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 29, 2012

Mitt Romney at Wayne Perry’s Medina Mansion

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney attended fund raisers in Medina on June 4, 2012. The evening $25,000 per person event was at the waterfront mansion of Wayne and Christine Perry. More information, including a video, is in KING-5 news.
Wayne is National President of the Boy Scouts of America and former President of McCaw Cellular and a co-founder of the Seattle-based Monroe & Perry law firm which evolved into the prominent Stokes Lawrence firm. He was a Cub Scout as a young boy and has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America ever since. Previous Boy Scouts positions include president of the Chief Seattle Council and president of the Western Region. He was named International Commissioner in 2006 and National President in 2012. He also has an ownership interest in the Seattle Mariners. The mansion is 9,450 sq ft on 0.7 acres with 92 feet of waterfront.
An earlier in the day event was held at the mansion of Peter Neupert, a former and Microsoft executive. He hosted a similar event in the 1990s for President George W. Bush. Neupert’s mansion is north of Perry’s and on Evergreen Point Road 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. Both mansions are south of Bill Gates’ campus.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


My new Happy Hours "Pontoon" video featuring the new hit song “Pontoon” with Little Big Town was uploaded June 6 and has 135,000 views from 127 countries!
If you missed my appearance on KING 5 Evening Magazine on 7/16 click here.
Also see Little Big Town's Pontoon video – it’s fantastic. This summer, it was the  number one music video on Country Music Television's (CMT's) chart.
Little Big Town debuted Pontoon on June 6 at the 2012 CMT 2012 Music Awards show for national TV and standing-room-only Nashville's Bridgestone Arena audiences. The LBT performance of Pontoon on a pontoon boat on the stage "rocked the house" (see video).
Pontoon boats are sweeping the country but are just starting to get popular in the PNW. The new generation of pontoon boats uses modern multi-hull technology to create the best performing and most comfortable boats of their size and price. We have used our pontoon boat, Happy Hours, more than any of our friends have used their comparable in size single hull boats. Our boat is ready to board and can be used at the dock as a living-room/cocktail-lounge or quickly launched to enjoy the lake in comfort and luxury.
Dear family and friends – If you missed going out with us this year, please call or email early for an outing next year. We love sharing our fun experiences!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

2012 Summer in Seattle


The Dykstras’ summer on Lake Washington was the best ever! 2012 set the record with 81 days (mid July through mid October) with less than 0.03 inches of rain. We were out on our boat, Happy Hours, 53 days with family and friends. Comments from out-of-towners include, “Our most memorable day in the Seattle area.” Comments from locals include, “The best day of our summer.”
This is our second year with the boat and its reputation has grown. The number and length of visits from relatives and out-of-town friends increased. The grandkids learned to water ski behind the boat. 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 Realtor friends and their clients. 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, and in the party coves of Andrews Bay, Meydenbauer Bay, Fairweather Bay, and Cozy Cove. We took the boat through the locks to Poulsbo and it performed beautifully in the Sound. We joined the Rainier Yacht Club which is known as “The Fun Club” and had a lot of fun with the club members and activities. I have 3,873 pictures and movies taken this year and I am in the process of editing them. The best of the summer are up on a new Happy Hours 2012 Picasa web album. Because of all the above, my golf scores are up and I am way behind in posting to this blog. I will be catching up!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Obama at Sinegal Hunts Point Mansion

President Obama is attending two fundraisers today at the Hunts Point mansion of James D. and Janet Sinegal. More information, including a video, is in yesterday’s and today’s KING-5 news. James is the co-founder, with Jeffrey Brotman, of Costco and former President, CEO of the company. Two previous Obama fundraisers were held at Brotman’s Medina LW waterfront mansion (click for more information). James started his retail career in 1954 as a bagger for FedMart. He worked with Sol and Robert Price in San Diego to form Price Club in 1976. In 1993 Costco and Price Club were similar in size with about $8 billion each in annual sales and the two companies merged. In 1994 and Price Club stores became Costcos. The Sinegals are next door neighbors to a Nordstrom family mansion and Scott Oki’s mansion. Oki is the area’s golf mogul. More neighborhood information is on a LW Cruising post. The Sinegals’ mansion is 8,370 sq ft on 1.56 acres with 165 feet of waterfront. (The page numbers in the photos refer to LW 130 Homes.)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Seattle’s Seafair 2012

