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Record sunshine

The sunny side for the rich and few, the shady side for the busy and new . . .

If Boston's real estate market is cooling, someone forgot to tell the well-heeled residents of the Back Bay and Beacon Hill.

The sale hasn't yet been recorded and the house was never actually "on the market." But we're told -- and the Wall Street Journal has written -- that Amos Hostetter (below), founder of Continental Cablevision, recently bought a brick town house on Mount Vernon Street for $12 million. That shattered the single-family record, set more than three years ago when a place on the second block of Commonwealth Avenue sold for $7.5 million. The Hostetter house, on the sunny side of the street, was built by merchant Harrison Gray Otis in the 1820s. It has 24 rooms, eight fireplaces, and 4.5 baths. It's also where some scenes from "The Thomas Crown Affair" were filmed. The seller: investor Lawrence Coolidge, famous for rolling up his sleeves and helping to keep the banks of the Charles River clean. Coolidge, as in Corner, whose clan arrived in 1630. He bought the property for $3 million in November 2000, county records show. The city's assessment is for $6.847 million.

Meanwhile, the sale of another property on the second block of Comm. Ave. -- also the sunny side of the street! -- has set a Bosotn condo record. A buyer paid $9.12 million for several units that may be converted into one living space. Kevin Ahearn, of Otis & Ahearn Real Estate, wouldn't offer any details but said: "It's the largest condo purchase by one owner. It represents a record."

Carol Beggy can be reached at

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