News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from May 2010

Seattle Works Day Projects Saturday

May 21st, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Nearly 1500 young professionals from across the city are going to volunteer at 29 sites around the city – including Fremont – to make the Emerald City an even better place to live. Seattle Works Day, the key fundraiser and day of volunteering organized by Seattle Works, will bring together colleagues, alums and groups of friends with the purpose of giving back. Seattle WorksThe focus of Seattle Works Day is urban greenspaces, so from West Seattle to Marymoor Park, volunteers in their 20’s and 30’s will be rebuilding bike paths, removing invasive weeds and protecting native vegetation from noon to 3:30 p.m.

Most volunteers are already on teams that will take on these projects, but there are two “public” teams (Singles in Seattle and Seattle Works Day Allstars) which are still open to individual sign-ups. Sign up here.

For all their hard work, there is a reward: a party from 3:30 pm- 5:30 p.m. at Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center, which will provide volunteers with Pyramid beer, Zevia soda, Taco del Mar taco bar and Dreyer’s ice cream.

In Fremont, volunteers will be working on 2 projects:

  • Fremont Abbey Arts Center: Get your art vibe flowing! Because so many people use and visit their building, keeping it in good shape and repair is important. Volunteers will be working on a variety of outdoor projects, including: window-washing, gardening, painting, small construction projects, and street clean up. Please wear sturdy shoes and old clothes that can get dirty (and painted), and bring water, sunscreen, and snacks.
  • Gas Works Park: The kite-flying hill, elaborate sculptured sundial, stunning views of the downtown skyline, and colorful, climbable machinery parts make Gasworks Park one of Seattle’s most unique parks. Formerly the Seattle Gas Light Company plant, it is located on the north shore of Lake Union and is part of many summer celebrations, which includes being the end point for Fremont’s infamous Solstice Parade. Work at this site will include pruning native plantings, some invasive plant removal, and possibly planting and mulching. Invasive plants, such as ivy and blackberry, can quickly become harmful monocultures in our parks, so their removal in vital in giving native species the chance to thrive. Take part in these natural area restoration efforts to keep Gasworks an inviting, healthy place for the community to enjoy! Volunteers will need to wear sturdy shoes and clothes that can get dirty (long pants and sleeves recommended). Please bring water, sunscreen, rain gear, snacks, and your own gloves if you have them (if not, there will be gloves available).


Saturday morning: Heroes Half Marathon

May 21st, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

As of 7 a.m. tomorrow (May 22) morning – if not earlier – Fremont is going to be a very busy place, with runners and walkers pounding the pavement from Gas Works Park to the ship canal trail, the Burke-Gilman Trail and the trail around Lake Union for a scenic route, finishing The Heroes Half Marathon at the place they began: Gas Works Park.

Make a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses in this inaugural event, which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The course crosses Fremont Bridge and University Bridge. Water way traffic receives priority. With agreement from the Port Authority, the Fremont bridge will not be raised between 7:10 – 7:30am. In the event that the University bridge is raised, arrival and departure time will be recorded and deducted from overall time.
Heroes Half-Marathon

The right lanes of North Northlake Way and N. 34th Ave. will be closed to traffic until all runners/walkers have reached the Fremont Bridge.

There will be aid stations about every 2 miles.

The 10K course follows a counter clockwise directions, on sidewalks and paved trails. The course will be well marked, with aid stations at the 2 mile and 4 miles. The course will have bike monitors.

Kids also can have fun at this event:
The Kid’s Fun Run start time is 11:00am. The course will be well marked and each child will receive a special medallion as they cross the finish line. The Tiny Tot Run (3 – 8 years old) is 200 yards (parents you may run with your child) and is flat with no hills. Kids 8-14-years-old can do Sprinter Kids: 0.4 mile, up Gas Works hill and down the other side (parents may cheer but may not run with child).

Pick up race packets and registration tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Gas Works Park, or tomorrow from 5 a.m. to 6:30 a.m., also at Gas Works Park.

