On the block for the dogs

Proceeds from Federal Hill home auction to benefit animal charity

April 01, 2009|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

Bidding stopped at $808,500 for one of Federal Hill's largest homes, auctioned Tuesday to benefit an animal charity chosen by the former owner, who was devoted to his dog.

It took auctioneer Tim Jennings, who stood on the marble steps of the 4,400-square-foot house at 405 Warren Ave., less than five minutes to complete the sale to Mahlon "Sandy" Apgar IV and his wife, Anne, who live in Ruxton.

The couple's successful bid was $735,000 plus a 10 percent buyer's premium. A dozen registered bidders had arrived with $20,000 cashier's checks, and bidding began at $450,000.

Apgar, a management consultant and a former assistant secretary of the Army, said after the sale that he and his wife have renovated homes in Georgetown and in London.

The house had been owned for nearly 40 years by Kenneth Munzert, a retired engineer who died last year at age 88 and had no close surviving relatives. He left his principal asset, his home overlooking the harbor, to the Richmond, Va., animal charity that pledged to protect his German shepherd, a former stray named Beauregard. As it turned out, the dog died shortly before his owner, so the money will benefit pets whose owners have died.

"I am delighted with how many lives will be saved," said Robin Starr, executive director of the Richmond SPCA, the auction's beneficiary.

Rachel Rabinowitz, an agent with Tranzon Fox auctions, said numerous prospective buyers brought contractors and architects through the residence last month.

"The price was an accurate assessment of what the house is worth today," she said. The home was built shortly after the Civil War by a South Baltimore dry goods store owner.

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