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.” (See Seafair’s Water Party)
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 3-5, The Navy F-18 air show begins at 1 pm and the Blue Angels performance starts at 1:30 pm. (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.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Seattle Boat Sales Jumping

Seattle Boat Show 2012
The Marine Industry Association announced (5/16/12 Sport Fishing Magazine) the first jump in annual boat sales and boating participation since 2006. 2011 U.S. retail sales for boats, accessories and services jumped 6 percent to $32.3 billion, according to the organization’s latest Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract. In addition, boating participation increased 10 percent to 83 million (or 34.8 percent of adults, the highest since 1997). “The data signals the beginning of a recovery for the U.S. recreational boating industry,” the NMMA press release states. 2012 sales are running ahead of 2011.
Seattle area boat dealers are also seeing a major increase in sales and activity. The fastest growing segment of the recreational boating industry is pontoon boats. Pontoon type boats have evolved dramatically over the past years. They have come from spartan, low-performance, low cost water transportation and fishing platforms to high performance trimarans with a flat deck, very comfortable seating and luxurious features. These are the most versatile, stable and economical runabout boats. The top-of-the-line trimaran design provides outstanding performance with reduced water resistance and low fuel consumption. These boats are perfect for activities ranging from high speed (up to 50 mph) water sports (water skiing, tubing, etc.) to relaxed cocktail cruising and dock parties.
Dykstra’s Happy Hours
My boat, Happy Hours, is a new super-luxurious Avalon tri-toon boat. It includes an upper deck with seating, a sunbathing area and a water slide. The main level includes luxurious seating for 14, 2 drink and appetizer tables, multiple cup and drinking glass holders, a wine and storage cellar, a privacy (porta-potty) station plus a wet bar with a blender, an electric wine and glasses rack and a refrigerator. We, our family and our friends are having fantastic great times with it.
Avalon Paradise Sandbar
Tom’s Boats, the area’s leading pontoon boat dealer stated: “The increase in sales this year is amazing. It’s across the board from $14,000 easy to trailer runabouts and fishing boats to the $90,000 deluxe party and water sports boats.” He is currently showing over 50 listings on

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Obama Mercer Island Advisor Joseph Schocken

Joseph and Judy Schocken’s Mercer Island Mansion
This modern mansion, 0.4 miles north of Paul Allen’s (12/28/10 post for viewing guide) campus/compound, is 5,400 sq ft on 0.87 acres with 200 feet of waterfront and a private beach. An information and viewing guide for the neighborhood is in a 2/27/12 “Cruising South Lake Washington” post.
President Obama selected Joseph Schocken from Mercer Island as an advisor for the Administration’s JOBS Act signed into law last month. A 4/7/12 feature article in The Seattle Times by Jon Talton has more information. Schocken attended the Rose Garden bill-signing ceremony.
Back in 2004 a 7/27/04 feature article in The Seattle Times by David Postman highlighted Schocken’s rise to the Democratic Party’s elite. Joseph and his wife, Judy, have raised millions of dollars for the Democratic Party. This includes fundraisers at their beautiful Mercer Island waterfront mansion. They have personally donated close to a million dollars over the years. They personally know the last three Democratic presidential candidates and spent weekends on Nantucket with John and Teresa Heinz Kerry during the Edwards-Kerry campaign. He is a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and attends dinners with the Committee’s high-level National Advisory Board. The Board has about 30 members that are at the highest level of the Party. The Schocken’s four children are also political activists.
Joseph is president and founder (1987) of Broadmark Capital, LLC, a prominent Seattle investment bank. The firm has raised more than $1 billion for investment in more than 75 (and growing) regional businesses. Most of these are technology related and the investments can be for start-up or secondary stages. Bennett Environment, Optiva and Universal Access are some of the firm’s client companies. Joseph is on the boards of numerous companies.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ballmer Worst CEO - Forbes

