Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Craig McCaw – Kenny G – Mansions

This is the property (pages 152 and 153) of Craig and Susan McCaw. It was purchased in 1999 from Kenny G in a private transaction estimated at more than $20 million. The two mansions have 15,810 sq ft on 4.3 acres with 327 feet of waterfront. Susan is a former U.S. Ambassador to Austria. Craig was the leader or the world famous McCaw brothers, Bruce (1946- ), Craig (1949- ), John (1951- ) and Keith (1953-2002). Keith and John formerly lived in Madison Park and Bruce recently sold his Medina estate. The brothers grew their deceased (1969) father’s, Elroy’s, businesses into the 20th largest cable carrier in the U.S. In the early 1980s they started in the fledging cellular phone industry. They founded Kirkland-based McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc. in 1984. In 1986 they sold the cable business for $750 million and bought MCI’s wireless operations for $122 million. McCaw Cellular went public in 1987 raising $2 billion. In 1994, with Craig as CEO, McCaw Cellular was sold to AT&T for $11.5 billion. Following the sale Craig’s net worth was $2.6 billion and each of the brothers’ was slightly less. In 2003 Craig founded Kirkland-based Clearwire Corporation and he is Chairman. The company went public in 2007 raising $600 million and Craig retained a majority of the shares. The company provides portable wireless high-speed Internet service. He resigned as Chairman in December 2010 and in early 2011 the company’s stock was trading around $5 per share. Its high was $32.50 in 2007.
Kenny G (Gorelick) was born in Seattle and went to Franklin HS where he played in the jazz band and played on the golf team. He is now one of the top celebrity amateur golfers. On summer evenings when he lived here he would sometimes sit on the end of the dock and play his saxophone. His beautiful music would resonate throughout the cove. Kenny G won the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Forever in Love. He is best known for his saxophone playing. He is the best selling instrumentalist in the world with over 70 million singles and albums sold. His album Breathless sold 12 million copies. Songbird was his first number one singles hit in 1986. His other popular singles include Forever In Love, Sentimental, Silhouette and The Wedding Song. He composes and writes most of his songs along with songs for others. Kenny G is a friend of the McCaw families and performs at family weddings and other events. It is rumored that he stays in the 4,760 sq ft guest house in the lower left (partially obscured by trees) of the bottom picture when he is in the Seattle area. After selling the Hunts Point property he purchased a Malibu, CA compound on the oceanfront from actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
(Revised 7/23/12)

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