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Thousands answer call to Bike to Work today

May 21st, 2010 by Doree

Thousands more bicyclists than usual will be riding today, because it’s the annual Bike to Work Day.

Cascade Bicycle Club has teamed up with a number of other businesses to provide 44 commute stations throughout the region, offering freebies like water bottles and snacks, providing information on cycling, and some even have bicycle technicians ready to fix your flat tire.

In Fremont, hundreds of cyclists stopped to grab free goodies, including water bottles and safety lights from Bike to Work sponsor F5, as well as bike bells and socks from Smartwool (if you were willing to trade in the pair you were wearing).
Fremont commute

At about 7:30 a.m., 100+ riders followed Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn up Dexter Avenue and into downtown Seattle for a Cascade Bicycle Club bike rally outside City Hall.
McGinn presser bike to work day

If you took any pictures on your way into work, please share them with us! (e-mail

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Tell us your biking stories

May 21st, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Our sister site, Maple Leaf Life, posted this story earlier today (we’ve tweaked it a little bit for Fremont!):

Today, Bike to Work Day, we and our news partners The Seattle Times are wondering just how safe you are in getting from here to there on two wheels.

We’re also looking for commute stories, not just from today, but any good tales of biking to work. Or, for that matter, from people who would rather NOT share the road with bikes.

In honor of National Bike to Work Day, The Times has put together ten worst examples of dangerous or neglected cycling corridors in Seattle. They also have a big “Seattle bike culture” story in Pacific Magazine this Sunday.

Fremont isn’t on that worst 10 list, nor are the usual routes from here to downtown, unless you commute through the north end of the University Bridge.

Here’s one you might identify with, though – the Burke-Gilman Trail at 25th Avenue Northeast. The “missing link” of the trail in Ballard and the south end of the Ballard Bridge are on the list, too.

Other hot spots on the Times list:

  • Sodo bikeway to nowhere
  • Ruts on Jackson Street
  • Bellevue gap in 520 trail
  • North Linden Street (Shoreline)
  • Marysville to Everett
  • Second Avenue

Tell us your bike stories.

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Solid Ground Community Lunch Friday

May 20th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

It’s time again for Solid Ground‘s Annual Luncheon. This year it is at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center
(800 Convention Place, 6th Floor, Rooms A & B) from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. tomorrow (May 21). It is one of the organization’s most important outreach and fundraising tools, raising critical support for its 27 programs working to end poverty in Seattle/King County.

This is our 10th year of breaking bread, sharing passion for this work, and recommitting to making a more just and caring community. The Luncheon fertilizes our efforts to address the real needs of hard-working people. Guests at the Luncheon will be asked to make a gift of at least $150.

Bryant TerryKeynote speaker Bryant Terry is an eco chef, food justice activist, author and currently a fellow of the Food and Society Policy Fellows Program, a national project of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. For the past nine years he has worked to build a more just and sustainable food system using cooking as a tool to illuminate the intersections between poverty, structural racism and food insecurity.

At the luncheon, examine hunger in the community and successful strategies to make healthy food more available, affordable and equitable. “Growing Community to End Poverty” – the theme of the event – will feature Solid Ground’s Marra Farm Giving Garden (which is how I first heard about Solid Ground – then the Fremont Public Association), Lettuce Link, Operation Frontline, Apple Corps and other aspects of its anti-hunger work. They will also unveil plans for a new Community Farm in the Rainier Valley.

If you can’t make it to the luncheon this year, you can also contribute via a match pool. So far, $27,400 has been raised to match gifts of $250 or more at the luncheon, which is very close to the goal of $30,000.

To reserve your spot at the 2010 Luncheon, please contact Anna Ramos at or 206.694.6857.

