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.)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Medina – Groat Point Demolition

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

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Paul Ryan at McCaw Family’s Hunts Point Compound

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