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!