TRENTON >> The capital city’s most expensive, and arguably most impressive, single-family residential property sits at the top of a hill in the opulent Hiltonia neighborhood.
Located a pebble’s throw away from the Delaware and Raritan Canal, the 9,000 square-foot property occupies a little less than an acre of land that provides a walking trail directly into the heart of Cadwalader Park.
The stone home, which boasts six bedrooms, five full bathrooms and two partial restrooms, has been on the market for less than a month.
The homeowner is asking for a cool $1 million.
“While the city has an impressive stock of single-family homes, there is no other home in the city that comes even close to this house,” realtor J. Jay Smith, of Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate, said as he gave The Trentonian a tour of the property. “This is a unique jewel in the city. There are two other homes on Hilvista that are built with similar stone, but neither has the interior opulence of this one.”
The million dollar property was designed by American architect William Slack and built in 1929 for Theodore Tobish, Mercer County engineer. The home still contains old maps of Trenton, as well as the original design specs of the house.
The current owner, investment banker Christopher Brashier, purchased the home in 1999 for $288,800, according to county property records. He lived in the house with his family until they recently purchased a home in New Hope, Pa. During that time, Brashier remodeled the kitchen, added state-of-the-art central A/C and heating systems, installed a surveillance and security system and made other improvements, while maintaining the original character of the house.
“He completely restored it back to its original grandeur,” Smith said. “He enhanced the woodwork and added modern amenities, while maintaining the original characteristics of the house. The moldings haven’t changed and most of the bathrooms have the original tile from Robertson Art Tile Company, which used to be located in Morrisville, Pennsylvania.”
The three-story home, located at 2 Hilvista Boulevard, also contains a theater room with a projector screen, a game room, a wet/dry bar, three fireplaces, a laundry chute that effortlessly transports clothing and linens from the upper floors to the basement, a wine cellar, an attached two-car garage, and servant’s quarters equipped with a separate staircase leading from the private area to the kitchen.
“During the time when this was built, anyone with wealth, or means, lived in Trenton and many had servants,” Smith said as he pointed out two of four call buttons in the house, which all still work. “Whenever someone in the house needed the maid, they would press a call button.”
When asked how the price of the property may affect the real estate market in Trenton — assuming it sells for the full asking price — Smith, who has been selling homes in the posh Hiltonia neighborhood for 20 years, replied:
“Frankly, I don’t think it affects other property values at all because it’s in a league of its own. There’s nothing to compare this to. There’s no other competition and there never will be because there’s no other house like it in the whole city.”
Bob Oppenheimer, President of New Jersey Realtors, echoed Smith’s statement when asked the same question.
“I think a property priced at what they’re asking for is a unique property, so it’s not going to reflect the rest of the market,” Oppenheimer said, adding that the capital city’s housing market is improving as a whole. “But we’re starting to see improvements in the number of sales, and we’re also starting to see that successful sales are actually selling closer to the list prices than they were previously.”
According to statistics provided by New Jersey Realtors, through the first eight months of 2017, the number of days single-family homes remained on the market decreased by 6.8 percent compared to that same time period last year. Additionally, sellers are receiving a higher percentage of their list price, compared to last year.
“It’s a combination of two factors,” Oppenheimer said when explaining the improved market. “For one, we’re seeing homes priced a little more accurately; and two, inventory is lower than before, which creates more of a balance between supply and demand.”