Inside story of the sale of Edith Macefield’s home

Three and half years after offering $1 million for Edith Macefield’s home, the same developers offered owner Barry Martin $275,000 for the small house, Martin says. But he decided to take a $310,000 offer from Reach Returns, leaving the Ballard Blocks developers empty-handed once again. “The thing that struck me the most is he understood what Edith was doing,” Martin said of Reach Returns co-founder Greg Pinneo. “He gets it.” (See earlier story: Edith Macefield’s house sold, to be elevated.)

The deal came together when Martin discovered an old letter from Pinneo in an envelope Edith kept of real estate inquiries. “I went through them and called four or five of them,” Martin said, but Pinneo was the only interested buyer. With an offer from the Ballard Blocks developer on the table, and a new offer from Pinneo in hand, Martin said he remembered seeing a story about the Edith Macefield tattoos. “I’m thinking, what a bunch of whack jobs,” he said. But as he heard from the people who wore the tattoos, he said he realized the depth of affection the neighborhood has for Edith’s memory. “She wasn’t doing anything other than being deliberate about what she wanted, which was to be left alone, live and die, there in her house.” He then decided to sell to Pinneo.

“She made us all look right in the mirror and ask the hard questions,” Pinneo says. “I’ve never met her, but I feel connected to her because she lived her credo, lived her philosophy. I felt compelled to let this deep thinking live on.” As for Martin, he says he’s relieved it’s over. “She got into my head pretty good,” he said. “I feel good about it, and I think that she would, too.” He said he’s also looking forward to Reach Return’s bold plans for the property, although he wonders how it’s structurally going to come together. “I’m kind of excited,” he said. “Part of me thinks Edith would be thrilled about it.” As for the money, Martin says it’s going to a good cause: putting his two kids through college.


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BallardMallard
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BallardMallard

Yeah, but check out their website: http://www.reachreturns.com/

Also: http://www.credosquare.com/

Ernie
Member
Ernie

For $310K it would have almost been worth buying it just to live in. Close to a grocery, bar, bus stop, and a church (if that's your thing). It would be a lot more interesting than a plain old condo for the same price.

Boardbrown
Member
Boardbrown

But the reality is that NO ONE knows what Edith would think, 'cause she's dead. And the only one who spent any effort to get to know her is Martin. So you can all wear your tattoos, write this woman as a working class hero…but you really don't know shit.

But if some of you out there can gain some inspiration from all this, more power to you.

Ugh!
Guest
Ugh!

I'm happy that Martin will be able to put his kids through college but it makes me sick to think that Pinneo owns that property. He used to be my landlord and the man has no integrity. If Edith had been renting that house from him, he'd have jacked up the rent till she'd be forced to leave and then torn the place down (and he'd charge her enormous damage fees to pay for the renovation). Here's a good example of the type of landlord he is: http://www.seattleweekly.com/1998-09-23/news/th… If Harbor House was last spring's poster child for housing-crunch horrors, this season's demonstration case is a small apartment building at 100 E. Edgar Street in Eastlake. KOMO and KING TV had a go at it, and the Post-Intelligencer did a long take-out on Monday. It's a grim case, but a timely one—arriving just as the Seattle City Council considers ordinances to (slightly) mitigate the ravages on renters of roughshod-landlording and a runaway housing market. On August 31 Greg Pinneo of Edmonds wrote to the 11 Edgar Street tenants that he'd bought the building, their bargain rents would rise drastically, and they'd also have to pony up new damage deposits and month's… Read more »

gordy
Member
gordy

I'm pretty sure we got a flyer from this couple about half a year ago. One of those mass mail out “my wife and I are interested in purchasing a small home in Ballard to live in” things. Didn't believe it for a second. This kind of letter always go in recycle immediately.

rufus455
Guest
rufus455

This is a scam,it does not add up.

plumbe
Guest
plumbe

Anyone who believes that design is going up in that location is in for a major disappointment!

Ballard_mayor
Guest
Ballard_mayor

y'know – the decision was Edith's to make although I cannot say I would have made the same choice. at that time, I thought all the attention and the symbolism her refusal to sell received was a bit odd. she probably didn't view it as anything symbolic, just her decision that she made and which a bunch of other people latched onto as a means to vent their own concerns about development in Ballard.

now, this whole pinneo story had made it even odder. the building design looks silly. the apparent backstories about pinneo as a landlord are not attractive. and the property is now…being developed into something other than a residential use. so there you go, you anti-developers…looks like you got your wish, eh? Maybe the tattoos can be elevated as well to reflect the new design.