Steve Ballmer’s Hunts Point Mansion
“#1 – Steve Ballmer, Microsoft. Without a doubt, Mr. Ballmer is the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today.” This is the first sentence about Steve Ballmer in a 5/12/12 Forbes article by Adam Hartung titled: “Oops! Five CEOs Who Should Have Already Been Fired (Cisco, GE, WalMart, Sears, Microsoft)
The article continues: “Not only has he singlehandedly steered Microsoft out of some of the fastest growing and most lucrative tech markets (mobile music, handsets and tablets) but in the process he has sacrificed the growth and profits of not only his company but “ecosystem” companies such as Dell, Hewlett Packard and even Nokia. The reach of his bad leadership has extended far beyond Microsoft when it comes to destroying shareholder value – and jobs.
“Microsoft peaked at $60/share in 2000, just as Mr. Ballmer took the reins. . . only rarely made it back to its current low $30s value. . . execution of new rollouts were constantly delayed, and ended up with products so lacking in any enhanced value . . . as Apple took the leadership position in personal technology.
So today . . . Microsoft is a PC company, nothing more, as demand for PCs shifts to mobile. . . An insane bet for any CEO – and one that would have been avoided entirely had the Microsoft Board replaced Mr. Ballmer years ago . . .
Although he’s #19 on Forbes list of billionaires, Mr. Ballmer should not be allowed to take such incredible risks with investor money and employee jobs. Best he be retired to enjoy his fortune rather than deprive investors and employees of building theirs.”

Steve joined Microsoft in 1980 for a percentage of the company, a $50,000 annual salary and stock options. He was Microsoft’s 24th employee and first manager other than Gates and Allen. The Hunts Point mansion of Steve and Connie Ballmer is pictured above. They purchased the estate in 1987 for $1.3 million and extensively renovated the buildings, but maintained their charm, in 1991. The mansion and property has a $10 million estimated value. The main house is 4,175 sq ft and the property is 2.09 acres with 160 feet of waterfront. It is adjacent to the south of Craig McCaw’s (formerly Kenny G’s) mansion (4/30/12 post). The neighborhood is covered in a 2/16/11 Lake Washington Cruising post.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

President Obama at Blumes’ Seattle Mansion

President Obama returned to the Seattle area last Thursday for a lavish fundraiser at a prominent waterfront mansion. The event was covered in a Seattle Times 5/10/12 article. The $35,800 per plate lunch was at the mansion of Bruce and Anne Blume in the Denny-Blaine neighborhood of Seattle on Lake Washington waterfront. The article reported the Blumes are major Democratic donors, who have given more than $118,000 to federal Democratic candidates and committees since 2008, including $50,000 they gave to help finance Obama's inauguration party. President and Michelle Obama have attended previous lavish Lake Washington waterfront mansion fundraisers at the homes of Costco Co-Founder Jeff Brotman (12/18/12, 2/9/12, 10/24/10 posts), former Microsoft President Jon Shirley (10/5/11 post), and RealNetworks Founder Rob Glaser (9/27/10 post).
This $20 million mansion was built over a period of three plus years for the Blumes by Charter Construction. The mansion is on page 37 in Lake Washington 130 Homes. The neighborhood includes numerous prominent mansions including two that formerly belonged to two of the famous McCaw brothers. Neighborhood information is in LW Cruising 4/19/12 and 4/24/12 posts.
The Blumes’ former residence in Broadmoor is listed for sale for $3 million. Bruce is a prominent commercial real estate developer. His firm, The Blume Co., is a major developer in the South Lake Union and University of Washington districts. He founded the company in 1982. The company owns 16 buildings on 10 acres in 6 centers. The centers are Yale Campus, 1100 Eastlake, Eastlake Center, University Center, 45th Street Place and Northlake Place.
The mansion is 13,300 sq ft on 1.0 acres with 160 feet of waterfront. This is the former site of the Canadian Consulate. Blume acquired the property from Canada 1/18/05 for $7.8 million and, in 2006, demolished the consulate and started construction on the current mansion. The seller is listed as “Her Majesty Elizabeth II – Queen of Canada.” This is the way Canada lists its foreign properties but the Queen was never here. Some tours incorrectly tell their groups this was the site of the Seattle vacation home for the Queen. The Canadian Consulate is now located in downtown Seattle in the 30 story Century Square building at the corner of Pike and 4th Ave.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Kenny G returns home to Seattle

Craig McCaw’s – formerly Kenny G’s – Hunts Point Home

Kenny G (Gorelick) returned home last week for eight performances at Seattle’s Jazz Alley. A review of his performances was in The Seattle Times on 4/27/12.

