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Obama vacation site sold to Weinberg scion

A firm managed by a tycoon's nephew pays about $6.9 million for the beachfront house

By Allison Schaefers

LAST UPDATED: 1:57 a.m. HST, Aug 25, 2010

President Barack Obama's "Winter White House," the beachfront home in Kailua where the Obamas vacationed in December 2008 and 2009, has been bought by a Maryland company managed by a nephew of Hawaii real estate baron Harry Weinberg.

Glenn Weinberg of Owings Mills, Md., and his wife, Debra, have contributed at least $73,000 over the past decade to fund mostly Democratic politicians.

The approximately 4,900-square-foot Kailua estate, which was built in 2006, was the focus of many media stories when the first family and their entourage visited. It is a five-bedroom, 5-1/2-bath plantation-style home on roughly 27,000 square feet of land and includes swimming beach frontage. Located at 57-A Kailuana Place, the home has a three-car garage and enhanced security features, which was a selling point with Obama's security detail.

The property, which was listed for $7.95 million, changed hands for about $6.9 million, according to listing agent Joel Cavasso, who is with Century 21 Kailua Beach Realty. Similar homes in the neighborhood recently sold for $7.5 million, $7.35 million, $6.83 million and $7.1 million, Cavasso said.

"It was a fair price," he said.

Cavasso refused to disclose information that would violate the buyer's privacy.

"The buyers have never met President Obama, although his interest in the property may have piqued theirs," Cavasso said. "They were not straw buyers."

Cavasso would not confirm buyer names; however, sales documents list the buyer as Paradise Point Estates LLC.

Weinberg is named as manager of Paradise Point Estates LLC on the deed, and the mailing address on the company's state business name registration traces back to his Maryland address. The document also lists the company's agent as Delwyn H.W. Wong, whose brother, Reuben, was Harry Weinberg's longtime attorney. Neither returned a call from the Star-Advertiser.

Glenn Weinberg, vice president of The Cordish Co., a real estate development firm, has continued his family's philanthropic legacy. Weinberg, who did not return a call from the Star-Advertiser, is trustee of the American Jewish World Service and is on several other charitable boards.

On the Net:

Virtual tour of the Kailua house where the Obamas vacationed:
His famous uncle, who died in 1990 at the Honolulu home where he had lived since 1968, was once the largest landowner in Hawaii and established the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation in 1959. Glenn Weinberg's father, Nathan, was a longtime trustee of that foundation, which became one of the nation's largest private foundations and annually distributes approximately $100 million to charities primarily located in Maryland, Hawaii, northeastern Pennsylvania, New York, Israel and the former Soviet Union.

According to Federal Election Commission records, Glenn and Debra Weinberg contributed to numerous political campaigns in the last decade. He gave nearly $50,000 to fund politicians ranging from local candidates U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) to U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). Only four of the 23 political committees or politicians funded by Glenn Weinberg from 2000 to 2010 were Republican.

Debra Weinberg, who gave about $23,000 during the same period, supported only Democratic candidates, according to FEC records. While neither funded Obama, Debra Weinberg was a regular contributor to Emily's List, a political action committee that supports pro-choice pro-abortion-rights female candidates. The committee originally endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president; however, it switched its support to Obama after the primary.

Despite the sale of the "Winter White House," Cavasso said, "the new owners are hoping that (Obama) will come to visit."

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