When Keith Kissee bought the penthouse condominium in the Prestwould building in 2017, it had everything he wanted...except wall space. A previous owner had removed many of the unit’s interior walls to make it feel more loft-like.
“The dining room, den and kitchen were one large room,” Kissee said. “It was a beautifully done, contemporary design.”
The renovation also included a complete kitchen makeover with a three-wood parquet floor and Neff cabinetry.
Kissee, who is an avid art collector, decided to reconfigure the space to accommodate his large collection of American paintings, which date from the 1920s to the 1940s.
In addition, he wanted to add built-in cabinetry for his ceramics collection, which includes pieces from the turn of the 20th century through the 1950s.
The renovation of the 2,194-square-foot unit would return its floorplan to a more traditional approximation of what it would have looked like in 1929, when the Prestwould – and much of Kissee’s artwork – was new.
Alfred Bossum, a British architect with offices in New York, designed the Tudor Revival-style building, which sits on West Franklin Street across from Monroe Park. It was Richmond’s last luxury apartment building to be built before the Great Depression.
A developer converted it to condos in the early 1980s.
Kissee launched his renovation project in 2017. The new walls created formal living and dining rooms, as well as a large den with built-in cabinetry. Kissee left untouched the kitchen and the master suite, which has a bedroom, dressing room and bath.
“The condo took on a radically different floorplan,” Kissee said. “It created a more traditional flow.”
To complement each room’s artwork, Kissee chose a blue color for the living room, a bold red one for the dining room, and a light yellow for the den.
“I hadn’t used any of those colors before,” he said. “They were all new, and they all made sense. They’re warm and rich, and they work well as a backdrop.”
The sheer size of the living room proved to be a special challenge.
“None of the rugs I had were big enough,” Kissee said.
Then Kissee and his designer, Charlottesville-based Andy Cobb, found a large Persian rug from the late 1920s, roughly when the Prestwould was under construction.
“Once we had the rug, everything fell in place,” Kissee said.
He installed an Austrian crystal chandelier from the 1940s in the center of the living room, as well as other lighting throughout the condo.
Prior to moving into the Prestwould, Kissee had donated artwork to several museums in anticipation of downsizing from his 5,584-square-foot house on Monument Avenue. But he still ended up with more than 3,000 art objects on display in the condo, once he finalized the renovation.
Kissee says he has enjoyed living in the Prestwould for nearly four years, but he has put the condo on the market so he can shift his attention to a long-planned project: restoring his family’s ancestral farmhouse in his native Missouri.
“I’ll continue to have a presence here in Richmond,” Kissee said. “But it’s time to move and let someone else enjoy this space.”
The listing represents a rare opportunity to live in one of Richmond’s most luxurious penthouse condos, says Coleen Butler Rodriguez, a real estate agent with Joyner Fine Properties and the condo’s listing agent.
Among the unit’s standout features are the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room, which has a 13-foot ceiling. The windows make the room unique among the Prestwould’s 55 units, and they offer sweeping vistas of the city.
“The views are gorgeous, night and day,” Rodriguez said.
The living room also has a wood-burning fireplace with an onyx surround.
And, of course, there’s plenty of room for artwork.
“The last three owners have had significant art collections, and the space is perfect for displaying art,” Rodriguez said.
The penthouse condo is one of three Prestwould units that are on the market. The others are a 2,191-square-foot unit listed for $565,000 and a 1,635-square-foot unit listed for $399,950.
The lower-priced unit is on the fifth floor, and it has a southwest view of Monroe Park and the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
“It’s a spacious unit with two bedrooms and two baths, and it has 10-foot ceilings,” said Paul Kastelberg, a real estate agent with Joyner Fine Properties and the condo’s listing agent.
The condo is freshly painted, and the kitchen has been remodeled.
Having three active listings in the Prestwould is fairly rare. In the last 16 months, only one unit has been listed and sold through MLS, and a few have sold in private sales in the last year.
“There is no better time than now to place a condo on the market,” Kastelberg said. “With area-wide high demand and low inventory, coupled with historically low interest rates, condo dwellers can get top dollar.”
A pending relocation prompted the owner of Kastelberg’s condo listing to put the unit on the market.
“My client is part of the medical faculty at VCU Medical Center and is relocating to the University of California at San Diego in early May,” Kastelberg said.
For buyers, the Prestwould offers multiple attractions.
“The Prestwould is an historic icon, and its location is convenient and appeals to one who desires urban living and a sense of community amid VCU and VCU Medical Center, Institute of Contemporary Art, nationally acclaimed restaurants and athletic events,” Kastelberg said.
In addition, most of the condos offer empty-nesters the chance to enjoy one-floor living – a relative rarity in the Fan District.
"The building is a beautiful place to live with a high level of services, accessibility and conveniences,” Rodriguez said. “There are so many different condo sizes and floorplans to accommodate all needs and tastes. It’s a true Richmond treasure."
Great Richmond Homes on the Market
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