Semi-monthly news and updates about the homes, people, businesses and communities that are featured in Lake Washington 130 Homes. This covers the Lake Washington waterfront in Seattle’s Madison Park, Denny-Blaine and Madrona neighborhoods, Mercer Island, and The Eastside communities of Bellevue, Medina, Hunts Point and Yarrow Point.
(The above home belongs to Charles Simonyi. See 5/31/11 post.)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Local Maritz Top Candidate to Replace Ballmer as Microsoft CEO

Paul Maritz of Mercer Island is a top candidate to replace Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft. He was with Microsoft from 1986 to 2000. His last position was executive vice president of the Platforms Strategy and Developer Group. He was part of the 5-person executive management team and, according to Wikipedia, was the third-ranking executive behind Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. He was responsible for most of Microsoft's desktop and server software, including Windows and Internet Explorer.
“Fortunately for Microsoft and the future health of the Puget Sound economy there are two strong contenders to replace outgoing Chief Executive Steve Ballmer — one at hand and the other nearby.
. . .
“The obvious nearby candidate is Paul Maritz, a Zimbabwe native who led Microsoft’s platforms business and developer relations when he left the company in 2000 after a 14-year run.
“Maritz went on to lead strategy at business computing giant EMC and serve as chief executive of Palo Alto, Calif.-based virtualization pioneer VMware, but all the while kept his home on Mercer Island.”

Maritz’s local mansion is on the southwest point of Mercer Island near Paul Allen’s campus/compound. A previous post with more information about Maritz and his career and accomplishments was on 2/22/12.
Steve Ballmer’s local mansion is on the east side of Hunt Point adjacent to and south of the McCaw’s, formerly Kenny G’s, compound. Previous posts about Ballmer were on 5/23/12 (Forbes article about worst CEO) and 11/17/10 (Ballmer mansion).

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Boating Opening Day – Seattle



Boating Opening Day on Saturday, May 4, 2013, is the official opening of Seattle's boating season. It is sponsored by the Seattle Yacht Club and includes many kinds of water activities. It will include a morning of crew races staring at 10:20 am and the grand Opening Day boat parade starting at noon. Participating yachts will be decorated to illustrate this year's theme for Opening Day, "Hawaiian Magic." The crew races are west to east through Montlake Cut and the boat parade is east to west through the Cut. Seattle has historically celebrated important occasions with water festivities. The Elliott Bay Yacht Club, the forerunner of the Seattle Yacht Club, held a regatta including several classes of boats in Elliott Bay for the Fourth of July, 1895.
The first SYC Opening Day took place in early May 1913 with a parade and a regatta in Elliott Bay. The first Opening Day parade through the Montlake Cut was in 1920 after the Seattle Yacht Club moved to its new (and present) facilities in Portage Bay.
Over the years, events such as the University of Washington crew races have become a part of the day's traditional festivities. Many spectators watch these popular races through the Montlake Cut from the shore, boats or TV. Opening Day 2013 marks the 29th anniversary of the Windermere Cup.
Seattle Yacht Club's Opening Day has become the nation's largest regional celebration of water, spring and the opening of boating season. Opening Day in Seattle is a family and party affair. A huge spectator fleet lines the start of the crew races and the end of the boat parade from Montlake Cut east into Union Bay and Lake Washington. Spectator boats are also decorated (optional) and families and friends spread blankets on the shoreline and spend hours watching and picnicking.
On 5/7/11 Susan and I launched our new boat, “Happy Hours,” and, with our wonderful crew, we proceeded to Seattle’s Boating Opening Day celebration and boat parade. Tom’s Boat Shop and I entered Happy Hours in the parade. The Opening Day theme was "Salish Sea Treasures" and we received the Alaska Airlines Trophy for 1st place in our class (Decorated Commercial). Last year, with very stiff competition, we placed third. We are entered again this year. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

