Ravens owner Modell buys Laurelford mansion Price tag reportedly about $2 million


Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell has found a new home for himself -- a six-bedroom, 7 1/2 -bathroom mansion in the Laurelford neighborhood in northern Baltimore County.

"A grand European-style Villa!" is how the house is described in real estate listings. One veteran real estate agent described it as one of the most beautiful homes she had ever seen.

"It's the kind of house where you walk in, your mouth drops open and you say, 'Oh, would I love this,' " said Roxane E. Zach, a real estate agent who attended a broker's open house at the mansion shortly after it was placed on the market. "He's got good taste."

"We love the house and we love the neighborhood very much," Mr. Modell said yesterday. "It's a very elegant place, very nice."

At the time of the sale, the asking price was $2.95 million, but Mr. Modell wouldn't say how much he paid for the 3-year-old house.

When asked to confirm the rumored $2 million sales price, his broker, Sue Miller of Hill & Co. Realtors, said, "You're getting close."

The house is owned by Albert H. and Janet F. Williams, according to tax assessment records.

The house has a 40-foot-wide gallery entrance, a 28-foot-long sitting room, a library, an office and a "staff apartment." It's set on 5 wooded acres in a neighborhood not far from Oregon Ridge Park.

Houses in Laurelford, a development that is only about a decade old, sell for $400,000 to $3 million, said Ms. Zach, a branch manager for Prudential Preferred Properties. Laurelford resident Sharon Slevin said the sight of celebrity athletes and business leaders is common there.

"Everybody kind of just says, 'They live there, give them their space and appreciate their [right to] privacy,' " Ms. Slevin said. She said about half the neighborhood residents are newcomers who moved into the Baltimore area because of their work, and the other half are mostly professionals, such as bankers or lawyers.

Mr. Modell announced his intention to move the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore in November and almost immediately dismissed any notion that he would be an absentee owner. Listing documents show the contract on his new home was signed April 3; Mr. Modell said he is scheduled to settle the deal June 1.

But he said he will continue to live at downtown Baltimore's Harbor Court Hotel until late fall, because his wife wants to "reconstruct" the house in her own taste before moving in.

Pub Date: 4/16/96

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