He used to live on the Hunts Point property, with two mansions, pictured above. He was born in Seattle and went to Franklin HS where he played in the jazz band and played on the golf team. He is now one of the top celebrity amateur golfers. On summer evenings when he lived in Hunts Point he would sometimes sit on the end of the dock and play his saxophone. His beautiful music would resonate throughout the cove.
Kenny G won the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Forever in Love. He is best known for his saxophone playing. He is the best selling instrumentalist in the world with over 70 million singles and albums sold. His album Breathless sold 12 million copies. Songbird was his first number one singles hit in 1986. His other popular singles include Forever In Love, Sentimental, Silhouette and The Wedding Song. He composes and writes most of his songs along with songs for others.
This property is now the home (LW 130 Homes page 152 and 153) of Craig and Susan McCaw. It was purchased in 1999 from Kenny G 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.
Susan is a former U.S. Ambassador to Austria. 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 (4/16/12 LW Cruising post) and Bruce recently sold his Medina estate (2/13/11 post). The brothers grew their deceased (1969) father’s, Elroy’s, businesses into the 20th largest cable carrier in the U.S. In the early 1980s they started in the fledging cellular phone industry. They founded Kirkland-based McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc. in 1984. In 1986 they sold the cable business for $750 million and bought MCI’s wireless operations for $122 million. McCaw Cellular went public in 1987 raising $2 billion. In 1994, with Craig as CEO, McCaw Cellular was sold to AT&T for $11.5 billion. Following the sale Craig’s net worth was $2.6 billion and each of the brothers’ was slightly less.
Kenny G is a friend of the McCaw families and performs at family weddings and other events. It is rumored that he stays in the 4,760 sq ft guest house in the lower left (partially obscured by trees) of the bottom picture when he is in the Seattle area. After selling the Hunts Point property he purchased a Malibu, CA compound on the oceanfront from actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

$9 Million Seattle WF Sale 2011 – Richard Robbins

This Harrison/Denny-Blaine mansion is on page 35 of LW 130 Homes and is 7,060 sq ft on 0.8 acres with 120 feet of waterfront. This is the former home of Richard J. and Bonnie Robbins. The mansion was purchased 7/11/11 for $9 million by LD and LAI LLC whose members are Aileen Dong and Alice Shen.
Richard Robbins was President of Kent-based The Robbins Company from 1958 to 1993 when it was acquired by Sweden-based Atlas Copco AB. The Robbins Company (Richard is now a Director) invents, engineers, develops and produces tunnel boring machines. It now operates as a subsidiary of Atlas. Richard’s father, James S. Robbins, founded The Robbins Company in 1952. Richard took over at the age of 25, two years after earning his engineering degree and upon the untimely death of his father. Richard and the company are noted for innovative designs that have enabled projects such as the English Channel tunnel and many aqueduct and hydro power tunnels. Richard holds 67 U.S. and foreign patents. He is now President of Seattle-based Robbins Group LLC which focuses on research and product development for The Robbins Company. In 2009 he received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Engineering from the Philadelphia-based Franklin Institute.
The property was listed for sale for $10.8 million (Bob Bennion and Bob Deville, Windermere): “Exquisite 1932 Tudor Revival home with lake and mountain views, privately situated on .9+/- acre lot w/ beach house and 120' waterfront w/ dock. Available for first time in 40 years! Elegant dayrooms with pine-paneled walls; 2005 kitchen designed by Nils Finne and built by Schultz Miller; view terrace; 5 bedrooms; 5 baths; 4 fireplaces; office; rec room; wine cellar; 2-car garage. Beach house with kitchen, fireplace and 2 baths. Lovely grounds with sweeping lawns, mature plantings and tram.”
Up the hill above this home, Kurt Cobain, a famous Seattle musician, rented a house in the 1990s. He committed suicide in the house’s greenhouse April 5, 1994 and afterwards the greenhouse was torn down. A bench in Viretta Park also just above this home, is host to a makeshift shrine to Kurt. Thousands of fans of the music of Cobain’s band, Nirvana, have come here to pay tribute and guidebooks list the park as the “Kurt Cobain Park.”

