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Sen. Jill Vogel and husband purchase a portion of the Mellon estate for $7 million

Alex and Jill Vogel got the text on a Friday in August.

The $7 million estate was theirs two weeks later.

Jill, a state senator from Upperville, and Alex, founder of the VogelHood political-finance research firm, are now figuring out how to transform the property formerly owned by billionaire Rachel “Bunny” Mellon into a warm home for their eight-person family.

“I was just bowled over by what was there and the potential. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Mrs. Vogel, who hopes to move in to her new, 280-acre farm by the spring.

Vogel represents portions of Fauquier, Loudoun, Frederick and Clarke counties in Richmond. She and Alex have six kids.

That pivotal August text came from Peter Pejacsevich, a Realtor for Middleburg Real Estate whom Jill Vogel said deserves “absolutely 100 percent credit” for making the purchase a reality. Vogel said there's no way she and her husband would've been able to buy the divided plot if not for Pejacsevich's swift action in alerting them as soon as it hit the market.

The senator said the purchase will require some money-moving, including selling other properties they currently own. State legislature positions are considered part-time. Jill Vogel is a partner of a law firm in her other work, while Alex Vogel is a former lobbyist and prominent Washington insider.

“We figured it will be a good investment for the long term,” Jill Vogel said.

The late Bunny Mellon, a horticulturist, philanthropist and billionaire heiress to the Listerine fortune, died in March 2014 at the age of 103. She was married to Paul Mellon, the only son of finance titan and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, and was close with Jacqueline Kennedy during the Kennedy White House years.

Known as Oak Spring Farm, the entire 2,000-acre property in Fauquier County originally went to market in 2014 for $70 million. But last August, after Oak Spring in its entirety failed to attract a buyer, the plots were divided.

The Vogels' purchase includes a lake, tennis court and two architectural gems – a pool house designed by the famed I.M. Pei and the neo-Georgian mansion crafted by esteemed architect William Adams Delano. The early-20th century mansion, known as “Brick House,” was home to the Mellons' extensive art collection.

“One of the most important farms in America, Oak Spring Farm is where Paul and Bunny Mellon shared their many passions including horse breeding, horticulture, and art collecting,” Washington Fine Properties notes on its website.

Avid equine and hunt enthusiasts, the Vogels plan to conserve the bucolic open space and allow hunts to pass through.


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