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.)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Multi-Million $ Mercer Island Homes Discounted

$4.2M Mansion Sold On Right
Darren Berg’s Former $5.9M Mansion On Left 
A property listed for $6.5 million was sold at a 35% discount. A north end Mercer Island home was sold in October 2011 for $4.21 million. This is not as large as the 72% discount ($12 million versus the original listing of $43 million) for the nearby sale of the former Lytle mansion to Peter Edwards of Video Only (see 9/27/10 post). The $4.2M home was featured in a 5/21/11 post when it was listed for $6.45 million. The purchasers are Timothy and Sherie Bernardez. Timothy is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Evergreen Pacific Partners, a prominent Seattle based private investment firm with $700 million under management.

From the MLS listing (Betty DeLaurenti and Julia Nordby, John L. Scott): (includes numerous interior photos): “European style home, 6 BR,7BA w/a large bonus rm, exercise rm and a home office w/a separate entrance. Extensive use of marble, granite, tile and hardwood throughout. Grand formal spaces and a gourmet kitchen you may never want to leave. All is complemented by graceful manicured gardens, multiple decks, covered outdoor patio and a firepit at waters edge. Approx 104+/- feet of prime North End Lake Washington waterfront is ready for use with a L shaped dock, covered boat lift and a sandy beach.”

The home is 6,071 sq ft on 0.4 acres with 104 feet of waterfront. This home is six houses west of page 43 in LW 130 Homes and one house northwest of Darren Berg’s (Ponzi scheme fame) former house (12/30/10 , 1/17/11, 5/22/11 and 12/30/11 posts). Berg’s house was sold through the bankruptcy court for $5.9 million in January 2011.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Berg Writing Book

Yacht in front of Berg’s former mansion

Berg’s former Mercer Island mansion

The Seattle Times published an extensive article Friday 12/30/11 by Rami Grunbaum about Darren Berg being in the process of writing a book. “ . . . he's written more than 350 pages of a planned e-book ‘to make some sense of the financial carnage I caused.’ ” Grunbaum quotes portions of the book where Berg makes unsupported claims in gibberish that others were to blame: “ ‘. . . dysfunctional bankruptcy process . . . perversely incented . . . system . . . a daft and disgruntled former employee . . ., etc.’ ”

Berg is charged in the biggest Ponzi scheme ever prosecuted in Washington state. Through his company, Meridian Group, he is accused of defrauding hundreds, some of whom their life savings, of more than $280 million. Berg was indicted and filed for bankruptcy in 2010. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for 1/20/12 and the 49 year-old faces a recommended sentence of 18 years in jail.

The article details other portions of the book and others’ reactions to the book and Berg’s history and personality.

My prior posts on 5/22/11, 1/17/11 and 12/30/10 included information regarding his Ponzi, scheme, the court process and the $5.9 million sale of his Mercer Island north-end waterfront home.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

UW’s Big Dawg

Big Dawg at the front row (far left) dock for game day

Big Dawg and Kittilsby mansion (left) on Mercer Island

UW’s Big Dawg was featured in The New York Times recent article about UW’s Sailgate parties (previous post). The Big Dawg belongs to the Frank Miles family. The article labeled the Big Dawg yacht “a 94-foot, 3-story barge.”

Excerpts from the article include: “Members of the Miles family come to games on the Big Dawg . . . the family patriarch, Frank Miles . . . Frank met his wife, Jeanie, in high school, and after they graduated from U.W. they bought a 23-foot boat and started taking it to games. As the size of their boat increased, so did the size of their party, which began to include employees from their sand and gravel company . . . Others, like the Miles family, dock up front, and pay for permits that cost $215 to $750 each season, depending on boat size.”

The Big Dawg’s home is the dock of Tim and Lisa (Frank and Jeanie’s daughter) Kittilsby on the north end of Mercer Island. The property is between the LW 130 homes on pages 47 and 48. The one acre property includes a 6000 sq ft mansion plus covered and open sports courts. Frank founded Auburn based Miles Sand and Gravel in 1943. Tim and Lisa are now in charge of the company.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

UW’s Sailgate Parties

The University of Washington is famous for its “Sailgate Parties. The partiers in Lake Washington’s Union Bay, just west of Husky Stadium, are in full force before, during and after the UW home games. This was an exceptionally good year with great weather and an above average number of afternoon games. Next year will be without these parties as Husky Stadium is being renovated and the Huskies will be playing in CenturyLink Field.