$6.3 M Mercer Island Mansion Sells in 2 Months – James to Myers


High end Lake Washington waterfront sales are picking up! This mansion sold 11/28/12 for $6.6 million. It sold for close to the listing price and in less than two months after it was listed for $6.9 million by Tere and David Foster, Windermere: “The estate stands proud as you enter the gates to this luxurious residence placed on a shy half acre in one of the most sought after communities on Mercer Island. Soaring ceilings, marble & wrought-iron anchor grand spaces for entertaining. The open floor plan creates a sense of ease for formal or casual gatherings. A grand master suite with large walk-in closet and spacious bath provides an escape. Game and movie nights in the entertainment wing with its’ own kitchen. Waves roll up on the private beach, as you enjoy jewel-tone sunsets & the glow of the city lights from downtown Seattle and Bellevue. Mature lawns host garden parties, with an outdoor kitchen and expansive patio. A perfect spot for Seafair, with an amazing dock & surely one of the best positions on the lake.”

The sellers were Greg and Carol James. Greg is the Founder and CEO of Renton based TOPICS Entertainment. The company is the largest privately held multimedia publisher in the United States. The buyer was Andrew C. Myers. The mansion is 7,730 sq ft on 0.5 acres with 75 feet of waterfront. In 2007 and 2008 the mansion had a famous sign on its dock regarding the mansion under construction next door. More information about the sign and the neighbors, the Justin Graham family, and their architect, Eric Cobb, is in the following 4/23/13 post below.

Famous Sign – Mercer Island North End – Graham – Cobb – James



The above famous sign was displayed for approximately two years (2007-2008) while a mansion was under construction on the north end of Mercer Island. Pictures similar to the one above appeared in national publications and Internet blogs. The mansion on the left was built for Justin Graham, the architect was Eric Cobb and the owners of the mansion next door, who were displaying the sign, were Greg and Carol James. The Graham house was completed in 2010 and the neighbors, the architect and the kids became friends. The NW point on MI where the homes are located is somewhat perilous for stranded boaters. The prevailing north wind in the summer will occasionally blow disabled boats into the docks of these homes. Greg said he and Justin often worked together to assist boaters who were being blown into their docks.
Justin is President of Seattle based Grakon International Inc (aka Grakon, LLC). The company is a “Global Leader in the Design & Development of Advanced Lighting Systems & Engineered Trim Components for Premier OEM Vehicle Manufacturers.”
Eric Cobb is the Principal of Seattle based E. Cobb Architects, Inc. The firm has received numerous awards and is nationally renowned for innovative design. From their web site: “. . . a commitment to modern design. An abstract vocabulary enables extraordinary and decisive manipulations in form, space and light. The work is abstract, open, fluid, light, and deliberately detailed.”
2013 Photo of Home

The above picture was among 24 pictures of the Graham mansion featured in the July 16, 2011, edition of homedsgn.com. The mansion is 6,270 sq ft with 76 feet of waterfront on 0.5 acres. The Jameses sold their mansion in 2012 (see the previous 4/22/13 post above).

Friday, April 19, 2013

$11 Million Mercer Island Mansion For Sale - Burtenshaw


  This mansion was listed this week (April 2013) for $10.9 million by Wendy Lister and Kirsten Paulsen, CBBain: “A Vassos Demetriou Tour de Force. An unforgettable treasure of 178' of pristine waterfront on a coveted double lot with gated entry. A dramatic, yet elegant floor plan awaits you at this Contemporary Masterpiece that will impress the most sophisticated home aficionados. For the first time available on the market, this Custom home offers premium finish work & a symphony of entertaining spaces that embrace the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. All 5 bedrooms are en suite. Yachts are welcome.” Vassos Demetriou is a renowned Kirkland based architect. He was the architect for Charles and Karen Lytle’s new Hunts Point home (p 157 and LW Cruising Hunts Point Southeast – Cozy Cove – Mansions).
  This property is owned by Jerry D. and Angelina Burtenshaw. During the late 1950s and early 1960s Jerry learned the restaurant business from his father opening restaurants under a variety of names throughout the PNW. He later became in charge of Alpine-Burtco, an international catering and concessions company. The company is the concessionaire for Safeco Field (Mariners), the Tacoma Dome and the former Kingdome. Jerry and Angelina created the UW School of Medicine Jerry and Angelina Burtenshaw Scholarship to provide financial assistance to medical students. He received the Dean’s Distinguished Leadership Award from WSU, his alma mater, for leadership and financial contributions to the university. The Burtenshaws were victims of a well publicized (Seattle Times 3/22/99) 1993 robbery and 1999 trial. The robbery started in the garage of their former Mercer Island mansion and the convicted (armed robbery, assault and kidnapping) masked gunmen-assailants were former neighbors and family friends of the Burtenshaws. This new mansion was custom built with a top-of-the-line security system and is 9,790 sq ft on 0.9 acres with 178 feet of waterfront.
  The mansion is 1/3 mile south of the Boulevard Pl Mansion (previous post).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mercer Island Boulevard Pl Mansion Sale $13 Million