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Barry Ackerley (1935-2011) Mansion

View From Dock
This is the former Denny-Blaine home of Barry and Ginger Ackerley. The mansion was purchased from the Ackerleys 6/11/2008 for $13.3 million by Dr. Frederic Hutchins Moll. The property was listed for sale for $15.0 Million in 2009 (Betsy Terry, Ewing and Clark) and later taken off the market.
Barry Ackerley (1935-2011) is a former owner of the NBA Seattle SuperSonics (aka Sonics). He purchased the Sonics in 1983 from Sam Schulman, who founded the team in 1967. The team won the NBA championship in 1979. During the 18 years of Ackerley’s ownership the team reached the playoffs 13 times. From The Seattle Times obituary: “Mr. Ackerley sold the Sonics in 2001 to a group of investors led by Howard Schultz [page 21 LW 130 Homes]. Mr. Ackerley was saddened when the team relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008.” The team made the playoffs only once after it was sold by Ackerley in 2001. The Times article also noted “Ackerley came to Seattle and became its baron of billboards.” He was the founder and former Chairman/CEO of The Ackerley Group. The Ackerley Group owned television and radio stations that were purchased by Clear Channel Communications in 2001.
Dr. Moll graduated from Seattle’s Lakeside HS in 1969. (Other LW 130 Homes graduates of Lakeside include Charles Pigott ’47, Craig McCaw ’68, Paul Allen ’71 and Bill Gates ’73.) Dr. Moll received his MD from UW Medical School. He was a surgeon at Virginia Mason in Seattle. In 1989, Dr. Moll co-founded Silicon Valley based Origin Medsystems, Inc., a medical device company, which was acquired by Eli Lilly in 1992 in a $150 million deal. In November 1995, Dr. Moll co-founded Intuitive Surgical Inc., another Silicon Valley medical device company, and served as its first CEO. The company raised $6 million in a 2000 IPO. He co-founded Silicon Valley CA based Hansen Medical in 2002. The company designs and manufactures medical robotics. He was CEO from inception to 2010 when he was named Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. He resigned in 2011 and joined the BOD of Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation in Florida. Maybe he is moving back to this home.
The mansion is on page 33 of LW 130 Homes and has 6,580 sq ft on 0.46 acres. It is a prime lot on a point with 146 feet of waterfront and two docks, a tennis court and swimming pool.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Paul Allen’s Yachts

The 414 ft $200 Million Octopus
The 302 ft $162 Million Tatoosh
The 199 ft $80 Million Meduse

Paul Allen is known for many things and one of them is his luxury yachts. His largest ones are pictured above. He is reported to own over fifteen 50 ft+ luxury yachts. Two of them are tenders on the Octopus. The Octopus was in the national news, including The Associated Press/Seattle Times 4/4/12 article, for the yacht’s use in a South Pacific search for a missing U. S. pilot. The pilot was involved in an official pursuit of illegal fishing operations.
The Octopus when it was launched in 2003 was listed as the largest and most expensive privately owned yacht. The mega-yacht has two helipads with enclosed hangers, seven boats used as tenders and runabouts, two submarines, several personal watercraft (PWC – sometimes improperly called jet-skis), a pool, a basketball court, 13 staterooms and 26 crew cabins on seven levels with more than 50,000 sq ft under roof. The Bornrich site now has it listed at number nine and his Tatoosh at number ten in its list of the 16 top privately owned super-yachts. The top ranked private yacht is the $485 million 558 foot long Eclipse owned by Russian multi-billionaire, Roman Abramovich.
The price of the Octopus and Tatoosh are each more than the estimated and appraised $150 million value of his 10 acre, 100,000+ sq ft under roof, campus/compound on Mercer Island. This compound with a viewing guide was featured in a 12/28/10 post. More information on Allen’s super-yachts can be found by clicking on the links for the Octopus, the Tatoosh and the Meduse.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nordstrom Waterfront Park – Mercer Island

This is the site of the Nordstrom family private waterfront park. From 1999 through 2009, James F. Jr (Jamie) and Lisa Nordstrom purchased, for $9.1 million, 4 parcels from the George W. Clarke estate and family. The last 3 undeveloped parcels, with 300 ft of waterfront on 1 acre, were acquired in 2008 and 2009. The mansion, up the hill, is 5,140 sq ft. The waterfront has a park-like setting with a recently erected “cabana with deck” structure that looks like it is for parties and picnics. There are docks for multiple yachts and watercraft. It is an ideal setting for family gatherings including Seafair.
Jamie (age 38) is the great grandson of John W. Nordstrom, the founder of Seattle based Nordstrom, Inc. He is EVP of the company and President of Nordstrom Direct. Numerous Nordstrom families reside on Mercer Island. They have generously contributed to and supported many community causes.
George W. Clarke was a well-known and respected community and family leader. He served in the Washington state House and Senate from 1966 to 1985. He died in 2006 at the age of 100. He had nine grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren when he died. This was previously known as the Clarke family private waterfront park. Clarke families still reside in the immediate area.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