The New York Times ran a recent article featuring these parties: “. . . On fall Saturdays . . . when Washington plays at home, the occupants of Husky Harbor emerge near the stadium’s east end like some sort of tailgate flotilla. They come on charters, luxury yachts and smaller vessels, in sailboats, motorboats and speedboats, even boats coated in purple paint . . . Once docked or anchored, they tailgate with a twist, a practice the locals have alternately called boatgating, sailgating and sterngating. . .”

The NY Times also has some great photos in a 13 picture slidshow.

We were at these parties with our boat, Happy Hours, (previous post). We took friends to the games and enjoyed the parties in the water. The water-slide was a huge hit!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

$7M Property Sells Fast on Mercer Island

2.4 acres with large covered dock
A north end Mercer Island property was listed at $7.0 million and sold in the same month for $6.8 million. The sale was recorded on 6/27/11, the purchaser was listed as On the Rock 98040 LLC and the seller was Cordell J. Almond. Mr. Almond is a CPA, partner in the Hersman Serles Almond accounting and consulting firm and principal for Seidman Private Securities, LLC. The property consists of two parcels and is one of the largest low-bank, buildable properties on Mercer Island. It also features a large covered dock (grandfathered) which could not be replicated under the current Shoreline Management Act. It is adjacent (west of) the El Dorado Beach Club. The Club is an enclave of eight homes with a community clubhouse, waterfront pool and dock. To the immediate east of the Club is the home of Jeffrey Greenstein who is in jail for orchestrating tax evasion schemes (see 2/2/11 post) and whose home is on page 76 of LW 130 Homes.

The listing (Kathy Beckes, CB Danforth) stated: “North End Mercer Island, 2.4 ACRES, 150' No Bank Waterfront, Mesmerizing views from Bellevue to University of Washington. White sand beach, Boat House, Boat Launch, Dock for multiple boats, Street to Waterfront Estate Property, Subdivide or keep as your Family Compound. Cottage on property originally built for the Fisher Flower Family. 1st time ever on Market. Privacy, tranquility, your own soccer field. Build your dream home, tennis court & swimming pool. No limits here! One-of-a-kind!”

Friday, November 4, 2011

Seattle Fall Colors

You do not need to travel to Vermont and New Hampshire to see beautiful fall colors. We have our own in the Pacific Northwest. The best place to view the foliage is from the water. Lake Washington offers some of the best scenery and you can also take in viewing the fabulous mansions with, compared to the summer, less leaves obscuring them. The above pictures were taken from the lake on the south and west side of Mercer Island. The southern and western sun and the reflections from the water highlight the colors. Other places with spectacular color are looking at the west side of Medina and the northern part of lake which is less populated and, therefore, has more forest land. If you have not put your boat up for the winter you should take it out sightseeing on our nice autumn days.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Howard Schultz $21.7 Million Pay

View of home in winter

View of home in summer

Howard Schultz was paid $21.7 million in 2010 by Starbucks. This was a raise of $9.6 million over 2009. He is Starbucks’ founder and CEO. This pay package was the highest for a Washington state public company executive in 2010. This was reported in a recent Puget Sound Business Journal articleSchultz has also been in the recent news with his political and charity activities.

His home is on page 21 in LW 130 Homes. It is in Madison Park, south of the high rises, in an exclusive gated community of nine homes that are on the property of the William Garrard Reed estate. (He is the father of Gary Reed [10/1/10 blog post].) Howard drives through the community’s gate and then another gate to his property. His mansion and property, with 16,880 sq ft on 1.8 acres with 248 ft of waterfront, are the largest in community. It is best viewed between this time of year and March.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Summer in Seattle

Our summer on Lake Washington has been fantastic! Many of our family and friends have been boating with us aboard Happy Hours and rave about the experience. Comments from out-of-towners include, “Our most memorable day in the Seattle area.” Comments from locals include, “The best day of our summer.”

We had 38 outings with over 300 passengers. Many others have stepped aboard at a dock. Others have swum or boated over and climbed aboard. Everyone loves the water slide! We’ve relaxed viewing the Map of the Stars, just enjoying the lake, going to waterfront restaurants and sunset rides. We viewed houses for sale and sold with Realtors and their clients. We’ve hosted premium charity auction item outings.