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46th Street Mural Project has a winner

May 20th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Our sister site, My Wallingford, posted this story today:

The wait is over. We now know which of three designs will grace the portal to both Wallingford and Fremont on N. 46th Street under Aurora Ave. Here’s the announcement from the 46th Street Mural Street Project, with visualizations of how the underpass will look when the mural is completed this summer. See Todd Lown’s submission here.

Todd Lown’s design will brighten the Aurora Avenue underpass at North 46th Street in Seattle, chosen by consensus at the 46th Street Mural Project Steering Committee meeting May 5. Lown was one of three finalists selected by the committee to submit designs this spring.
LownEastTodd Lown–mural detail, east of underpass

“This was no snap decision. Quite the contrary,” said Steering Committee member Gerald Diamond. “Volunteers first set up and conducted an online survey, constructed poster boards and placed them in clubs and schools for voting in both Wallingford and Fremont. They read input from emails to help evaluate each artwork and spent many volunteer hours in comparing the merits of each submission.”
Todd Lown–mural detail, underpass

“We gathered nearly 1000 votes in our advisory polling,” Steering Committee secretary Linda Clifton said, “with over 800 responding to our online survey, and many more on the poster boards at Wallingford Boys and Girls Club, Hamilton Middle School, BF Day Elementary, Kapka, Not A Number, Alphabet Soup and the Fremont Village Fair at Fremont Abbey.”
Todd Lown–mural detail, west wall

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F5 Bike to Work Day: Friday

May 20th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

You’re going to hear a lot about cycling this month – and you already have, through the Via Tribunali 5@5 specials, the Spoke & Food – and now this: F5 Bike to Work Day!

So, try to keep your car/scooter/hog in park tomorrow, resist the bus (or combine it with a bike commute), get off your feet and let your wheels advocate for alternative transportation!

From 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday, May 21, to celebrate Bike Month in May, Puget Sound residents are invited to join the 12,000+-strong Cascade Bicycle Club at this year’s Bike to Work Day sponsored by F5. (Seattle-based F5 is “the global leader in Application Delivery Networking and a network appliances company that assists information technology organizations in adapting and realigning with changing business demands within the IT infrastructure.”)


The F5 Bike to Work Day Rally will kick off at 7:30 a.m. outside Seattle City Hall. Speakers will do their spiels, but while they do their thing, you can enjoy music, free water bottles and maps. In 2009, Bike to Work Day rallied nearly 20,000 bike commuters.

Bicycle commuters can stop by one of 44 designated commute stations located throughout King, Snohomish and Kitsap counties for commuting information, snacks, Cascade Bicycle Club materials and swag. Participants may enter the F5 Bike to Work Day drawing to win prizes, including a bicycle and bike gear. They can also have their bikes spot-checked by the bike shop station sponsors.

Founded in 1970, Cascade Bicycle Club is a 12,000+ member, nonprofit organization based in Seattle, Washington, serving more than half a million cyclists in the Puget Sound community. The club is operated by a volunteer Board of Directors, 22 professional staff, and thousands of volunteers. More information about Cascade Bicycle Club’s advocacy, commute and education programs is available online or by calling (206) 522-3222.

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Spoke and Food combines cycling and eating

May 20th, 2010 by Doree

Spoke and Food is a new event designed to let cyclists get their exercise, and a reward of a nice meal, coupled with a donation to charity. Ride your bike to a participating restaurant on Tuesday, June 29, and the restaurant will donate 15-20 percent of the profits to Lettuce Link, a program of Solid Ground.

The main goals of Spoke & Food this year are to motivate our community to use their bicycles as they dine out and to improve access to healthy food for all by supporting Lettuce Link, an innovative food and gardening program growing and giving since 1988. Lettuce Link creates access to fresh, nutritious and organic produce, seeds, and gardening information for families with lower incomes in Seattle.