LW Waterfront Welfare Mansion

A Lake Washington waterfront welfare recipient, who is living in a $3 million mansion, has been in recent local and national news. ($3 million is my estimated value of the mansion. The appraised value is $1.2 million.)
A 12/7/11 KING 5 News post by Chris Ingalls has the most information and a video of the home and story. According to KING 5, Lyudmila Shimonova, who has received $135,000 in government (Seattle Housing Authority and HUD) housing assistance, has lived in the mansion since 2003. The mansion is owned by Seattle doctor David Silverstein. The KING 5 article stated, “ . . . Shimonova identified [Silverstein] as her landlord when she filed for housing and cash assistance and food stamps. Government investigators believe Silverstein and Shimonova are actually married and that they live together in the lakeside house. . . . [government] Inspectors [annual inspections] . . . never reported any suspicion about fraud, according to the Seattle Housing Authority. . . Neither Shimonova or Silverstein has been charged.” The mansion has 53 feet of prime waterfront with a dock, boat and fantastic views of Mount Rainier.
View from Mansion

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dykstra (Lenny) – Going to Jail

Dykstra Boat and Home

Those are Susan’s and David’s – not Lenny’s. (More information on our boat and home is on the Happy Hours blog.) We are NOT related to Lenny Dykstra! I’ve often been asked if I am related to him. I liked it better when he was a baseball superstar.
Lenny, a former star with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, was sentenced yesterday in California to three years in prison. He pleaded no contest to grand-theft auto and providing false financial statements. He had previously pleaded not guilty to 25 charges including indecently exposing himself to females he met on Craigslist and possession of cocaine, Ecstasy and illegal synthetic hormones. You can read more in almost every major news publication, including Sports Illustrated/CNN.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mastro Pieces and Michael’s Mansion

Mastro’s Former Medina Mansion
“Mastro Pieces” is the title of today’s Seattle Times article on the auction of Michael Mastro’s items that he left behind before he and his wife disappeared last summer. They remain at large following warrants for their arrest and court orders that they turn over jewelry valued at $1.4 million.The courts confiscated items left behind. These include the following items (and the auction net prices): 2007 Bentley ($95,500), Chihuly chandelier ($35,000), Steinway piano ($17,000) and four bottles of wine ($2,200). The auction netted a total $341,000.
The mansion was sold by the bankruptcy court in 2010 for $9.1 million. Unpaid debts are more than $270 million.
The Mastro bankruptcy, with original 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. More information about Mastro and his former Medina Mansion is in previous posts on 4/6/11, 11/10/10, 10/11/10 and 11/12/09 and Lake Washington 130 Homes on page 126.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bensussen buys Olsons’ Hunts Point Mansion – $11 Million

Hunts Point – “The Bellisima”
The $11 million sale was recorded 1/23/12. The buyer was listed as ERGL LLC whose agent and manager is Eric Bensussen. He is the Co-Founder (with Barry Deutsch) and President of Woodinville based Bensussen Deutsch & Associates, Inc (aka BDA Inc.) The company’s slogan is “Evolving Branded Merchandise.” A 10/15/2000 Puget Sound Business Journal article by Sharon Baker featured the founders and the start of the company. “Eric Bensussen, then 20, and Jay Deutsch, all of 17, launched their Woodinville company by selling Seattle Seahawks sweatshirts in 1984. . . the duo now run an operation that could bring in some $140 million in sales this year, up from $108 million in 1999. . . provides promotional merchandise -- those freebie hats and T-shirts, pens and other merchandise emblazoned with company logos -- as part of an overall promotional strategy for firms such as The Boeing Co., Microsoft Corp., PepsiCo Inc. and Nintendo of America Inc. . . .” The company is now international, revenue exceeded $250 million in 2010 and clients include Coca-Cola, Major League Baseball and GEICO.
This mansion, “The Bellisima,” was featured in a 3/11/11 post when it was listed for $14.1 million. (The listing price was $12.9 million at the time of the sale.) The mansion (page 136 in LW 130 Homes) is near the center of the eastern shore of Fairweather Bay. It was listed by Tere Foster and Becky Gray, Windermere. The sellers, Rodney and Janice Olson, purchased the Hunts Point 2 acre tip on 3/31/11 for $14.8 million (see 6/11/11 post).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Paul Maritz Exec of the Year – Silicon Valley