We’ve had slow rides pulling the big tube and higher-speed extreme tubing and water skiing. Because the boat has flat decks and a fabulous stereo system, we’ve had wonderful dance parties on the boat. We've had fantastic party times on the boat with the flotillas at Boating Opening Day, the 4th of July on Lake Union, Seafair, University of Washington "sailgate" parties, and in the party coves of Andrews Bay, Meydenbauer Bay, Fairweather Bay, and Cozy Cove. Pictures are up on a new Happy Hours Picasa web album.

Because of all the above, I am way behind in posting to this blog. I will be catching up!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Obama Shirley Fundraiser

A major Seattle fund raising brunch for President Obama was held at the Medina mansion of former Microsoft President, Jon Shirley on September 25, 2011. More information is in a Seattle Times article that reported about 65 guests paid $35,800 per couple and listened to Obama blast the GOP.
Jon was President and COO of Microsoft from 1983 to 1990 when he retired.  He remains as a director of the company and is also a director of Seattle-based Manzanita Capital, a financial services company. Jon and his wife, Mary, are major donors to and supporters of local charities and the arts. Jon is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Art Museum and on the Chairman’s Council of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. The couple collects art and vintage racing Ferraris.
The home is two houses north of Bill Gates’ property which has multiple buildings with more than 60,000 sq ft. The Shirley’s mansion has 27,255 sq ft with only two bedrooms. Much of the mansion’s space is for the art and automobile collections. The value of these collections is estimated to be worth more than the $40 million estimated value of the property. The property is on 4.35 acres with 244 feet of waterfront. It is on page 120 of Lake Washington 130 Homes.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mercer Island Mansion Auction

Mercer Island Boulevard Place Mansion

The Mercer Island Patch reported 8/30/11 the Boulevard Place mansion auction on this date failed to attract the minimum bid of $15.5 million. There were four qualified bidders attending the auction. This property was featured in a prior 10/21/10 post.

Last fall it was listed for sale at $28.8 million and was the 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 published a 10/18/10 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. The Patch reported they have 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.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Seattle’s Summer Mardi Gras

Lake Washington is famous for Seattle’s Seafair summer celebration.  This is a month long festival of many activities throughout Seattle and ends the first Sunday in August.  The final four days feature hydroplane races, the Navy’s Blue Angels’ air shows (previous post) and the Seattle area’s biggest party. Over a million people watch the Blue Angels and party on the water and shoreline.
During the Seafair air shows all the boats, except those tied to the log boom, between the I-90 Bridge and Seward Park must move out of this area. After the Friday through Sunday air shows, which is usually around , the boats return in mass. The party-on-the-water begins!
This is Seattle’s summer on-the-water version of Mardi Gras. Thousands of boats packed with partiers crowd the area. Most are in swimming suits and the babes are in bikinis. Some only wear the bottom part. Many with the tops on (sometimes) collect strings of beads Mardi Gras style.
Boats raft to other boats. The hydroplane races are the excuse but very few watch. Water fights with high powered water guns, hoses and water balloons are everywhere. Of course there is a lot of drinking. Over the last few years the police have cracked down on drinking while piloting a boat. Boats need to have a designated captain.
After the air-shows we make trips with our new boat, Happy Hours, to join the spectator fleet. Because of our location we have a head start versus the main flotilla. We provide water guns. Prepare to get wet if you wish to join us on these excursions.
Professional photographer, Bernard Zee, has a neat website with a lot of great photographs of 2009’s party-on-the-water.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Seattle’s Seafair

