May 21, 2024

Prominent D.C.-area real estate developer and philanthropist Giuseppe Cecchi, who left Italy in 1959 to scout out a site and manage the construction of the Watergate, passed away in his home in McLean, Va. Born in Milan, Cecchi studied engineering in the city, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps. He worked for the Societa Generale Immobiliare (SGI), developers of the Watergate, a multi-use project that changed the capital’s urban landscape.

In 1975, he founded the IDI Group Companies (IDI), developers of area housing projects. His developments were notable for the wide array of amenities for residents, a model later imitated by other developers. His Rotunda condo project in McLean, designed in the circular style of the Watergate but injected with softer dimensions, was later often replicated. His dominance in the field led the Washington Post to call him the “Condo King” of D.C.

Cecchi was a devout Catholic and generous benefactor of Holy Rosary Church, where his funeral was held on April 12. He leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Mercedes, their four sons, and 12 grandchildren.