This Mount Washington Townhouse has it All — Including a Killer View
Beyond its view of Pittsburgh’s skyline, the three-level, custom home boasts luxury bathrooms and an elevator.
When Melissa Sommers moved four years ago from Colorado to Pittsburgh, she had no idea she would be falling in love — with the city.
“I travel a lot with work and I have traveled everywhere, even internationally,” she says. “It just blew me away how beautiful this city is.”
She and her agent, Lynne Bingham, looked at a lot of neighborhoods — among them Shadyside, Lawrenceville and the Mexican War Streets on the North Side — but she chose the one with a view that captivated her.
Located at 223 Republic St., the custom brick townhome on Mount Washington has plenty of amenities, including an elevator, but the best of them is the one that changes a little each day — the sunrise over Pittsburgh’s city skyline.
Sommers is now returning to Colorado for work. She has listed her home for $929,000 (Lynne Bingham, Howard Hanna Real Estate, howardhanna.com). It is open by appointment.
The home is part of Republic Heights, a community of six townhouses situated in the nook where Grandview and Republic avenues meet on one of the highest points in the city. Listed six weeks ago, the townhouse quickly went under agreement to an out-of-town buyer — who then decided to move to a different city.
“The inspection was done, the appraisals were done and bank approved, the house appraised higher than the asking price, all of the title work is done as well,” Bingham says. “A new buyer can close in days from an accepted offer and save the fees.”
The home’s brick-and-stone front façade is standard for all six townhouses. Inside are three bedrooms, 3½ bathrooms and an open floor plan with 10-foot-tall ceilings and large windows that fill the space with light. Adding to the lofty feel are glass french doors with sidelights that lead to two spacious decks.
A driveway leads to the bottom rear of the home, where there’s an integral, two-car garage and access to an elevator.
“When I first walked in, I was like, ‘I’m not old — I don’t need that,’” Sommers jokes. Her agent informed her she might be surprised by how useful an elevator actually is.
“It ended up being so convenient; I can’t believe how much I used it,” Sommers says. “I am a Costco person. I would bring in huge loads from Costco and I could put everything on the elevator from my car.”
The main living space has vinyl plank flooring, crown molding on the walls and upgraded lighting. In the large kitchen is a slate-gray center island that seats four and includes Fantasy Brown countertops, a sink and a dishwasher.
“I love how the countertops pull the whole space together,” Sommers says.
She also updated the tile backsplash to stone as an homage to Colorado and added a stainless steel chimney hood. There’s also double wall ovens, a six-burner gas range and a french-door style refrigerator.
Sommers says the space got quite a workout as she entertained often, including a New Year’s Eve party with 50 guests. She also added a custom wet bar with a mini-refrigerator and wine storage in the great room; a smaller version was installed on the third floor.
In the living room is a stone fireplace wall with a linear hearth. French doors lead to the outside deck.
On the second level are three bedrooms, a laundry room and two full bathrooms. The primary bedroom has a tray ceiling and a custom walk-in closet, while the spa-like bathroom has a double-sink vanity and a shower with glass doors and a rain shower head.
“From my bedroom, I could see the city,” Sommers says. “I loved waking up and seeing the sunrise over the city. You could drink coffee and watch the sun come up.”
The third floor features a 23-by-22-square-foot bonus room that previously was used as a primary suite. Sommers had other ideas for the space, which include a set of doors that lead to an upper level deck with an automatic retractable awning.
“I used that as an entertainment room,” she says. “That top floor is my favorite and I wanted to be able to share it with people. I had a huge TV and room darkening blinds, custom furniture and a stowaway bed.”
The third level’s spectacular bathroom has a standalone tub and a separate shower featuring several wall sprays.
Sommers says all these things made her home very popular with guests, who, just as she did, fell in love with Pittsburgh.
“I am very sad I have to leave this,” she says. “The city became a vacation spot for friends and family. My niece came out with her friends from school to celebrate her birthday here.”
Drawing on her years of experience covering the region’s real estate industry, Rosa Colucci offers Hot Property, an inside look into unique and historic homes on the market. Each week, Hot Property goes behind the For Sale sign to share the story of a special Pittsburgh-area home. And four times a year, Hot Property gives an in-depth look at the region’s real estate market in Pittsburgh Magazine HOME, tracking housing prices and sales and detailing where the hot properties can be found. Rosa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: Mount Washington
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: A 20-minute commute to the airport. Daily transport via Pittsburgh Regional Transit, including two historic inclines. Street parking.
Schools: City of Pittsburgh (pghschools.org)
Neighborhood: Perched 367 feet above the river bank with a commanding view of Downtown’s skyline, Mount Washington has been named in the top three city views worldwide. Overlooks, inclines and a panorama that reaches from all points to the apex of the city and the head of the Ohio River draws wonders to visitors who trek up. Grandview Avenue is filled with cliffside restaurants, including Altius and LeMont, while St. Mary on the Mount Church keeps a watchful eye on the city below.