Its construction has divided the Hidden Springs community, pitting a former media mogul against a CEO. It has sparked angry confrontations and spurred a lawsuit that has opened a window on the type of high-stakes disputes that are usually kept hushed in the region’s toniest enclaves.
The fight largely boils down to a collision between new and old ideas about the way Washington expresses its success — and flaunts its wealth — in a place that has the region’s most concentrated affluence.
Washington once shied away from such overt expressions of wealth, more common in Beverly Hills and Palm Beach. But the owners of Lumiere see their mega-mansion — big enough to make your average McMansion feel downright cozy — as a dream home.
Some neighbors see an eyesore that is not in keeping with the Hidden Springs’s traditionally Washington aesthetic, elegant but understated. They also object to the owners knocking down acres of trees to build a home in a neighborhood that was specifically created to be a wooded retreat from go-go Washington.
“It’s going to put a spotlight on the neighborhood,” Thomas J. Burns, a Hidden Springs resident, said of the chateau. “I’m disappointed someone would disturb the natural beauty of Great Falls by building such a showy home here.”
The chateau will sit on a hill on a five-acre lot across River Bend Road from Great Falls Park. It will feature stone columns, arched windows, a curved roof and landscaping that echo the famed French palace. True to its moniker, the mansion will be illuminated by an extensive underground lighting system. Builders and real estate agents peg its cost at $15 million to $20 million.
Plans show the home will have five bedrooms, three two-car garages, an elevator, and a pool and a pool house. The entrance foyer will feature two sweeping staircases leading to a gallery running the length of the home.
The basement alone will have a wine cellar, an exercise room, a billiard room, a theater with a concession space, a spa, a sauna, a card room, a recreation room, a gallery, a kitchen and a large guest bedroom. On the third floor, the master bedroom suite will take up an entire wing and consist of a study, sitting room, gallery and four other rooms.
The grandness of the home stands in contrast to its low-profile owner, 38-year-old Young Yi, who a Virginia business license lists as the head of the 1st Class Sleep Diagnostics Center. The Northern Virginia chain, which treats sleep disorders, has grown to six clinics since it was founded in 2004.
Yi declined to comment through her attorney, Edward Cameron, but he said she plans to live there in the home with her husband and children. Cameron declined to discuss the family, the home’s design or other aspects of the project, saying the Yis felt it was a private matter. Fairfax County officials said the project has the needed permits to move forward.