It wasn't a sure thing by any stretch, but when the Washington Redskins signed Jay Gruden as their head coach in January, the odds favored the former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator finding his way to the doorstep of W. Scott Prendergast.
Prendergast, CEO of Apex Customs Homes, has built homes for Redskins star quarterback Robert Griffin III, former safety LaRon Landry and defensive end Stephen Bowen. He has cultivated ongoing relationships that appear to draw members of D.C.'s pro football team to custom-built homes at the posh Creighton Farms golf course resort community in Loudoun County.
"We've probably built the most homes for the Redskins than anybody," Prendergast told me Wednesday afternoon after I reported that Gruden recently paid $2.5 million for an Apex home at Creighton Farms. "It's just been a very exclusive community."
What's the attraction of Creighton Farms? Prendergast said many of the Redskins players like a luxury gated community, with plenty of security to keep adoring fans from knocking on their doors for autographs. It's also close to the team's practice facility in Ashburn.
Another reason might be Prendergast's familiarity with celebrity buyers and an ability to protect their personal space, a notion he talked about with the WBJ last June.
As for the Grudens?
"He came and I think they really fell in love with the home," which was completed last month. Finishing touches were overseen by the Grudens as construction wrapped up, Prendergast said.
Griffin, who bought a home from Prenderast last year, is in a different part of Creighton Farms but will be close enough that the head coach and his QB will be able to go over game plans and get together for barbecues. Gruden's house is in a newer portion of the development, called the Enclave, and was designed with 16-foot-high ceilings, four bedrooms and more than 5,000 square feet of space. Apex has built three of 10 lots there and is now working on its fourth.
So what's the new leader of the troubled franchise — which Wednesday found out its trademark registration had been canceled— like off the field, and what might that tell us about the team's chances of a rebound this year?
Prendergast said the head coach and his wife are both "very nice, very down-to-earth." That goes, he said, for Gruden's off-the-field persona. On the field, he said, "Jay is very intense. My dealings were mainly with Sherry. He is obviously very focused on practices and getting the team back on track."
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