Lake Washington is famous for Seattle’s Seafair summer celebration.  This is a month long festival of many activities throughout Seattle and ends the first Sunday in August.  The final four days feature hydroplane races and the Navy’s Blue Angels’ air shows.  The hydroplane races are on the west side of the lake south of the I-90 floating bridge. The Stan S. Sayres Memorial Park, known as the “Sayres Pits” was established here in 1957. The pits are the launching, service and staging area for Seafair’s hydroplane racing boats.
The air show’s center is this area over the lake. The planes and their stunts can be seen from much of the lake and its shores.  During these four days the lake is crowded with spectator boats and the lake is renowned for the associated “floating party” or “Mardi Gras on the water.”
On Saturday and Sunday, August 6 and 7, The Navy F-18 air show begins at and the Blue Angels performance starts at (More information about the Blue Angels.)
Stan Sayres (1897-1956) was known as “The Legend of Lake Washington” and “The Fastest Man Afloat.”  He was selling and racing cars in northeastern Oregon in 1926 when he had his first experience with a power-boat.  He purchased a wrecked 40 mph outboard engine racing boat and began racing, designing and building race-boats.  He moved to Seattle in 1931 and in 1937 he bought a 91 mph racing boat that his wife named Slow Motion.  Stan changed the name to Slo-Mo-Shun, often called Slo-Mo.  Stan designed, developed and built new and faster Slo-Mos.  He moved to Hunts Point in the 1940s and built a 6,860 sq ft house on the tip of Hunts Point. (The house was demolished in 2008 and the vacant lot was sold March 31, 2011 for $14.8 million [see previous post]). The neighbors in this sleepy community “enjoyed” (?) the roar and 30 ft rooster tails of his trials and practices.
He set his first boat-on-water speed record of 160+ mph in 1950 on LW and continued to set new records, all on LW, with his last at 178.497 mph in 1952.  After his first record he took Slo-Mo IV to Detroit and won the 1950 Gold Cup, boat racing’s biggest prize.  This was a big upset to the hydroplane establishment.  Stan brought hydroplane racing to LW in 1951 as part of the Seafair.  The first Seafair was in 1950 to celebrate the centennial of the first U.S.-European Seattle settlement.  The 1951 race was the first U.S. hydroplane race west of Detroit and was a huge success.  Stan became a local hero.  The races are now a Seafair tradition.  He received a lot of local backing for his racing against the Detroit establishment.  Slo-Mo-Shun IV and V won the next four Gold Cups.
We live in the Proctor Landing area of Mercer Island directly across the lake from the pits and the center of the big show. We and nearly all of our neighbors have Seafair parties over the week-end. The planes fly low directly over our dock. After the air-shows we will be making trips with our new boat, Happy Hours, to join the spectator fleet for Seattle’s Mardi Gras. For Seafair facts and history, go to Seafair’s site.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dykstra on Evening Magazine

KING 5’s Evening Magazine featured me and the book Lake Washington 130 Homes on the Monday, 6/20/11, show. You can see it on the Internet.

“Move over Hollywood! Seattle now has its very own book plotting the houses of our rich and famous. Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, Bill Gates, you name it and it's likely here, showing you the where, when, and how of our most famous mansions. The book retails for $18, find more info at .”

Lake Washington Pontoons

“Lake Washington Pontoons” are much more than floating bridges. The new generation of luxury pontoon-trimarans are the perfect boats for Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. It is a luxury deck and party room on the water at the dock, floating or motoring.

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 and received the Alaska Airlines Trophy for 1st place in our class (Decorated Commercial).

Happy Hours is the first boat of its kind in the Seattle/Lake-Washington area. This is an Avalon luxury pontoon boat. It is sometimes called a party barge - but it will go 35+ mph and can pull water skiers. We go happy hours sightseeing in luxury or just float and with kids of all ages relaxing or playing on the water slide. It is also great extension of our dock. We now have a luxury cocktail lounge, sundeck and wet bar with refrigerator and blender at our dock.

I bought the boat from Tom’s Boat Shop at the Seattle Boat Show in February 2011. Tom opened his Seattle area dealership and showroom in Ballard in May 2011.

I have a Happy Hours blog with more information, including FREE RIDES and DOCK PARTIES. I apologize for being behind on posting to this blog due to the new boat and blog.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hunts Point Tip Sold - $14.8 Million

Tip of Hunts Point – Stan Sayres Former Homesite
This (LW 130 Homes page 147) is the site of the former home of Stan Sayres (1897-1956). He was known as “The Legend of Lake Washington” and “The Fastest Man Afloat.” The 2 acre vacant lot sold for $14.8 million on March 31, 2011. The purchaser was Hunts Point Trust. The lot was listed for sale for $19.7 million (see 2/27/11 post). With incredible views and with 750 feet of waterfront, it may be Lake Washington’s premiere waterfront lot.
Andre and Lisa Radandt purchased the property in 2005 for $17.5 million. They are from Bakersfield CA where they own Bolthouse Farms, one of the world’s largest carrot producers. They tried to preserve Sayres’ house but found it was not practical and it was demolished in 2008.
The Seattle Times reported (6/5/11) on the sale and that Rodney and Janice Olson are behind the trust. The Olson’s mansion, “The Bellisima,” near the center of Hunts Point’s western waterfront is listed for sale for $12.9 million (see 3/11/11 post).

