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.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jeff Brotman Hosts Michelle Obama

Jeff and Susan Brotman hosted lunch with Michelle Obama at their Medina mansion on October 25, 2010. The lunch was a fundraiser for US Senator Patty Murray’s (Democrat Washington) reelection. Table captains pledged $7500 each. The mansion is in the exclusive cove of Medina that includes Nathan Myhrvold’s T-Rex house, Charles Simonyi’s Window 2000 house and Gary Reed’s former estate. The mansion is on page 98 in Lake Washington 130 Homes.
Jeff is the Chairman and co-founder of Costco. The mansion is also known as “their Art House” that includes monumental pieces by Richard Serra and James Turrell. The house was designed by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects who are known for designing art-galleries-cum-residences ( The louvers on the front (water side) and roof of the house adjust to provide the opitimun natural light on the extensive art collection.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mercer Island Mansion $28.8 Million Selling Price

A Mercer Island west-side mansion that is listed for sale at $28.8 million is the current most expensive King County MLS listing .  It is one-half mile north of Paul Allen’s compound and on page 59 in Lake Washington 130 Homes.The Puget Sound Business Journal recently published an article about the property.

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. Construction started in 2004 when David and Becky Sandwith purchased the lot for $5.4 million. 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.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mastro Mansion $9.9 Million Selling Price

The Seattle Times and Puget Sound Business Journal have reported Michael Mastro’s Mansion will soon be listed for sale by the bankruptcy court for $9.9 million. The Business Journal article includes numerous pictures of the interior. It has taken over a year for the bankruptcy court to take over the house and offer it for sale to provide some of the partial payment to creditors. The Mastros tried to set up and claim it as property not subject to the bankruptcy.

My previous blog below, dated 11/12/09, provides additional information on his bankruptcy and “family and friends” investors. The photograph above is from page 126 in my book, Lake Washington 130 Homes, I remember many times going by the Mastros’ mansion by boat and seeing a large parties (for family & friends?) with a band and waiters and waitresses in formal attire. The Evergreen-Point mansion is 7,050 square feet with 176 feet of waterfront. The Mastros paid $15 million for the mansion in July 2006.

Seattle Times article

Puget Sound Business Journal article with 16 pictures

(More in formation is in a previous post on 11/12/09 and an update is in an 11/10/10 post.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Gary Reed Moves into Madison Park Mansion

William G. “Gary” Jr. and Victoria Reed moved from their Medina home (see earlier blog below) late last year. The new home has 7,700 sq ft on 0.7 acres with 60 feet of waterfront. It is three houses south of the Reed Estate homes (pages 19 through 22 in Lake Washington 130 Homes, The southern home (page 22) in the Reed Estate is owned by Furman Moseley and his wife and Gary’s sister, Martha Reed Moseley. I’ve been told Furman and Martha live elsewhere and their son, Colin Moseley and his family live in that house. Colin is the current Chairman of Simpson Investment.

The 8 acre Reed Estate is where Gary and Martha grew up. It was established in the early 1900s by their grandfather, Mark E. Reed. It was that era’s version of the current Gates and Allen estates. It was subdivided in the 1940s into a private gated community of nine homes. Howard Schultz owns the most prominent of the current homes (page 21). His property has a gate inside the gate.

(Information on his previous Medina home is below.)

Gary Reed Sells Medina Mansion for $22 Million

William G. “Gary” Jr. and Victoria Reed sold their 8,600 sq ft Medina home (page 100 in Lake Washington 130 Homes, in September 2009. This and the Bezos estates at 5.35 acres each are the largest in Medina. This estate has 305 feet of waterfront and the property stretches over 200 yards from the shoreline to Overlake Drive. The lot is relatively flat with lush landscaping and a tennis court at the water’s edge. The sale went relatively unknown since it was a private, family transaction. The recorded buyer was Blue Water Realty LLC whose principals are Gary’s son, Doug Reed, and Sarah Reed. I have not been able to verify if that is who is living there. Please comment if you know.

Gary and Victoria have moved to their new mansion in Madison Park (see later blog above). The Seattle Times labeled Gary “the most powerful Seattle business leader you’ve likely never heard of.” He is or has been on the Boards of Microsoft, Paccar, Safeco, The Seattle Times Company and Washington Mutual. He is the grandson of Mark Edward Reed who joined Simpson Logging in 1897 and was named president after the company’s founder, Sol Simpson, died in 1906. The Reed family bought out the Simpson family and the company is now one of the largest private, family owned companies in the state. It is now Tacoma-based Simpson Investment Company. Gary worked in executive positions with the company starting in the 1960s and served as Chairman from 1971 to 1996. He oversaw the company’s expansion into plastics and other manufacturing.

(Information on his new Madison Park home is above.)

Bezos Completes $28 Million Home Improvement

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.Com, recently completed his $28 million Medina home improvement.  Property records show a $28 million building permit was issued in 2008 and completed in August 2010.  This was accomplished with little publicity or fanfare.  The living area increased from 13,200 sq ft to 29,000 sq ft in two buildings.  In addition there are “non living area” buildings that include the largest boat/party house (about 4,500 sq ft) on Lake Washington, a caretaker’s cottage and other buildings.  This and the Reed estates at 5.35 acres each are the largest in Medina.  Bezos has 310 feet of waterfront and the property stretches over 200 yards from the shoreline to Evergreen Point Road. The lot is wooded with a steep bank so very little of the buildings, except for the boat and dock structure, can be seen from the water.  (See pages 105 and 112 in Lake Washington 130 Homes,