Paul and Yaffa Maritz’s Mercer Island Home

Paul Maritz, a former Microsoft top executive, was named the Silicon Valley Business Journal's 2011 Executive of the Year. “2011 has been tough for many of Silicon Valley's biggest tech companies . . . All the while, VMware Inc. has been . . . steadily growing its business and developing new products that have kept it at the forefront of its industry. That's why, in this week's Business Journal, we named VMware CEO Paul Maritz as our Executive of the Year. . . is planning an expansion that will more than triple the size of its headquarters campus.”
He joined the company as CEO in 2008. VMware provides virtualization (cloud computing) software. Maritz’ corporate statement is “VMware enables our customers’ success by simplifying and automating IT in the Cloud Era.” Maritz was also the recipient of Computerworld’s 2011 Morgan Stanley Leadership Award for Global Commerce, “which recognizes individuals whose personal leadership has made a critical contribution to the effective use of information technology throughout the world.”
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.
He has maintained his Mercer Island home that is near and south of Paul Allen’s campus/compound.  A major expansion of this home and dock house was completed in 2003. The living area is now 8,040 sq ft and the property is 1.6 acres with 169 feet of waterfront.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Marty Lott - Person of the Year – 2011

Marty and Sharon Lott’s Mercer Island Home
The Advertising Specialty Institute® recently named Marty Lott “2011 Person of the Year.” In 2008 he ranked No. 1 in the Institute®’s Power 50 list of the industry's most influential leaders. Marty is the founder and president of Issaquah based SanMar. The company is a leading supplier of apparel and accessories.
In 1971 when he was in college Marty started the company in his parents’ Seattle garage. From an initial offering of a few T-shirts and one backpack the company has grown to over 40,000 SKUs with 15 retail, mill and private label brands housed in six national distribution centers covering 3.25 million square feet and employing more than 1,800 staff members. It has remained family owned and operated and recently had a 40th birthday party celebration.
The company is an award-winning supplier of 14 retail, private label and mill brands. It supplies apparel and accessories to screen printers, embroiderers, promotional products distributors, athletic dealers, industrial launderers, etc. SanMar is the exclusive distributor of Nike Golf, OGIO® and New Era®. Its other retail brands include Gildan®, Jerzees®, and Hanes®. SanMar also produces Port Authority®, America's No.1 private clothing label. Red House®, Port & Company®, District Threads®, Sport-Tek®, CornerStone® and Precious Cargo® complete its high-quality private label offerings.
A major expansion of the Lott's Mercer Island home was completed over the last three years. It now has a total of 12,310 sq ft. The property is 1.8 acres with 150 feet of waterfront. It is eight properties south of Paul Allen’s campus/compound.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

President Obama – Bill Gates

Bill Gates supported President Obama with his attendance at the fundraising lunch at the mansion of Jeff and Susan Brotman on February 17, 2012. This event was reported today in The Seattle Times. The Times reported the $17,900 per plate brunch was attended by approximately 70 people. Natalie Cole performed and the lunch was prepared by renowned chef, Tom Douglas. An earlier post has more information on the event.
Gates and Brotman are Medina neighbors with Jeff Bezos’ mansions in between. The Brotman mansion is in the exclusive cove of Medina that includes Nathan Myhrvold’s T-Rex house, Charles Simonyi’s Windows 2000 house and Gary Reed’s former estate. Cruising, boating and viewing this area is featured in Lake Washington Cruising blog posts (5/8/11 and 5/4/11).
Jeff is the Chairman and co-founder of Costco. The mansion, as reported in the New York Times and my earlier post, is known as “Their Art House.”
The A through F letters in the above picture of Gates’ mansion and convention center refer to a “Guide For Viewing Gates’ Mansion From the Water.” The page number on all the above mansion pictures refer to Lake Washington 130 Homes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Newport Shores – Venice of Lake Washington