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Simonyi’s Windows 2000 House

Charles Simonyi is a Hungarian-born former Microsoft executive. He was the man once behind constructing Microsoft Office's Word and Excel software. His Medina mansion is one of the most picturesque and must-see places on Lake Washington (LW 130 Homes pages 4 and 94). The mansion is 19,000 sq ft on 1.3 acres with 300 feet of waterfront. The home is known locally as the “Windows 2000 House” and “Villa Simonyi.” It got the Windows 2000 name when Microsoft introduced Windows 2000. The rumor is a few windows were added to the house to bring the total to 2,000.

His former girl-friend, from the 1980s until 2008, was Martha Stewart. He picked her up with his personal jet when she got out of jail in 2005. He had a sudden infatuation with a new girlfriend Lisa Persdotter a Swedish socialite. They got engaged in St. Tropez, France on 08/08/08, the same day as 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. He was 60 and she was 28 at the time. They were married in Gothenburg, Sweden, on November 22, 2008, following three days of celebrations whose attendees included neighbor Bill Gates.

Simonyi was one of the initial commercial astronauts. He paid $25 million for a 2007 two-week International Space Station roundtrip aboard the Russian Soyuz space shuttles. He paid $35 million for a similar trip in 2009.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Schrempf’s Mansion Sold – $7.0M to Bernier and McCaw

Detlef and Marianne Schrempf sold their Meydenbauer Bay mansion in April 2011 for $7.0 million to Yahn Bernier and Beth McCaw. The estate has 7,200 sq ft on 0.9 acres with 85 feet of waterfront. More information is in Lake Washington 130 Homes on page 85. This lot with an older home was purchased in 2000 and a new home was built in 2003. The home features covered moorage for a 60 foot yacht, a fabulous great room and kitchen with three fireplaces and a wing for children and guests.

Detlef starred for the SuperSonics from 1993 to 1999 and was an assistant coach for the team’s final 2006-08 seasons in Seattle.  He was selected to the NBA All-Star team 3 times and was the first NBA player born in Europe to score 15,000 career points.  He was born in West Germany and moved from there to Centralia, Washington in his senior year of high school.  He led his school team to the state championship in 1981.  He starred at UW and was on the All-PAC-10 Team.  He started his NBA career in 1985 being drafted by the Dallas Mavericks.  He played on the Sonics team that reached the NBA finals in 1996.  He founded the Detlef Schrempf Foundation in 1996 to support organizations that provide hope, care, and assistance to Northwest children and their families.  Every June the Foundation hosts the Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Golf Classic in Port Orchard and a Celebrity Gala and Auction in Bellevue.

Yahn Bernier is Software Development Engineer at Bellevue based Valve Software. Beth McCaw is a Seattle based attorney.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Darren Berg Update 2

Berg’s Former Home and Yacht

The Seattle Times reported 3/25/11 Darren Berg’s (12/30/10 and 1/17/11 posts) creditors will probably recoup only 15 to 25 percent of their investments.  The article further reported the bankruptcy plan report stated Berg’s misappropriations started as early as 2001 but “the magnitude increased each year.”

Berg is charged in the biggest Ponzi scheme ever prosecuted in Washington state.  Through his company, Meridian Group, he is accused of defrauding hundreds, some of whom their life savings, of more than $280 million.

Berg’s Mercer Island north end waterfront mansion was sold for $5.9 million in January 2011 by a U.S bankruptcy court.  The house is not included in Lake Washington 130 Homes. It is located between the homes on pages 42 and 43 and near the Roanoke Inn.  It is one house southeast of a mansion that is listed for sale for $6.45 million.

