Rendezvous Rewind: Steve Miller's $14.8 Million Friday Harbor Estate Hosts Guests by Land, Sea & Air

VIP Guests, Brokers and Musicians "Playing Music in the Sun"; Tour Rock Legend's Estate

Norris (left) greets guests at the meadow to kick off the Rendezvous event.

Norris (left) greets guests at the meadow to kick off the Rendezvous event.

On July 6th, scores of guests attended a first-of-its-kind rendezvous at the home of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Steve Miller, of the Steve Miller BandMary Norris, a Senior Global Real Estate Advisor with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) hatched the plan to showcase this unique compound on its namesake in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, which invited local and Seattle-area brokers as well as VIP guests.

Mary Norris (center) & Paige Norris (left) welcomed rendezvous guests to the main home at Friday Harbor Estate.

Mary Norris (center) & Paige Norris (left) welcomed rendezvous guests to the main home at Friday Harbor Estate.

“We couldn’t resist an opportunity to welcome the many affluent visitors that frequent the San Juan Islands during the 4th of July holiday season,” said Norris. “The waterways were teeming with beautiful yachts of all types and those wanting to visit by boat arrived at one of the most envied private moorage facilities in the region.”

Nicknamed the "Gucci Dock," the next steward of Friday Harbor Estate will enjoy a 110-foot long, deep water finger pier with private moorage. 

Nicknamed the "Gucci Dock," the next steward of Friday Harbor Estate will enjoy a 110-foot long, deep water finger pier with private moorage. 

Norris is referring to the exceptional dock system enjoyed by Miller’s former yacht, ABRACADABRA, so named after the hit song by Steve Miller Band. The 110-foot long, deep water finger pier can actually sport up to three large vessels with the sufficient shore power and utilities that befit this protected cove. The dock system is connected to the shoreline by an elevated 360-foot causeway and leads to a large meadow where guests were greeted by lawn games and live music by Orcas Island native Robbie Christmas. A welcome tent offered shade and bites from local catering icon Market Chef, with wine tastings by DeLille Cellars poured by none other than Greg Lill himself. Lill shared several selections from his personal library including older vintages.

Above & Below: Guests were greeted in the meadow with local favorites by Market Chef and pours by Greg Lill of DeLille Cellars.

Above & Below: Guests were greeted in the meadow with local favorites by Market Chef and pours by Greg Lill of DeLille Cellars.

Of course, guests were treated to a guided tour of the estate including transportation to and from the waterfront to the hillside manse that spans 11,686-square feet of interior living space designed for entertaining while preserving Miller’s pursuit of privacy. The brief journey enabled guests to experience the arrival through the front gate and down a shaded, tree lined drive to the expansive estate. A clearing at the top of the hill revealed exposed rockeries, blossoming gardens and a Northwest Contemporary residence featuring wraparound terraces and outdoor entertaining spaces that flow seamlessly into the home.

The event began with Robbie Christmas playing live music in the meadow as guests got a taste of the lifestyle offering at Friday Harbor Estate.

The event began with Robbie Christmas playing live music in the meadow as guests got a taste of the lifestyle offering at Friday Harbor Estate.

After entertaining attendees at the shoreline, Robbie Christmas performed a cover of Steve Miller Band's "The Joker," befitting the event location. The performance was a viral sensation, garnering attention on RSIR's social media platforms.

The event was promoted through local real estate brokerages, and dockside during events held at nearby Roche Harbor. The promotion also caught the eye of Patti Payne, a columnist with Puget Sound Business Journal. Even King 5 TV News sent up their Sky King helicopter to do a flyover of the estate.

A number of Seattle-area brokers arrived by air or took advantage of the convenient seaplane service to and from South Lake Union by Kenmore Air. Likewise, several RSIR team members decided to take their own yachts to the rendezvous.

“Our family visits San Juan Island every summer – it’s a highlight for the year, for sure,” said Dean Jones, President & CEO of RSIR. “I could easily imagine living here and it’s easy to see why so many are doing just that, especially from California.”

From Left: RSIR Members Dean Jones, Moira Holley, Stacy Jones, Scott Wasner & Anton Krivenyshev soaked up the sun as they arrived at the rendezvous.

From Left: RSIR Members Dean Jones, Moira Holley, Stacy Jones, Scott Wasner & Anton Krivenyshev soaked up the sun as they arrived at the rendezvous.

Jones notes that a similar estate virtually anywhere in California would be at much higher prices and he suggests the San Juan Islands are being discovered by a global audience, drawn in by the waterways, temperate climate and noted lack of a state income tax. He know that for some passive income earners in California, the single year tax savings alone for transplants could pay for a luxury yacht as they keep their prior home as a second property and abode during the winter months.

Norris reports an unexpected uptick in prospective buyer interest with recent showings following the event and recent media exposure.

“This remains an exceptional value considering the property can be acquired below replacement costs,” adds Norris. “It’s not just the cost of materials or the rarity of the land that’s of value here – it’s the time it takes to develop on the islands. Friday Harbor Estate is move-in ready and professionally maintained – a new owner could be enjoying this beautiful property this August.”

True to the San Juan Islands lifestyle, guests spotted a pod of Orcas passing by.

True to the San Juan Islands lifestyle, guests spotted a pod of Orcas passing by.

