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Linda Thomas

Edith Macefield's old house

The plan to elevate Edith Macefield's old property in Ballard is having a tough time getting off the ground.

Macefield's story is legendary around the world. She wouldn't sell her small house to developers, and now it's surrounded by the massive Ballard Blocks commercial complex.

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EdithsHouseThe independent Ballard woman even turned down $1 million for the 100+ year old house. Before Macefield died in June of 2008, she willed her home to Barry Martin, a construction supervisor who became her friend. Martin sold the home in July of 2009 for $310,000 to Greg and Shauna Pinneo.

Greg Pinneo's bio on their website mentions a low point in his career was spending several months in a prison cell. He doesn't explain that the prison time was for a 1997 federal crime. He was convicted in federal court of running an illegal real estate loan scheme.

Since the Pinneo's purchased Macefield's old home, the interior of the house has been gutted. A few things have changed on the exterior as well. A higher fence blocks the property. The porch light is either turned off or burned out. That makes me a little sad - Edith always had that light on. The house is also covered with a large banner for Reach Returns, the Pinneo's real estate coaching firm.

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Shauna Pinneo tells me they are still planning to elevate the house. They'll raise it two stories, set it on steel structures and then construct a community event space below the house.

"Apex Steel is on board to lift the house," Pinneo explains. "The roof line of the house will be slightly higher than the rest of the Ballard Blocks building. They have a huge piece of hydraulic machinery that will be attached by cable to all four corners of the house, then by computer it'll be raised off the ground slowly."

It'll take around 24 hours to lift the house to its final destination. That might be the easy part, compared to raising money for the project.

The Pinneos thought they could fund part of the $1 million construction cost by selling tiles for between $250 and $1,000. People would have a personal motto or "credo" engraved on their tile.

A few tiles have sold, but support for the funding idea has been limited.

"We've had to regroup," Pinneo says. "We're now approaching traditional lending institutions and private investors who are interested in the project and in what this house represents."

They've done all the prerequisite work needed for the permit process. And Pinneo believes the house will eventually get off the ground.

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Artist's depiction of the completed project courtesy Credo Square.

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About Linda
Linda is the morning news anchor and features reporter for KIRO Radio. This is her local news blog, with an emphasis on social media, technology, Northwest companies, education, parenting, and anything else that grabs her attention.

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