This mansion sold 11/21/12 for $13.3 million. This property, known as “The Boulevard Place Mansion,” was featured in Seattle Mansions posts on 8/31/11 and 10/21/10. It was listed for sale at $28.8 million in 2010, lowered to $19 million in 2011 and an auction on 8/30/11 failed to attract the minimum bid of $15.5 million. The mansion was listed by Kris Robbs, Ewing and Clark, “Unique property takes advantage of 1.6 acre, street to Lake prize. Two-inch limestone floors extend from entry, spill down terrace around the in-ground pool & hot tub. Impressive 164' westside waterfront ready for speed boat, Seadoos & yacht. Soaring ceilings, balcony, warm wood office & leaded glass doors, with state-of-the-art theater & 9.1 surround. Two outdoor Viking BBQ complement gourmet kitchen. Escape to romantic master suite, spa bath with aroma/chroma therapy So many divine finishing details!”

The living area is 13,636 sq ft with 7 bedrooms, 11.25 baths, theaters, multiple kitchens, wine cellars, and 8 washer-dryer rooms. There is additional covered non living areas and resort-style features including a 120” plasma TV rising from the edge of the pool. The sellers were David and Becky Sandwith and the buyer was a trust. The Sandwiths purchased the lot for $5.4 million in 2004 and construction commenced. They reportedly had a total of about $30 million invested in the property. David, his parents and siblings sold Kent based Mikron Industries, a manufacturer of high tech window components, for $205 million to Quanex Corporation in 2004. The $28.8 million 2010 listing was the most expensive King County MLS listing at the time. The property is one-half mile north of Paul Allen’s compound and on page 59 in Lake Washington 130 Homes.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Landmark Historic Mansion Sale - Mercer Island East Channel 2012




This landmark historic mansion sold for $5.3 million in December 2012. It was listed for $8.0 million in 2011, taken off the market later in the year and relisted in 2012 for $6.8 million. From the listing by Bob Bennion and Mary Snyder, Windermere “Recently refurbished estate property on 2.96 acres with lovely grounds, 175ft no-bank waterfront, and lake and mountain views. Stately 1934 Colonial designed by Edwin Ivey offers gracious interiors with exquisite millwork and hardwood floors. Entry with curved staircase; library; study; granite kitchen; paneled family room; officesuite; 5 bdr and 7+ bth, including gorgeous master suite & waterfront guesthouse; 3 fireplaces. Sweeping lawns, mature plantings; dock; 4-car garage.” The sellers were David R. and April Humphrey, the founders of Seattle based ILD Global. The buyers were Tso Ling and Shiang Wen Su. Tso Ling Su is the owner of Bellevue based Su Development, an apartment building developer.
This 7,400 sq ft mansion was built in 1934 in Seattle’s Madison Park on William Garrard Reed’s early 1900s waterfront estate (The Reed Estate). This Reed was the son of the 1st Reed, Mark Edward, to run Simpson Investment. Simpson Investment is one of the largest property owners and family owned companies in the state. The Madison Park estate, a multi-mansion family compound, was that era’s version of the current Gates and Allen compounds. The estate is now a gated community of nine homes including Howard Schultz’s mansion (11/3/11 Seattle Mansions post). One of the original mansions (page 22 of LW 130 Homes), that is architecturally similar to this MI mansion, remains. It is occupied by William Garrard’s great nephew, Colin Moseley. Colin is now Chairman (fourth generation of family leadership) of Simpson Investment. When the Reed Estate was subdivided in the 1940s one of the mansions was cut into three pieces and barged to this Mercer Island location.
The sellers of the estate, David R. and April Humphrey, co-founded ILD Global in 1995. David, a retired Medical Doctor, is President and CEO and April is VP. The company is a business development and consulting enterprise and conducts frequent conferences, conventions and business development seminars locally, regionally and nationally for business owners. April is President of Women of Washington (WOW).

