granite.

The owner combined several units and renovated them two years ago to create this sumptuous penthouse. He was very particular about the type of materials used and went on a scavenger hunt, of sorts, to find the rare imported granite for the waterfall.

Between the two waterfalls is a view of the living room’s five-sided curved glass window, which presents a striking scene. The owner says the nighttime view is just as impressive as the daytime view.

Custom glazed walls and a gas fireplace set into a wall of white marble add drama to this large, carpeted living room, where guests can choose to linger by the fire or take in the panorama. Bright windows line the back walls throughout the unit, attesting to the owner’s quest to take advantage of the view in every room.

An artist designed the custom crystal double doors in the living room that open into the banquet-sized dining room, which has a cream marble floor with inlaid granite border and recessed lights. While the large windows offer plenty of natural sunlight, a designer light fixture provides additional brightness.

After dinner, guests can walk through a doorway leading to one of two sunrooms in the unit to access the balcony.

A doorway in the dining room leads to the sizable kitchen, which has a tasteful, clean look with marble floors, frosted maple custom cabinetry, black granite counters and a mirrored backsplash. A built-in booth matches the cabinetry, and a raised counter off the island offers options for quick meals. In the back of the kitchen is a service area with its own entrance into the unit as well as a handy sink, pantry, dishwasher and utility closet.

The powder room features a pedestal sink and Indian black granite outlining the floors and walls.

On the far end of the condominium is the master bedroom suite, complete with plush designer carpeting, large windows with automatic privacy shades and a room-size closet. However, it’s the dramatic see-through waterfall, visible from the bedroom and bathroom, that steals the show.

The waterfall borders one wall of the deluxe steam shower, which has two temperature-controlled main shower heads, 12 body sprays, a seat and a separate faucet for shaving. Black marble throughout turns the bathroom into a sophisticated oasis with a custom lacquer vanity, a porcelain and inset-glass sink, a toilet and a separate bidet.

Rest and relaxation are easy in the two-person Jacuzzi tub with a heater, waterfall faucet, hand shower and automatic-fill system.

Luxury continues in two additional bedrooms, each with a full bath. The second bedroom suite has Amtico solid surface flooring and French doors that lead to a sunroom. Handmade porcelain tile, a custom vanity with a laminated glass counter, an etched-glass under-mount sink, a low-profile toilet and miniature glass floor tiles highlight this bath.

The third bedroom is being used as a library suite with built-in, wall-length cherry bookcases. The room has Brazilian cherry wood floors with an inlaid border, decorative moldings and more than 15 feet of closet space and is wired and sized for a Murphy bed.

Two small sunrooms at either end of the unit allow access to the vast balcony with breathtaking views. The two balcony exits offer a nice flow of traffic inside and outside.

Maple storage cabinets, a utility sink and two sets of washers and dryers are located in the separate laundry room.

Along with the obvious amenities, this penthouse boasts three independent heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, plus the building’s central HVAC system.

Each major room has an individual thermostat and a new convector unit, which is connected to the Promenade system. It is also wired for telephone, audio, video, network and home-automation features such as disappearing video screen. The wiring scheme offers ample space for new features and expansion.

The Promenade’s lower level has a convenient shopping arcade with a full-service restaurant, grocery store, health club, dry cleaner, bank, medical offices, shops and even a library.

Residents also enjoy activities such as the book club, garden club and movie nights. Next summer, residents will be able to relax at poolside again and take advantage of the multimillion-dollar pool and deck renovation now under way.

More info:

Address: 5225 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, MD 20814

Community: The Promenade

Price: $1,495,000.

Size: 3,800 square feet

Taxes: Included in the monthly condominium fees of $1,695.29.

Exterior features: High-rise building with gated entry, circular drive, indoor and outdoor parking, pool and deck, large balcony in the unit

Interior features: Top-floor penthouse; three bedrooms; 3 bathrooms; 9-foot ceilings; custom marble and inlaid wood floors; imported granite throughout; completely renovated including all new utilities; new double-pane thermal windows and doors; two fully heated and cooled sunrooms; two-person Jacuzzi with heater and automatic-fill system; bidet; steam shower; separate laundry room with maple cabinets, two washers and two dryers; recessed lighting; service door entrance

Amenities: Living room fireplace, granite waterfalls, French doors, built in cherry bookcases, built-in kitchen bench table and seating, top-of-the-line appliances, wine rack and cooler, automatic shades, three-zone heating and cooling, high-tech wiring; building amenities include concierge, indoor and outdoor pool, health club and tennis club, guest suite and three first-floor indoor parking spaces

Schools: Ashburton Elementary, North Bethesda Middle and Walter Johnson High

Close by: Bethesda Marriott, National Institutes of Health, shopping, restaurants, Ride On bus stop

Open house: Sunday, Oct. 26, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Contact: Leslie Friedson of Long & Foster Real Estate at 301/455-4506

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