Newport Shores is a Bellevue neighborhood built in the 1960s and consists of man-made peninsulas and canals. The neighborhood has 343 homes on 172 acres. 100 of the homes are on lake or canal waterfront. The 25 homes that are on the lake have larger lots, lake views and have higher average valuations. Three of these homes have been recently listed for sale or sold for more than $4.8 million. These homes were featured in a Lake Washington Cruising blog post.
The protected canals are wonderful for large yachts. Many of the homeowners’ yachts that are moored in front of their houses are more expensive than their homes. Neighborhood block parties are often on the yachts. The Newport Yacht Club is located within the neighborhood and has a clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts, other amenities and a 119 boat slip marina. Various forms of membership to the club come with owning a home in Newport Shores.
The main canal has two branch canals. The total length of the canals is slightly less than one mile. The canals are wide and easy to navigate but less than no-wake speeds are mandatory.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Paul Allen Charity

Paul Allen’s charity donations in 2011 were the most generous of any living American donor. This was reported in The Chronicle Of Philanthropy on 2/6/12 and summarized in a 2/7/12 Puget Sound Business Journal article by Emily Parkhurst. Allen gave a total of $372 million to charity. He gave $295 million to his own Allen Family Foundation and $70 million to the Allen Institute for Brain Science. The Allen Family Foundation has numerous programs including libraries, education, science, arts and culture.

Allen was number three on the list of all American donors. Two deceased donors gave more. Margaret A. Cargill from Minnesota bequeathed $6 billion and William S. Dietrich II of Pittsburgh bequeathed $500 million. Bill Gates was not on this year’s Chronicle’s list of the 50 most generous people in America.

Paul Allen and his Mercer Island private campus/compound/estate are on pages 64 and 65 in Lake Washington 130 Homes. The book highlights the charity activities of owners of the mansions in the book. Previous posts in this blog regarding Paul Allen were about his book, Idea Man, (4/22/11) and a guide for viewing his Mercer Island campus (12/28/10).

Paul Allen’s Private $150 million, 9.6 acre campus/compound/estate

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Obama – Brotman Brunch

President Obama will return to the Brotmans for a fundraising brunch on February 17, 2012. This was reported in the Seattle Times in an Associated Press article on February 1. The $17,900 per plate brunch will be at the mansion of Jeff and Susan Brotman. The funds will be used for Obama’s reelection campaign and to support the Democratic National Committee. The Brotmans previously hosted a $7,500 per plate Democratic fundraising lunch with Michelle Obama on October 25, 2010. 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, as reported in the New York Times, is 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 optimum natural light on the extensive art collection.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dykstra at 2012 Seattle Boat Show

Seattle Boat Show 2012
Friday 1/27 – Sunday 2/5/12
800 Occidental Ave So, Seattle - CenturyLink Field
Hours:  Mon-Thur 11am – 8pm
               Fridays     11am – 9pm
               Saturdays 10am – 8pm
               Sundays    10am – 6pm
Book Signing – Author Appearance
Lake Washington 130 Homes
by David C. Dykstra
I will be at Captain’s Nautical Supplies booth, Concourse 2237, at the show signing copies of the book, playing on HDTV a new multi-media presentation of the Evening Magazine segment on the book, the book’s highlights and boating on LW. “Lake Washington 130 Homes” is a guided waterfront tour of Lake Washington’s most magnificent mansions and estates creatively woven with current and historical information about the homes, owners, their businesses and their communities.” Books will be on sale and available for purchase and, along with personal signings, I will be available for informal Q&A. Please stop by anytime at Captain’s Nautical Supplies booth – Concourse 2237.
I will be conducting a seminar Wednesday, 2/1/12, at 1:15 in the Gold Room. The seminar title is “Cruising Lake Washington: The Map of the Stars.” The seminar will be for both people who frequently and rarely boat in LW. There are more than 200 additional interesting boating and fishing seminars at the show.
I will occasionally be at Tom’s – Avalon Luxury Pontoon Boats, booth North 155. I bought my new Avalon (Avalon video) luxury pontoon boat (boating blog and video) from Tom at last year’s show. I recommend you stop by and see some of the perfect boats for the PNW.
Go to Dykstra Boat Show pdf for more information.
Call my cell – 206-931-6065 for show passes.