This is the former home of John J. and Emma Bonica. John, who died of a stroke at the age of 77 in 1994, was a world-renowned anesthesiologist and UW professor. He helped pioneer anesthesiology as a specialized field of medicine, was founder and chairman of UW’s Department of Anesthesiology and published numerous articles and books on the subject. Dr. Bonica was born in Italy. He came to New York City with his family when he was 11. His father died four years later and he became the major breadwinner for the family. He competed in wrestling while in high school and won both the New York City and state championships. Later he worked his way through college and medical school by wrestling professionally under the pseudonym Johnny (Bull) Walker, was the “Light Heavyweight Wrestling Champion of the World” and is in The Wrestling Hall of Fame. He continued to wrestle while in the army but concealed his military identity by becoming, in the ring, the “Masked Marvel.”

Monday, April 1, 2013

Ellison (Value Village) from Stroum-Glazer

Sold 2012 $21.6 Million “Harmony” - Under Renovation

This landmark compound, “Harmony,” sold in 2012 for $21.6 million. This was the most expensive LW Map of the Stars® waterfront sale in 2012. It was listed at $26.9 million by Tere and David Foster, Windermere. From the listing: “Resting gently on 2.93 acres, Harmony commands an extraordinary 324 feet of Lake Washington waterfront and sets its vista on the Seattle skyline and Mount Rainier . . . Waves roll gently up on the beach as the sun shines down on two private docks. . . [nearly 20,000 square feet in 4 buildings]. . living wing plays host to the grotto, saline pool and exercise areas. Upstairs two guest suites each with their own bath and walk-in closets . . . private outdoor spa . . . A world like no other.” The listing was featured in a 3/20/11 Seattle Mansions Blog. The seller was Marsha Stroum Sloan Glazer. The buyer was Thomas Ellison, the principal owner of the Value-Village/Savers chain of stores.
This is considered, second to Paul Allen’s campus, the premier property on Mercer Island. The flat (“low bank" in Realtor terms) large combined parcel faces west on the “50 yard line” for Seafair. It is less than one mile from the I-90 West Mercer exit/entrance which puts the residents five minutes from downtown Seattle.
Permits were issued in February to demolish three homes (total 8,260 sq ft) on the compound. The main 11,300 sq ft mansion will remain. Plans for the replacement buildings have not been submitted.
Marsha and her family are respected Seattle area philanthropists. The Stroum name is on many prominent arts, medical, education and community buildings and halls in the Seattle area. Benaroya Hall, University of Washington, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center and the Stroum Jewish Community Center of Greater Seattle on Mercer Island are most notable. Marsha hosted many charity galas in her (this) former MI estate.
Ellison’s father, Bill Ellison, was the founder of Bellevue-based Savers, Inc. The company is an international chain of thrift stores and operates under the name of Value Village in the PNW. Thomas Ellison’s sister, Debbie, and her husband, John E. Bacon, purchased the legendary Groat Point mansion from Bruce McCaw in 2011 and demolished all the buildings including the 14,000 sq ft main mansion (2/21/13 Seattle Mansions Blog). Thomas Ellison and the Bacons own a mansion about a seventh of a mile to the northeast of Groat Point in Meydenbauer Bay that is for sale for $8.9 million (5/20/11 LW Cruising Blog).

