Steve Phillips, President and CEO of Phillips Seafood Restaurants and Founder of Phillips Foods, and his wife, Maxine, have listed their 23-acre waterfront estate in Annapolis for a cool $24.9 million.
The property’s next owners are sure to enjoy its privacy and the 270-degree views of —and access to—the Severn River that first led the Phillipses, who are avid sailors, to buy what was an abandoned friary on Winchester Road for $2.5 million in 2002.
Boaters take note: “What’s incredible about this property is not only the home and the grounds, but the unparalleled level of privacy and water access that it provides,” said Brad Kappel, who along with David DeSantis holds the listing for TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. “With over 1,500
feet of Severn River waterfrontage and a six-slip private deep water pier, this is the perfect location for the boating enthusiast.”
Kappel notes that anyone, boater or not, who celebrates the Annapolis waterfront lifestyle, will be impressed by the sheer size of the 26,000-square-foot Georgian home. It comprises seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and eleven fireplaces – and $32 million worth of unique features that the Phillipses added in a five-and-a-half-year renovation that he describes as “mammoth and complex.”
Some of the most eye-catching outdoor features include a restored chapel, 60-foot infinity edge pool, full outdoor kitchen, large teak pavilion in the forest, tennis court, roof garden, and small funicular (a cable rail) running to and from a six-slip private boat dock.
Inside, there’s every possible element for entertaining, from a commercial-grade gourmet kitchen, catering kitchen, and wine cellar to an oversized ballroom, conservatory, library, music room, paneled billiards room, and underground pool and spa.
The home’s next inhabitants will have no shortage of discussion topics
while hosting and hobnobbing thanks to the property’s “You can’t make this stuff up” history. Said to be a stopping point on the Underground Railroad due to its Severnside location, the property was bought in 1911 by E. Bartlett Hayward, a man who’d made his fortune casting shell casings for French Field guns during World War I.
Hayward built the mansion with a clear eye for fun, reportedly hosting epic cookoffs and poker games, and perhaps engaging in some bootlegging through the secret tunnel to the water that the Phillipses found shortly after buying the home. Hayward sold it in 1945, and in 1950 the home took on quite a different personality under the ownership of a group of Francisan friars, though they introduced their own elements of fun: a bowling alley under the chapel, a waterside tennis court, and multiple massive outdoor pizza ovens. The property even had a short stint in 1989 as Yokahama Academy, a boarding school for Japanese boys, before community opposition forced it to close.
Whatever the future holds for what Kappel calls “one of the finest estates on the East Coast,” he’s confident that it won’t stay on the market long. “Anything is possible with the current record-breaking sellers’ market,” said Kappel. “Many affluent individuals are leaving urban environments and moving to towns like Annapolis to enjoy the waterfront lifestyle, so the local waterfront market is truly on fire right now.”
Indeed, in a year in which Barry Levinson sold his waterfront home on Spa Creek and Cal Ripken Jr. moved into his own Annapolis estate on Weems Creek, the only question is: who’s next?