The weather finally got nice enough to go out on the water and take pictures.  The two previous posts have been updated with pictures. (Updated 12/30/11)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mercer Island North End Home For Sale - $6.45 Million

Home For Sale

Home For Sale On Right
Darren Berg’s Former Home On Left

From MLS listing (Betty DeLaurenti and Julia Nordby, John L. Scott): (includes numerous interior photos):  “European style home, 6 BR,7BA w/a large bonus rm, exercise rm and a home office w/a separate entrance. Extensive use of marble, granite, tile and hardwood throughout. Grand formal spaces and a gourmet kitchen you may never want to leave. All is complemented by graceful manicured gardens, multiple decks, covered outdoor patio and a firepit at waters edge. Approx 104+/- feet of prime North End Lake Washington waterfront is ready for use with a L shaped dock, covered boat lift and a sandy beach.

The home is  6,071 sq ft on 0.4 acres with 104 feet of waterfront.  This home is six houses west of page 43 in LW 130 Homes and one house northwest of Darren Berg’s (Ponzi scheme fame) former house (12/30/10, 1/17/11 and 5/22/11 posts).

Friday, May 20, 2011

Liddell’s Mansion Sold – $4.5M to Chandan Chauhan

Christopher P. and Patricia Liddell sold their Medina mansion in March 2011 for $4.5 million to Chandan Chauhan.  Christopher had been CFO for Microsoft and GM (see 3/12/11 post).  Chandan is a co-founder and Sr VP for Bellevue based Intelius.  The company was founded in 2003 and specializes in searches of Internet records for background checks and personal and business protection services.  Intelius’s primary co-founder, President and CEO is Naveen Jain (page 95 in LW 130 Homes).

The estate has 7,365 sq ft on 0.63 acres with 134 feet of waterfront, 5 bedrooms and 5 baths. It is near the tip of Evergreen Point, facing west and about 120 yards north of Michael Mastro’s former mansion. The Liddells purchased the mansion in 2005 for $7 million. This home features a prime view, lush landscaping with a brook and pond, a large game room with a second kitchen, and two docks.  More information is in Lake Washington 130 Homes on page 127.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Map of the Stars – Lake Washington

Hundred Homes Publishing has published the map "Lake Washington Map of the Stars."  It provides a detailed from the water guide for viewing 55 of the most spectacular mansions (some multi-mansion compounds) in Lake Washington 130 Homes.  The map is available in book stores throughout the PNW. (It is not available online.)  The map is 91 cents ($1 including tax) and free with the purchase of Lake Washington 130 Homes.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Paul Allen – Idea Man

Paul Allen’s Campus on Mercer Island
Please see the 12/28/10 post for the guide for viewing the $150 million, 9.6 acre campus.

Paul Allen’s new book, Idea Man, has created a lot of controversy.  Some of the local headlines are:  Paul Allen goes public with hard feelings toward Gates, Paul Allen's attempt to shape his legacy may backfire, Paul Allen says book not revenge against Gates, and Paul Allen's book: Shaping legacy with a chainsaw?

An interesting article (Seattle Times by Kristi Helm) discusses a lengthy interview with Paul at his MI campus and discusses Paul’s relationship with Bill while also describing the author’s tour of Paul’s campus.  Helm’s description of the main controversy in the book is:  “Allen accuses Gates, along with Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, of trying to cheat him out of Microsoft shares while Allen was being treated for cancer in 1982. Allen said he overheard the two conspiring to dilute his shares by issuing options to themselves and others. (Ballmer went to Allen's house later to apologize.)  ‘My partner was out to grab as much of the pie as possible and hold onto it,’ Allen writes."

Most of the book is about the creation of Microsoft and the eight years Paul was with Microsoft.  The headlines are grabbing the obvious rift between Allen and the team of Gates (house guide) and Ballmer (house guide).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Medina West Coast Home For Sale - $8.8 Million

Waterfront home with tram up to garage

From Windermere’s (Rondi Egenes) and Big Dog Realty’s (Bruce Gunnels) MLS listing: (includes numerous photos): “A masterpiece in construction, design, and finished detail. 130 front feet facing due west. 3200 square foot garage. State-of-the-art tram down to exquisite home, featuring 180 degree views of lake, mountains and Seattle Skyline. Augercast pilings at every bearing point under all structures. Invisible retaining walls, natural springs and waterfalls. Georgian heart pine floors and beamed ceilings, river rock fireplaces. Custom built by commercial contractor. The ultimate in privacy and solitude.”