In our neighborhood, Dad Watsons (3601 Fremont Ave. N.) is participating. Other participating restaurants (more may be added later) include:
Spoke & Food

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Promised wind storm arriving early Wednesday afternoon

May 19th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Our sister site, Maple Leaf Life, posted this story earlier today:

Update: The weather service issued a short-term forecast at 1: 24 p.m. Wednesday: “The approaching storm system provided a period of warmth and sun earlier today… but now the clouds, rain and wind will begin to impact the area and increase in speed. The evening commute will be rainy with the rain heavy at times.”

Looks like the National Weather Service pegged this storm’s arrival just about right:

“Light northeast winds across the region this morning will … rise quickly during the early afternoon, with local winds of 30 mph and gusts to 45 mph continuing through late evening. The winds will ease after midnight.”

The weather service issued a wind advisory for the entire Seattle area, and about 1 p.m. Wednesday a still, sunny day turned cloudy, with winds gusting to around 11 mph. Much more is forecast, including rain.

On his weather blog, University of Washington Professor Cliff Mass says the worst will hit the coast, “with areas immediately offshore experiencing 60 kt sustained winds and hurricane-force gusts.”

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Fire Station 9 Design Review

May 19th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

The design process for Fire Station 9 continues this week.

The Seattle Design Commission meets tomorrow, Thursday, May 20 to review its design development phase at Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave. The fire station part of the agenda is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Fire Levy Communications Officer Christina Faine said about 150 neighbors attended the design development open house on Saturday (May 15) to see the progress of the design and visit the firefighters, who served cookies, coffee and water.


This was the rendering by artist Mike Kowalski that was shown at the open house:
Rendering of Fire Station 9

Faine said:

“The design and art were well received by the community. The new building will employ several elements that will reflect the fire fighting history of the site. The architects researched the numerical “tapper code,” a historical version of the 911 dispatch system, and will use it to add detail to the building façade.

The project team have made a number of changes to the design since the schematic design open house on January 9, 2010. In response to comments from the open house  – as well as the Seattle Design Commission Schematic Design review on January 21, 2010 – concepts from the site’s history have been incorporated into the building façade design and landscape treatment.

Since the open house in January, the public art piece has become more defined.

The landscaping and sustainability concepts have been fleshed out and include the installation of rainwater collection cisterns for re-using water in the building and landscape irrigation. The architects received comments supporting this approach and making it visible and instructive.”

Peter Reiquam is a Seattle-based artist who has created public works for over 20 years and was chosen for the public art for the fire station.

Big Black Cat features a large-scale black cat perched on the roof’s edge of Fire Station 9. The sculpture, a variation on the Eveready Black Cat graphic, will be twenty feet in length and feature amber-colored glass eyes that are illuminated from within by low-voltage LEDs. Reiquam was inspired by the Eveready battery logo which has become a mascot for Fire Station 9 and a symbol that lets the Fremont community know that the firefighters at this station are “Ever Ready.” 

Big Black Cat

The panelists selected Peter Reiquam because they felt he displayed the best potential to create a bold iconic statement for Fire Station 9. The panel was impressed by Peter’s artistic excellence and technical abilities, and felt his aesthetic would be a great match for the fire fighters, the surrounding neighborhood and the Fremont community.

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A parade of winners: McKay Grantees

May 19th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Right around this time of year, the Fremont Arts Council awards McKay grants to Solstice Parade artists.

Parade prep

This year, they’re distributing grants of up to $1,000 from a total pool of $4,500 to the following grantees:

