When Residential Properties Ltd. Sales Associate Pawler Garrahan listed Bonniecrest Estate’s Manor House #8 (located at 111 Harrison Avenue in Newport), little did she know that it was about to become the ultimate birthday present for one lucky woman.   

Mark and Kate Huttemann of Winchester, MA, the new owners of this multimillion-dollar Condominium, have nursed a long-time dream of owning a home in Newport. In the late 1980s, Mark was living in Newport and working at Raytheon as his first job out of college, while Kate was renting a summer home with a group of friends from Boston. Their paths finally crossed along Newport’s magical coastline. 

“I met Kate on Second Beach playing volleyball,” Mark said. “We haven’t been apart since then, and though we live near Boston today, Newport with its beautiful beaches, soft sand, and sparkling views will always evoke our first meeting – it’s our city. So, for Kate’s birthday this year, I had in mind a big surprise.”  

Newport’s 12-acre Bonniecrest Estate, a gated harbor front association, offers deluxe amenities including a swimming pool, tennis court, and a waterfront taxi to Bannisters Wharf for nights on the town. The 1914 Manor House, designed by Russel Pope for the Midwest banker Stuart Duncan, showcases intact period details, such as exquisite carved paneling, lead-paned windows, and original fireplace surrounds. The elegant lobby with 18-foot ceilings and stained glass windows overlooking Newport Harbor leads upstairs to Unit MH8. Its dramatic interiors begin with a dark-walnut foyer and a fireplaced living room with original plaster crown moldings. Large windows provide stellar views of Narragansett Bay, Fort Adams, and the Newport Bridge. The combined chef’s kitchen and dining room with walkout access to one of two balconies allows for alfresco dining overlooking the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed lawn and the bay. The unit’s three fireplaced bedrooms includes a primary bedroom providing attractive millwork and walkout access to the second balcony for a spectacular finish.  

A waterfront home out of the blue 

Mark’s first step in setting this surprise in motion was to find a local real estate company with a top reputation. He called up his cousin Robyn Bonnet, a Realtor® in Massachusetts, to get a trusted opinion. Mark eventually connected with Sales Associate Pawler Garrahan of RPL’s Newport office. 

“I informed Pawler of the intention for the purchase to be a surprise for Kate’s birthday during my initial visit to the property in early April,” Mark said. “Pawler was very accommodating with the logistics related to keeping the surprise and worked with the former owner to gain access to the property on Kate’s actual birthday, April 24, prior to the formal close in early May. She was the perfect partner to execute this plan.” 

“My stunning waterfront listing in the Manor House at Bonniecrest with extraordinary period detail and breathtaking harbor views totally captured what Mark wanted for Kate,” Garrahan said. “The sellers were excited to help make the big reveal to Kate a success and were happy to let Mark have a little gathering at the property before they had even closed on the purchase. It’s great to work with such good people.” 

Love as deep as the ocean 

Back in February, the Huttemanns had looked online at some of the condos at Bonniecrest. Kate had seen Unit 8 in the Manor House was for sale and really liked it, causing Mark to take special note of her enthusiasm. “Apparently, I had said to Mark at that time, ‘I would take that one sight unseen!’” Kate said. “I don’t remember saying that exactly, but he took that as a green light, thankfully!”  

On her April 24 birthday, Kate and Mark drove down for a pleasant, ordinary visit to Newport, or so she thought. Mark and his cousin Robyn arranged for Kate to see the condo on the pretense that they were going to visit other friends there who had just bought this special home. Robyn then set up chilled Champagne and a huge bow in the dining area overlooking the harbor. The first stop that day was to Broadway where Mark asked Kate to run into a shop to pick up a quiche.  

“When I got back in the car, Mark was on the phone telling someone to include a variety of different soft drinks, speaking in a tone of voice that told me he was not talking with a close friend – this was my first inkling that he might have something up his sleeve,” Kate said. “When we arrived at Bonniecrest and walked upstairs into the unit, I saw the big bow over the windows and the Champagne on the balcony and knew what Mark had done. The tears and hugs flowed more freely than the wine.”  

With a new chapter ahead, Kate and Mark are planning out their summer in the city of Newport. Would a game of volleyball be in the offing for old times’ sake? “We’ve visited Newport a lot over the years, and of course have our favorite spots, but the main thing on my mind is hosting long-time friends that we met in Newport during the early days. I’m also looking forward to mornings gazing onto beautiful Newport Harbor and taking in those unbeatable breezes. My husband is a powerhouse and a demon to get this done in such a short amount of time, but to have our years-long dream of having a place in Newport fulfilled… all I can say is romance is not dead.”  

About Residential Properties Ltd. 
Residential Properties Ltd. is the largest privately held real estate company in Rhode Island and has been serving sellers and buyers of distinctive properties since 1981 through service, innovation, and sheer hard work. The Company, with nine local offices in Barrington, Cumberland, East Greenwich, Little Compton, Narragansett, Newport, Providence, the West Side (PVD), and Westport, Massachusetts, services all of Rhode Island, the Connecticut shoreline, and southeastern and central Massachusetts. In addition, the RPL Relocation Department assists buyers and sellers on transactions throughout the country, while an office in London, England extends RPL’s presence internationally. More information is online at ResidentialProperties.com. 

*Information based in whole or in part on data supplied by State-Wide Multiple Listing Service. The MLS does not guarantee and is not in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. Based on information from Statewide MLS for 2021 as of June 2022.