SweetRose
Guest
SweetRose

Again everyone forgets that this woman had actually decided to sell but them broke her hip and could not move. This plan is almost as idiotic as the whole story was to begin with.

I still chuckle when I think of the fools who tattooed their bodies over a story that was never real to begin with. I suppose they will be the ones to buy tiles also. LORD there really is a sucker born every minute.

Ballard_Rocks_Now
Guest
Ballard_Rocks_Now

Shhhh don't remind people. It ruins the story about how she stood up to the “evil developers”.

Ballard_Rocks_Now
Guest
Ballard_Rocks_Now

Way to go Martin! Your complete lack of rationale and due diligence enabled one of the worst decisions of your lifetime. You sold out to one of the worst cronies in the city.

I'm sure your kids education will be worth it though. I've been suspicious of how you obtained this house from the beginning, since nobody ever takes advantage of the elderly. Now that you've sold it to such a high class individual all my doubts are erased.

your neighbor
Guest
your neighbor

Oh lay off. Martin is a nice man. But, too bad he didn't sell to the developers so this whole misguided affair would be over and the folks with the tattoos would feel all the righteous indignation they so clearly desired. But he didn't and now we get more fruitloops in the hood.

Gurple
Member

The meaning of any story is what you read into it. A Macefield House tattoo is no more or less ridiculous than a tattoo of a religious symbol — at least this is a story with verifiable roots, that occurred in this community in our lifetimes.

SweetRose
Guest
SweetRose

Yes, it has been verified that she planned to sell.

sealemon
Guest
sealemon

I drove by yesterday to see a slimey/smarmy man and family being interviewed by someone with a video camera in front of Edith's house and the banner. I had no idea who they were but the man in particular looked like trouble.

I didn't know Edith and I don't know what she would or woudn't have wanted. But I'm not too thrilled with this scam artist's plans.

Brian Benson
Guest
Brian Benson

Recommended/Related reading:
http://seattlest.com/2009/07/08/beneath_some_mo

Ballard_Rocks_Now
Guest
Ballard_Rocks_Now

Is he really a nice man!? Maybe I should enroll in his one of his monthly coaching programs for $40/month. Or do you recommend the 5 year masters course for $770/year or $60/month?

I hope I'm at the level of a “Power Player”. For only $3,200 I may give it a go!

http://www.reachreturns.com/powerplayers.html

Structural
Guest
Structural

I wanna train to be a bulls**t artist!

your neighbor
Guest
your neighbor

Martin is the guy who sold, your beef is with Greg Pinneo. The devil is in the details!

For the record, Pinneo sounds like a horse's patoot. I'm just sayin'.

SweetRose
Guest
SweetRose

No, the horse's patoots are those who fall for his scam.

SweetRose
Guest
SweetRose

Without a doubt. My guess is the excon who wants to buy it will never come up with a dime.

Taru
Guest
Taru

When you do the math, the tiles that Credo is selling go for $15 a square inch.

Jerry
Member
Jerry

Scam. They sell thousands of tiles by playing the “preserve Edith's memory” game. Then, they walk away, forclose on the house, and pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars. Do not buy a tile.

SPG
Guest
SPG

SR, Don't celebrate any holidays if you're so concerned about accuracy.
I don't buy in to the story of Edith taking a stand against development story, but I do have to give her respect for not cashing out when it became inconvenient to do so. Most of us would have taken the money over some comfort.
What people make of the story and the inspiration they find is their business as long as they don't start selling it as some crusade, like oh, I don't know, some developer who abuses his position as landlord to wreak havoc on a whole bunch of people and then buys a home with a story to whitewash his own past…but that would be ridiculous and nobody would buy in to something like that.

Ernie
Member
Ernie

Maybe Pinneo's angle is to buy the house for $310K, sell some tiles and pocket the money, and then become such a PITA that the Ballard Blocks folks finally give in and buy him out for a 1/2 mil just to get rid of him.

Or maybe just wait until the market comes back around and the BB people start to really want the space.

IMHO the house in the sky thing will NEVER happen.

Oh yeah, and there is the marketing thing, how many people had ever heard of his company before yesterday?