  • Christie Wolf, “Rube Goldberg Solstice.” Christie and LeeZuhars and Chuck are building an outrageous Rube Goldberg contraption (think the game: Mousetrap) to roll, spin, pour, lurch down the street.
  • Kate Freeman, “Venetiza Solstizo.” Kate and Mylinda Sneed have designed a grand Venetian waltzing carnival ensemble, complete with a life-size gondola.
  • Brian Koozer, “Volcano!” Brian is back this year with some over-the-top parade art. A huge volcano will roll down the street, spurting stuffed endangered species and cans of pineapple. A monkey will be on hand to help the confused Tiki-headed minions open the pineapple.
  • Sarah Lovett, “Dogody.” Sarah is creating a huge, 10+ person, doggy puppet this year to play with the parade watchers in a tail-wagging, tongue flopping good time.
  • Allie Kerr, “Stormy Weather.” Allie is leading an ensemble about rainy days, real and metaphorical. Stilt walkers and banners express the idea that if you want sun, you should prepare for rain.
  • Ann Sloper, “Ice Queens 2010.” Ice queens are back with a crazy new “big-dress” ensemble. Imagine the street filled with gorgeous, ethereal, sexy, strong maidens in bigger-than-life paper dresses. Some horses (studs?) will be on hand.
  • Sonia Telesco, “Flying Dreams.” Sonia will be creating flying silk banners, lifted on high with helium balloons, as a glorious gateway for the parade entrance. Unstoppable, she is also making a gateway for the end of the parade, and at each of the three stages along the route.

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Free music series at History House

May 18th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

I don’t know about you, but for me, one of the joys to living in Seattle is being exposed to so much quality live music. Fremont’s own History House of Greater Seattle is another venue where you can explore some auditory bliss. The sixth season of its free and open-to-the-public Music in the Sculpture Garden series begins June 6 at 2 p.m. with singer-songwriter Michael Guthrie and singer-storyteller Bob Nelson.

History House Music in the Sculpture GardenDeveloped in association with Producer John Nordstrand, the program is billed as including some of “Puget Sound’s best acoustic musicians.”

“These singles, duos, trios and more, along with the unpredictable and semi-spontaneous addition of friends, will perform an eclectic repertoire of genres ranging from original to traditional folk to new age to maritime chanteys to logging to Celtic and Irish to international to blues to ragtime to jug to bluegrass to just plain zany.”

Nordstrand has assembled a mix of more than 30 musical artists who will provide often humorous and thought provoking performances. Besides Guthrie and Nelson, scheduled musicians include: Larry & Lynette, Percy Hilo & Friends, Burgundy Pearl, The Hayburners, Larry Murante, Kevin Jones, Hounds@Bay, THE other Band, Eric Apoe, The Whateverly Brothers and Watch the Sky.

The covered, outdoor Sculpture Garden – nestled inside a robust floral and foliage green space – includes an original 6×12-foot chunk of “The Berlin Wall,” a “Fire Engine” – destined for Georgia in the former satellite state of the Soviet Union, “Willy”- a flying 15 foot model orca whale, “The Safe” – discovered beneath the Dubliner Tavern and the Gears from the Fremont Bridge. All of these items and more surround the stage that is the pedestal for the Music in the Sculpture Garden music series.

The Music in the Sculpture Garden music series is sponsored in part by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce and the Fremont community.

History House of Greater Seattle is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. It is supported by the Burke Foundation, Grants from the City of Seattle, the 4Culture King County Lodging Tax and tax-deductible donations from the public.

For more information, contact Operations Director John Nordstrand at 206-675-8875, or at

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REMINDER: Parking Meeting Wednesday

May 18th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

The Fremont Chamber of Commerce urges you to attend tomorrow’s parking meeting, which includes the new Director of SDOT. The Chamber wants those who oppose the parking stations to join with them in making their points – again – to SDOT.

“This is an opportunity to voice your opinion to the City about your neighborhood; without your voice to the Wednesday, May 19th meeting, there is no strength to Fremont’s voice.

Join us in a united voice to SDOT to remove the parking meters in Fremont. Our voice in 2009 reduced the number of meter from over 700 to 72!!! Come out again to support your neighborhood.”

It’s $15 with an RSVP, $20 without. It includes breakfast. Reserve online.

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Gas Works Park closed Thursday: Sounders fans welcomed as extras

May 17th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

UPDATE (May 20): Extras/Sounders fans are still invited to be part of “The Last Sound” video from 6 p.m. to midnight, rain or shine. Follow the signs. The Sounders have donated a large but limited amount of team-branded rain-gear on hand in the event that they’re needed.