Most of the homes in this area are on the bluff with a tram to the waterfront and dock. This home is on the waterfront level with a tram up to the garage. The home is 4,540 sq ft on 1.0 acres with 130 feet of waterfront. This home is below and to the immediate north of the LW 130 Homes page 107 Gaudette home (for whom the Fancis J. Gaudette Theater in Issaquah is named). The Gaudette home is on the bluff with a tram down to the waterfront.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Waterfront Home Sales Surge In 2011

Bruce McCaw’s Former Groat Point Mansion Sold For $15.3M
This is the most expensive home sold so far in 2011 and was featured in our 2/13/11 post.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reported in the March 31, 2011, edition sales of homes over $1 million are surging. This, of course, includes the premier waterfront homes featured in Lake Washington 130 Homes. The March 254 pending and closed sales for homes over $ 1 million in King County are up 63% year over year. Slightly less half the 254 had closed at the time of publication.

Tere Foster of Foster Realty and Windermere was quoted in the article: “It’s significantly different than last year. There’s some energy in the market.” Tere has the “Harmony” – Glazer Mercer Island $26.9 M listing featured in our 3/20/11 post.

The article also featured a former Microsoft exec who moved from Sammamish to a $3.6M 6,670 sq ft mansion adjacent (but not on the water) to Michael Mastro’s former mansion on Medina’s Evergreen Point.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Michael Mastro in the News

Mastro’s Former Medina Mansion Sold for $9.1 Million

Michael Mastro is back in the news. The Seattle Times 4/6/11 article stated, “Judge Marc Barreca turned down a bid by the guardian for the now-incapacitated Mastro to pay her, and her lawyer, from funds administered by Mastro's chief adversary, court-appointed trustee James Rigby.” Further details are in the article. The Mastro bankruptcy, with debts of $570 million, is the largest in Washington state’s history. Many “family and friends” lost their fortunes when his commercial real estate investment funds failed. Mastro was incapacitated following a head injury from a fall in his Palm Springs home two months ago. More information about Mastro and his former Medina Mansion is in previous posts on 11/10/11, 10/11/10 and 11/12/09 and Lake Washington 130 Homes on page 126.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stroum Philanthropy Legacy

Proctor Landing Tudor on the left and Harmony on the right
Marsha Stroum Sloan and Jay Glazer’s Mercer Island waterfront family compound (Lake Washington 130 Homes page 58), “Harmony,” is for sale for $26.9 million (3/20/11 post). It is next to the landmark “Proctor Landing Tudor” that sold in 2009 for $15.7 million (2/16/10 post). Marsha is the daughter of the late Sam and Althea Stroum. Her sister is Cynthia Stroum (3/21/11 post). Sam and Althea Stroum were prominent area philanthropists. Sam and Marsha’s former husband, Stuart Sloan (page 34, LW 130 Homes), were former co-owners of Schuck’s Auto Supply. Marsha and Jay have moved to Santa Barbara where there is a new Stroum family compound.
Marsha’s and Cynthia’s mother, Althea, recently (March 14, 2011) passed away (Seattle Times obituary) and their father, Sam, passed away March 9, 2001 (Seattle Times editorial). 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. In 1991 the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle established the Althea Stroum Woman of Distinction Award.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Obama Stroum Connection

A February 4, 2011, a Seattle Times and Associated Press article reported “Big Obama donor Cynthia Stroum quits envoy job [America's ambassador to Luxembourg] amid criticism.” The article starts: “As a supporter of presidential candidate Barack Obama, Cynthia Stroum was a superstar whose financial backing of the campaign landed her a plum diplomatic posting in Europe.” The article reported she was a “disaster . . . management . . . was abysmal . . . fraught with personality conflicts, verbal abuse and questionable expenditures on travel, wine and liquor.” The article strongly implies her appointment was a political reward.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reported on February 7, 2011, Cynthia had filed a rebuttal to the State Department report. She told the Associated Press she did not know whether she could release details of the rebuttal publicly.