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Medina – Groat Point Demolition


 Looking West at Groat Point in 2010
The Groat Point Estate in 2011
The Groat Point Estate in late 2012
Bruce McCaw sold, for $15.3 million, his Medina Groat Point estate in January 2011 (Seattle Mansions 2/13/11 post) to a trustee for John E. and Debbie Ellison Bacon. This was the highest priced sale of Lake Washington waterfront property in 2011. The Bacon’s demolished the buildings in 2012 and are scheduled to submit plans for new buildings later this year.
The property was listed for sale in 2009 for $34 million and dropped to $27 million in 2010. The listing agent was Terre Foster, Windermere: “The Grand Point of Medina. A landmark offered for the first time this century. Commanding 527 feet of some of the most coveted waterfront in the world, the Chateau takes its place among the great estates in the Northwest. Regal grounds split into expansive views.” The estate had 13,940 sq ft on 1.89 acres with 527 feet of waterfront, 6 bedrooms and 9 baths.
This is considered one of Lake Washington’s premiere lots with spectacular 300° views that include downtown Bellevue, Mt. Rainier and the Olympics with the top of the Seattle skyline in the foreground. The location is minutes from downtown Bellevue.
Bruce is the oldest of four brothers who were the pioneers of cellular communications. He had been listed by Forbes as one of the wealthiest people in the world but has not been on its recent lists as a result of declining stock market values. He is now involved in large scale commercial real estate investments with his Pistol Creek Financial Co. He is also involved in auto racing as president of Bellevue-based PacWest Racing Group LLC and director of Michigan-based Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. Bruce and his wife, Jolene, moved into Craig McCaw’s Hunts Point Castle and hosted a fund raiser for Paul Ryan in 2012 (2/13/13 post).
John E. and Debbie Ellison Bacon established the multimillion dollar Bacon Family Foundation that supports local children and family organizations. John, Thomas Ellison and Ellison’s and Debbie’s father, Bill Ellison (the founder of the company), were the principal owners of Bellevue-based Savers, Inc. The company is an international chain of thrift stores and operates under the name of Value Village in the PNW. In 2000 Bill Ellison and Bacon sold their interest to Boston based Berkshire Partners LLC for $45 million. The Bacons and Thomas Ellison own a mansion about a seventh of a mile to the northeast in Meydenbauer Bay that is for sale for $8.9 million (post in LW Cruising).

More information about the prior mansion and Bruce McCaw is in Lake Washington 130 Homes on pages 88 and 106.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Paul Ryan at McCaw Family’s Hunts Point Compound


Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan attended fund raisers in Hunts Point and Medina on September 10, 2012. The $1,000 per person afternoon reception was at the McCaw family’s compound and hosted by Bruce and Jolene McCaw. The Seattle Times reported the two-hour event was attended by more than 200 people. Ryan gave a speech on economic issues and higher paying guests received photos of themselves with Ryan.
The McCaw family purchased the compound in 1999 from Kenny G (4/30/12 post below) in a private transaction estimated at more than $20 million. The two mansions have 15,810 sq ft on 4.3 acres with 327 feet of waterfront, 8 bedrooms and 10.5 baths. Craig and Susan McCaw and their family were (and maybe still are) living here.
Craig was the leader or the world famous McCaw brothers, Bruce (1946- ), Craig (1949- ), John (1951- ) and Keith (1953-2002). Keith and John formerly lived in Madison Park and Bruce sold his Medina Groat Point estate in 2011 (2/13/11 post) and may have moved here. The brothers were the pioneers of the cellular phone industry and sold their company, McCaw Cellular, for $11.5 billion in 1994.
The evening $25,000 per couple event was at undisclosed location in Medina. An earlier in the year event for Mitt Romney (12/29/12 post) was held at the mansion of Peter Neupert, a former Drugstore.com and Microsoft executive. He hosted a similar event in the 1990s for President George W. Bush. Neupert’s mansion is on Evergreen Point Road south of Bill Gates’ campus but not on the water. The mansion is 8,000 sq ft on 5.4 acres which is one of the largest lots in Medina.