Edith Macefield’s house sold, to be elevated

Updated: The small house that Edith Macefield refused to sell for nearly $1 million has sold to a local company best known for its motivational seminars. The new owners, Reach Returns, say that they’ll keep the home, but elevate it off the ground in a surprising new development called “Credo Square.”

The plan is to preserve Edith’s home, “keeping the outdoor appearance identical,” and elevate it to the height of surrounding commercial buildings. Inside, the home will be remodeled and used as office space. Underneath, Reach Returns says it will create a two-level open space that will be open to the public during regular business hours. Credo Square will feature plants and flowing water, and it will be surrounded by tiles that can be purchased (for $250 on up) featuring your own name and “credo.”

Here’s a sketch of the project. “The Edith Macefield story challenged many people to ask themselves the hard questions,” says Reach Returns co-founder Greg Pinneo. “The challenge she delivered so resembles the message of Reach Returns that we were compelled to find a way to keep the challenge alive. The home needs to be elevated literally and philosophically.”

Pinneo said he’ll move quickly now on securing the necessary permits, which will involve weighing the house to determine how much steel is required to hold it up. “We’re committed in whole heart to the project,” he says, adding that it’s not as complicated as it looks to build.

The Edith Macefield story has grabbed national headlines since the 86-year-old Ballard woman refused to sell, leaving construction crews to build a five-story development around her. Just in May, Disney used the home in a PR stunt to promote the new animated feature, “Up,” which closely mirrors Edith’s story. And for some Ballard residents, Edith has become an indelible part of our neighborhood’s history. “If someone could turn (her home) into something that brings folks together, that would be a great use of the place,” wrote one My Ballard reader several months ago. “I’d hate to see it just get torn down.”

See also: The inside story of the sale of Edith Macefield’s house

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jm
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jm

Amazing.

gmer
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gmer

I don't get it, how are they financing this thing? Are they hoping to make loads of cash with the tiles they are selling? If you look at their website, a 12×12 tile costs over 2 grand. They seem to already be taking payments for tiles on property they don't own yet with no building permits. I'd be suprised if they had more design done than just these two renderings. I'm not going to hold my breath on this thing ever happening.

Ernie_98107
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Ernie_98107

I'm speechless….

I was ready to launch into some witty rant on new vs. old ballard or something, but this is so out of left field that I can't think of anything to say.

super_v
Guest
super_v

I don't know much about Reach Returns, but what an incredible way to get a ton of free PR. I'm sure they will go national with this story and get coverage from both the sale and then completion (along with all the coverage as it goes up).

It is a neat public space concept. It would be interesting to know if there were land use conditions made as part of the sale.

Quite a spectacular turn for this story.

workethic
Guest

I had my fingers crossed for another L.A. fitness. Oh well.

chopper_74
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chopper_74

I appreciate the sentiment, not that Edith would…
If it becomes a symbol, what is a symbol worth?
Open space, two floors, and no parking.
I doubt the veracity of such an endeavor.
Educate me, please.
Donated funds?

nwcitizen
Guest
nwcitizen

What a travesty.

boardbrown
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boardbrown

So it'll be a big open space…for what, exactly?

Structural
Guest
Structural

Looks like a giant middle finger raised to all the whiners.

gritz
Guest
gritz

Their house and money now. Could be interesting.

kris
Guest
kris

Stupid!!!!

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

Oh, and I'm with Edith on the 20 years thing.
Nickels will tunnel through it by then.

Structural
Guest
Structural

Looks like Stuart Smalley and the 12 steppers will love Credo Square:

A place where the conversation is deep and meaningful
A place to consider what is important and what others think is important
A place where people consider and think on the great questions
A place to laugh and cry
A place to reflect on what went right and what went wrong
A gathering place
A place of reunion with each other and with yourself
A place to start over and a place to re-affirm
A place to “suck out all the marrow of life…to put to route all that is not life”

samfantasyii
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samfantasyii
gmer
Guest
gmer

Yep, just like all of the other buildings Nickels has tunneled through.

Structural
Guest
Structural

How?

nwguy
Guest
nwguy

Something seems fishy to me. First of all, the square seems like a ridiculous way to make a profit, now the guy shows up here trying to promote a real estate seminar. Theres gotta be a catch.

TheBallardian
Guest
TheBallardian

Given how Edith herself felt about the house, I'd rather see the house destroyed than exploited like this. Some symbols, even (or particularly) beloved ones, should be allowed to die if they cannot live with dignity.

Or maybe they could make it a historical landmark so that nobody could mess around with it and it could just be. Is that possible?

PS-I'm NOT advocating any vigilante harm to the house; we've got enough vandalism around here!

ourballard
Guest
ourballard

Sounds like he is trying to take advantage of Edith's story, exploitation at it's finest.

Fauxnothing
Guest
Fauxnothing

Oh, c'mon, this has to be an April Fool's joke in July. I've seen a lot of stupid things in my life, but this really takes the big finger surprise prize. Edith would laugh her head off if she knew these plans were in the works. Or, maybe just shake her head in disgust, laughing at the human condition. How stupid? I don't even know. Just so dumb it defies description.

She didn't care about sustainability. She didn't care about putting it to the man. She didn't care about new Ballard vs. old Ballard. She didn't care that those of us who were born in California came to Washington, bringing our liberal ideals and New Age credos. She only cared about living out her life in the tiny little house she grew up in and nursed her mother in; she simply wanted to die in the same place her mother died. Those who are putting ideals into her memory, shame on you. This is truly a travesty.

TheBallardian
Guest
TheBallardian

Those are some good points, but I think it's perfectly fair for Ballardians everywhere to imbue the house with meaning that Edith may not have; for better or for worse, her story is one of resistance to a lot of us. Furthermore, if Edith wouldn't have given a hoot, and you think we should respect that, then stop giving a hoot whether people are a little too inspired by her!

Ernie_98107
Guest
Ernie_98107

Five minutes on the Google revealed this about the Reach Returns dude:

*********************************************************************************

Seattle Times, Wednesday, February 26, 1997

Loan-Scam Operator Is Sentenced

SEATTLE – A Seattle-area entrepreneur who ran a real-estate loan scam has been sentenced to 13 months in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Gregory Pinneo, 38, was among four people sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge William Dwyer in a so-called “no money down” real-estate-financing scheme.

According to federal officials, Pinneo led the operation in which banks were told that cash down payments were being made on residential property purchases, persuading the banks to lend the balance of the loan. In fact, the buyers were given only promissory notes called “silent second mortgages.”

********************************************************************************

According to a couple of local real estate blogs he uses a sob story about his time in prison in his “motivational” seminars, complete with fake crying.

G. Gordon Liddy
Guest
G. Gordon Liddy

Yeah, touching story. I seem to recall Greg Pinneo went to jail for something or other related to his chosen profession…

Ernie_98107
Guest
Ernie_98107

Right you are G. we posted at the same time, see above.

audreyl
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audreyl

Gross..