Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ryan Lewis Snags Pricey Puget Sound Pad

BUYER: Ryan Lewis
PRICE: $3,300,000
SIZE: 7,610 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Although it's starting to get out all over the Pacific Northwest media Your Mama first heard word from one of the busy celebrity real estate rubberneckers at Redfin that Grammy winning musician Ryan Lewis is all set to trade up from the Thrift Shop to a water front spread in Seattle, WA, that he picked up in late January (2014) for a Rodeo Drive designer boutique price of $3.3 million.

Mister Lewis, an only marginally successful solo musician, was launched to pop music super stardom  in 2013 as Macklemore's scruffy-chinned sidekick, dj, mix master and video directer. In case any of the children somehow failed to notice, Mister Macklemore (née Ben Haggerty) and Mister Lewis were nominated for seven Grammys this year (2014) and the pair took home four statuettes (Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance). If you don't know who these two are are don't blame Your Mama because it's not because they ain't famous it's because you're either uninterested in what's happening in popular music—and fair enough—or simply feel too over the hill to participate in new music memes. Anyways...

Property records show Mister Lewis purchased the bluff top property that overlooks the glistening waters of Puget Sound from Bonnie and Ron Elgin, the latter of whom is a renown and somewhat recently retired advertising honcho whose clientele included McDonalds, Nordstroms, and Holland America Line.

Information Your Mama dug up on the internets suggests Mister and Missus Elgin custom built the two-story—let's call it a vaguely Italian- post-modern villa, shall we—in the affluent Briarcliff 'hood. It has been on and off the market since the middle of 2005. In September 2012 Mister and Missus Elgin re-listed the nearly one acre spread with a rose-tinted asking price of $4,499,000 and by October 2013 the price had plummeted precipitously to $3,490,000 before Mister Lewis came along and snatched it up for $3.3 million.

Listing details show the existing residence was completed in 1995 and contains a total of four bedrooms and three full and two half bathrooms plus five fireplaces in 7,610 square feet of interior space oriented to take best advantage of the sweeping bluff-top western views of the pretty but not exactly pristine Puget Sound and the snow-capped Olympic Mountains. The three-story house is a much more traditional and luxuriously bland affair than we might have imagined would best suit Mister Lewis but the first rule in real estate is, of course, location, location, location and this is unquestionably a prime Puget Sound-side perch in a super-prime locale. Yes? No?

It's a long (if elegant) flight of concrete stairs from the gated, street-level parking pad and detached two-car garage to the double front doors to open into a marble-floored double-height atrium-foyer with a view clear through the house to the spectacularly silhouetted Olympic Mountain range. The marble floors turn to honey-toned wood in the adjoining ballroom-sized combination formal living/dining room where a trio of extra-wide French doors open to a stone (or, more likely, cast concrete) balustraded terrace with unobstructed views across shimming water to Bainbridge Island.

The eat-in kitchen is certainly well-equipped with amenities such as Shaker-style cabinetry, black granite counter tops, and a full suite of top-grade appliances including an industrial-grade range and multiple dishwashers. However, hunties, Your Mama can't help but notice that heavily laden pot rack that's hung ominously over the butcher block topped center work island where the inanimate yet still deeply sinister contraptions could easily drop a copper pot on the unsuspecting head of a toddler or snatch a bobble-headed queen's lace-front weave right off her head.

The upper level master suite is comprised of a bedroom with fireplace, a private den/sitting room, a water-side wrap around terrace, and a private bathroom with what appears to be—but we sincerely hope is not—blush-hued marble.

Other rooms include a small library lined with floor-to-ceiling book shelves, a den off the kitchen that opens to the same balustraded terrace as the living/dining room, and a roomy and fully-carpeted family room that opens to a vine-draped water-side loggia that extends the full width of the house. Somewhere there's a wine cellar with a simply godawful mural that Your Mama can only hope Mister Lewis has the good sense to paint over.

Set to the side and below the house, a series of terraces and lawns step down towards the 150-foot salt water beach at the water's edge. There does not appear to be a swimming pool on the property, which is kind of a bummer in a $3.3 million dollar house but let's face it, sugar beets, Seattle isn't exactly a sunbather's paradise and it surely costs a small fortune each year to heat an outdoor swimming pool in this notably damp (if uncommonly stunning) corner of these great United States.

