Three Bethesda neighbors block McMansion developer

Home renovated by neighbor partnership, but remains unsold
  • A family-owned home in an older Bethesda neighborhood was bought by a neighborhood partnership.
  • The three say that wanted to save it from becoming a McMansion.
  • The home has been on the market for more than three months.

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It’s almost the plot of a reality TV show. Three neighbors who love their Bethesda neighborhood witnessed the purchase and demolition of home after home, all of which possessed that elusive quality of warmth that’s imbued in their 1940s colonials. There was a rumor that a neighborhood home, owned by one family since it was built in the 1950s, was about to land on the market. They are a mixed bag of professionals, but with knowledge of the inner workings of the real estate industry-- a Justice Department official, a real estate lawyer and a high-end home designer. The three, lawyer Diane Rosenberg, designer Brad Creer, and Sheila Lieber, the Justice Department deputy, formed a limited liability company and contacted the family that had owned the home since it was built, paying $1.275 million before it ever officially went on the market. The tidy post-World War II neighborhoods were sacrificed, parcel by parcel, given over to what’s popularly called “McMansio...