The Stroum family has generously contributed to Democratic candidates. Cynthia donated the maximum personal amount to Obama's campaign and previously donated $2,300 to former Sen. John Edwards’ presidential campaign. She was one of the top Obama fund raisers, being responsible for raising at least $500,000 for the 2008 campaign. Some of the fund raisers were held at the Mercer Island compound (Lake Washington 130 Homes page 58) of Cynthia’s sister, Marsha Stroum Sloan Glazer. The compound is listed for sale for $26.9 million (3/20/11 post).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Glazer-Stroum MI Family Compound For Sale - $26.9 Million

Glazer-Stroum MI Family Compound
From Windermere’s MLS 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. . . over 14,000 square feet . . 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."
Marsha Stroum Sloan Glazer purchased the waterfront home on one acre in 1992 for an undisclosed amount from Bruce Leven, a famous race car driver and former owner of numerous Seattle area car dealerships. The compound now includes an additional four parcels acquired from 2001 to 2005.
Martha, as part of the Stroum family legacy, is a prominent philanthropist and theater patron. She supports numerous causes financially and, as a board member and trustee of many organizations, has hosted fund raisers in this beautiful compound of 14,660 sq ft on 2.9 acres with 324 feet of waterfront. More information is in Lake Washington 130 Homes on page 58.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mastro and Russo Top The 2010 Most Expensive Home Sales

 Michael Mastro’s Former Medina Mansion

Ray Russo’s Former Hunts Point Mansion has a cool web site and published “The 10 most expensive homes sold in King County, Washington in 2010.”
Russo’s Hunts Point mansion, $11.3 million sale, (posted here 5/13/10) was number one on the list. Mastro’s Medina mansion, $9.1 million sale, (posted here 11/10/10) was number two on the list. Number ten on the list was a Yarrow Point mansion which sold for $5.7 million. Five out of the ten were Lake Washington waterfront homes, which are covered by this blog and were in Lake Washington 130 Homes. Three were in Seattle’s new high rise condo buildings.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Liddell’s Medina Mansion – Resigns From GM

This home is owned by Christopher P. and Patricia Liddell. Christopher, born in New Zealand, had been with Microsoft as Senior Vice President and CFO from 2005 to 2009. He came to Microsoft from International Paper where he was Sr. VP & CFO. He left Microsoft in December 2009 and moved in 2010 to Detroit to take the CFO position with GM. His base starting salary with GM was $750,000 per year and it was publicized he could get up to $5.45 million in stock. (Go to Seattle Times December 24, 2009, article.) The Medina home was listed for sale at $8.8 million in May 2009 but did not sell.
The national press and the Seattle Times announced on March 10, 2011, Chris was resigning from GM after being passed up for the top job. He had been recognized as doing an outstanding job as GM’s CFO.
The estate has 7,365 sq ft on 0.63 acres with 134 feet of waterfront, 5 bedrooms and 5 baths. It is near the tip of Evergreen Point, facing west and about 120 yards north of Michael Mastro’s former mansion. The Liddells purchased the mansion in 2005 for $7 million. This home features a prime view, lush landscaping with a brook and pond, a large game room with a second kitchen, and two docks. More information is in Lake Washington 130 Homes on page 127.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hunts Point Olson Mansion For Sale - $14.1 Million

Rodney D. and Janice Olson have their Hunts Point mansion (LW 130 Homes page 136), named “The Bellisima,” listed for sale for $14.1 million. (Bellisima is Italian for “very beautiful” and was the name of a popular Venezuelan 1990s TV series.) Rodney and three partners founded Seattle-based WestCoast Hotels 1988 with the purchase of three Seattle Hotels, the Camlin, Roosevelt and the Vance. WestCoast grew to 19 hotels in 1999 and was acquired by Spokane-based Red Lion Hotels Corporation. The estate has 9,675 sq ft on 1.07 acres with 80 feet of waterfront, 4 bedrooms and 5 baths.
From the listing by Tere Foster and Becky Gray, Windermere: The Bellisima on Hunts Point. A grand interpretation of a Mediterranean classic characterized by distinctive quality and design. The carefully curate details have been applied individually preserving the character of the estate and carriage house. A tribute to highly sophisticated taste. A complexity & warmth that is seldom seen together. The nobility & beauty of fine materials. Graceful lines, sensitivity to proportion, a waterfront masterpiece. An extraordinary home. Exclusively Hunts Point.