In early November last year (2013) Mister Lewis's professional compatriot Macklemore gave the celebrity gossips at E! a (video taped) tour of his modest, rental-grade apartment in Seattle. This was, it should be noted, just a few short days after rumors began to swirl amongst Seattleites (and others) who care about such real estate trivialities that Mister Macklemore (and his fiancée) might be moving to million-dollar plus digs in Seattle's thriving  Capital Hill district. Although there has been some speculation as to the property Mister Macklemore (allegedly) acquired this property gossip can not, at this time, confirm or deny a million dollar purchase in the Capital Hill are by Mister Macklemore.

listing photos: Windermere Real Estate


Anonymous said...

I was in this house during an open house late last summer. In my opinion, the house looked somewhat cheap from the outside; it doesn't fit the style of the neighborhood, at all, and it’s just bland stucco. The detached garage looks like it came off the 1960’s tract house I grew up in, and hopefully Mr. Lewis will be adding some charm to it. Getting from the garage to the house will be a very wet affair, as there’s no interior access or even a breezeway; there’s only the aforementioned long flight of concrete stairs. The previous owners had a penchant for trompe l'oeil, complete with some of the baseboards painted to look like marble; to my eye it was slightly tacky. What I really didn’t like was the fact that upon walking through the front door, you run headlong into a banister surrounding the stairs leading to the lower level. The staircase sits right in the damn middle of the entrance foyer and is, in my opinion, an unattractive focal point. The rear terrace is a little narrow for large-scale entertaining, but the view out the back is as lovely as the pictures make it appear, and the back yard is more than large enough. Regarding the beach, I remember thinking that it wouldn’t be very useful. At high tide there’s almost no beach, and at low tide it’s very rocky and mossy.

Perkins Lane, where this house sits, is notorious amongst long-time Seattleites for the landslide in 1996 that sent several houses into Puget Sound.

lil' gay boy said...

If it weren't for the view...

Anon 12:28 I completely agree with your assessment. The aerials reveal little more than a box on a hill, and the builders seem to have succumbed to the penchant that most do when dealing with a waterview home -- to pierce every vertical surface with windows to take advantage of the view without regard to any design principles, but rather mere expedience. The other façades are fenestrated in a manner that seems to be a completely different home.

The interior & the exterior just do not gel for me.

Perhaps a sound remodeling, with some rigorous editing both inside & out, could make this a showplace; as is, it stands as a disappointing attempt to impress.

I'm not.

But I still love the view.

Anonymous said...

Oh mercy, that lane used to be chockablock with adorable lil' houses, all imperiled by Magnolia threatening to slide on top of them whenever the soil above got too saturated. Then the Elgins built this slice of Bellevue, then couldn't sell it to save their lives...if I remember aright, their original price was around $6M.

Mr. Lewis will soon learn what it's like to worry every time it rains. And climate change is going to make our Seattle rains just heavier and heavier.

Anonymous said...

If it hadn't been for Mr. Macklemore, Mr. Lewis would still be the morning DJ on WOLD.

Anonymous said...

Neither uninterested nor over the hill music wise Mama. Just really, really, really tired of the whole hip hop/rap scene. Even pop music has lost it's 'pop' - Britney Spears needs to be auto tuned in the studio and lip syncs in person, and yet she's a superstar? People have lost their minds, and their taste along with it. I'm biding my time, hoping and praying for a music revolution.

Anonymous said...

Never been to Seattle but have often looked at MLS listings for the area and can't believe some of the bad architecture similar to this place or much worse (bad modern, over-the-top pastiche, etc).
Here is one of the few homes I've seen online that makes me swoon, a wood and stone minimalist on the west side of Mercer Island.
One can dream.
Perhaps Mr Lewis' taste will evolve.

Sandpiper said...

I get that these villa(ish) places are cheesy, ambiguously designed eyesores. It's the new baseline. What mystifies me is how it could get even more screwed up. (I'm so bitchy today.)

Why, on the main floor, does that structural beam obstruct the those stunning lunettes window over the french doors? Why, upstairs in the bed-in-a box room, are there no lunettes when there's a sightline overhead to enjoy them? Perplexing. Lastly, why are the water views blocked by solid or near-solid balustrades when there's so much beautiful wrought iron out there to spec from. Meow x 3.

Lastly, why do I love that video so much? Watched it twice.

lil' gay boy said...

Anon 9:06,

Thanks for the link -- the house is stunning; what I always envision when thinking of indigenous modern Pacific Northwest architecture.

And I 've always been a sucker for a dry-stacked Pennsylvania bluestone wall...

Anonymous said...

lil' gay boy

I was trying to describe the style and gave up but you are spot on.
If I was a Microsoft zillionaire, this would definitely be my PNW residence (besides the yacht of course), but on a larger lot with a pool. (Much enjoy your always well informed comments.)

Anon 9:06

Julie said...


Ben Haggerty's new digs.