Also, there will be a hot dog stand on site for the duration of the shoot for extras who
get hungry!

Those who can’t get there right at 5 are still welcome to show up when they can.

Don’t count on going to Gas Works Park Thursday (May 20). A music video of a song dear to Seattle Sounders fans will be shot in the park, during the day and night. Noise will be controlled, but might be louder than normal.

Gas Works Park

The video’s production coordinator, Vanessa Eng, said flyers will be distributed throughout the park today to give people notice of the shooting, which will take place in three main sections of the park – the fenced and un-fenced areas, as well as the hill.

Local band Grammatrain will be filming the video for the song, “The Last Sound,” which started being played at Sounders games earlier this year. Eng said the video will be mostly performance based and that the location was chosen because it’s “iconic of Seattle without being touristy. It has an edgier look that works with a rock band.”

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Neighborhood proposal to curb aggressive panhandling

May 17th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

For awhile now, the all-volunteer FAWN (Fremont Aurora Wallingford Neighbors) group has noticed a growing problem: aggressive panhandling. Incidents have been most apparent outside the Upper Fremont grocery, Marketime (4416 Fremont Ave. N.).

In response to these concerns, FAWN neighbors are discussing with Marketime a strategy to work with them and other businesses to curb aggressive panhandling.  Some of the behavior by panhandlers appears to match that prohibited in current municipal law. Some of the panhandlers appear to genuinely need shelter, food, or some kind of medical or mental health care. Real Change solicitors, who sell a product, do not seem to be part of the problem.

We must balance the right of individuals in public areas to ask for money with the right of others to use public right of way without aggressive, threatening interference. Needy panhandlers could be helped more constructively–for example, by providing information to connect them with nonprofit organizations to help them with appropriate services.

We propose to offer the community constructive alternatives to giving cash to panhandlers. We plan to enlist businesses to post notice of what kinds of behaviors are prohibited by law.  People would have a real alternative, offering help instead of giving money. It would be clear to everyone what kind of behavior could justify calling the police. Some panhandlers probably would accept help, while others would stop panhandling where it does not pay.

The group has proposed posting the following sign at local businesses. What do you think?


Panhandling has been on the increase in Upper Fremont, with some of those involved becoming increasingly aggressive. Some of the individuals appear to be in true need of help. But please consider these steps to truly help these people instead of giving them cash that only perpetuates the situation:

  • Offer to help them call 211 to connect to the help they need – emergency shelter, food, medical care, including substance abuse and mental health care. (Business cards with help numbers available inside store).
  • Support needed services: donate to United Way of King County online at or by check to “UWKC” mailed to Pledge Processing, UWKC, 720 Second Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Purchase a copy of “Real Change” from a street vendor who has proper I.D. Real news and real change.

Although it is lawful to ask for money on a public sidewalk, certain behavior is a misdemeanor under the current Seattle Municipal Criminal Code. Unlawful behavior includes asking for money in an aggressive and intimidating or fear inducing way or blocking a person’s movement on the sidewalk. (SMC 12A.12.015A&B

Readers: thoughts on this proposed sign? The proposal that precedes it?

The FAWN group list is available only to those who live within the areas bounded by N. 36th and N. 46th, from Fremont Avenue to Stone Way. They also participate in weekly block watches/walks.

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Help out at Fremont Peak Park today

May 16th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

If you feel like helping out today, go to Fremont Peak Park (4357 Palatine Ave. N.) today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and unleash some pent-up aggression by participating in the spring work party and pulling out weeds at the park to prepare it for others to enjoy! Or, maybe you enjoy being outdoors on a beautiful weekend, doing your part to make it even more so through necessary community yard work!


Help keep it this way:

The unique geography of the 24,640 square-foot property creates a spectacular view of the city, sound, and mountains.

For more info, e-mail

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