A sale wouldn’t surprise Norris or The Wall Street Journalfor that matter. The global media publisher recently called out the San Juan Islands as a top luxury housing market in the US. As reported Nancy Keates writes, the growth in the area “has been fueled in recent years by an influx of high-tech companies to Seattle, where soaring home prices make the San Juans look like a bargain,” and for its allure as an idyllic retreat.

This particular estate was also recognized by Ocean Home Magazine among the Top 20 Coastal Properties in 2016.

Missed the Rendezvous? Check out Friday Harbor Estate here.

King 5 News Says "Friday Harbor estate on the market - and you'll never guess who owns it"

As a recent article in King 5 News outlines, "a giant estate in Friday Harbor is on the market - but it's not just a typical estate. It's actually rock star Steve Miller's." A follow-up to the rendezvous event,  Global Real Estate Advisor and RSIR Broker Mary Norris "said nearly 60 people from Seattle and as far as California came to visit the home. The event included a special performance from Robbie Christmas," adding that out-of-state buyers have shown interest given Washington's lack of state income tax.   

"This is a very special property," Mary Norris told King 5. "It's a pleasure to show a home like this." Norris discussed the $1 million 110-foot deep water docking system, adding that "the home could live 'off the grid' for a year because of highly technological water and power systems built into the home." 

Read the full article >>

Puget Sound Business Journal's Patti Payne Describes "A rock star's private waterfront

In advance of the Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) Rendezvous event at Friday Harbor Estate in early July, Patti Payne of Puget Sound Business Journal highlighted the home, owned by famed rocker Steve Miller, in a feature discussing the Island’s market, the vast media coverage of the unique property and the event itself. Payne says, “it’s a big real estate sales time in the San Juan Islands, from the high-end properties to those more affordable” as homebuyers begin to discover the relative affordability within

In an effort to target the bounty of affluent families and yacht owners that frequent the San Juan Islands during the fourth of July celebrations, RSIR hosted the rendezvous tour on July 6th at Friday Harbor Estate in a celebration that included live music, dockside fashion, a yacht showcase, wine tasting, a luxury barbecue, lawn games and an estate tour. This was a rare opportunity enjoyed by attendees, as Payne writes that “RSIR’s Mary Norris has the listing and says this is the first time that the very private Miller has allowed any kind of tour of his estate, offering access to an 11,686-square-foot custom manse, which looks like Hawaii meets the Northwest, and a 110-foot boat slip with a 360-foot causeway, leading from shore to dock. The deep-water docking system is so top-of-the-line, it has been dubbed the Gucci dock.”

Realogics Sotheby's International Realty to Showcase Steve Miller's $14.8 Million San Juan Island Estate During Rendezvous on July 6th

Luxury Lifestyles on Display During 4th of July Holiday with Music, Wine Tastings and Ocean Alexander Yacht Showcase

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR), the exclusive listing broker for Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s $14.8 million Friday Harbor Estate on San Juan Island announced today this exclusive property will be the host property for a luxury lifestyle showcase on July 6th from 12pm to 5pm. Prospective buyers and invited guests attending the yacht rendezvous will be invited to tour the shy 39-acre compound, which includes an 11,686-sq. ft. home along with a yacht showcase by Ocean Alexander. The promotion is targeting the bounty of affluent families and yacht owners that frequent the San Juan Islands during the 4th of July celebrations that pack Roche Harbor Resort, Friday Harbor and the surrounding islands.

“Our rendezvous will provide a fun and well-timed opportunity to explore the ultimate lifestyle that is possible in the San Juan Islands,” said Mary Norris, a Global Real Estate Advisor with RSIR and the listing broker for Friday Harbor Estate. “It’s easy to see why Mr. Miller built this exceptional estate here – it’s far from lights and cameras of his rock & roll career –  yet it’s so close to global gateway cities. He created a private sanctuary unlike any other and it’s now being offered for a new family to own its legacy.”

Norris suggests the estate is a relative bargain considering the replacement costs would likely exceed the current asking price, assuming you could acquire the land. She notes a recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article claiming the San Juan Islands are the “Hottest Luxury-Home Market in the Country” on data from Realtor.com as the priciest 10-percent of the area’s real estate market rose faster last year than any other county in the US. 

In an exclusive interview with WSJ, Steve Miller said “The essence or soul of my music is the inspiration I feel living in America. And the home I built above Friday Harbor is another expression of my soul with precision craftsmanship, authentic materials and a passion for what’s beautiful in life.”

Friday Harbor Estate was noted by Ocean Home Magazine among the “Top 20 Coastal Homes” in 2016 and has been revered by global media for good reason. The main house is gently perched atop a rocky hilltop for privacy yet remains an entertainer’s dream with voluminous living spaces framed in clear Fir and massive sliding doors on three elevations that seamlessly connect interior and exterior environment in one of the most beautiful regions in the world. The estate also includes one of the most envied superyacht moorage facilities nestled in the protected bay of Friday Harbor. The 110-foot long, deep water dock is connected to the island by a 360-foot causeway. It is here where Mr. Miller kept his yacht, ABRACADABRA, when he was in residence.

Prospective buyers wishing to preview the property are encouraged to visit the dedicated website at www.FridayHarborEstate.com.

During the planned rendezvous on July 6th the dock will be home to a luxury motor yacht showcase by Ocean Alexander. The leading manufacturer cites success promoting their latest lines and select resale vessels during the holiday week in nearby Roche Harbor.

“This is a great opportunity to display a yacht in residence and complete the island lifestyle experience,” said Niel Steenkamp, a broker with Alexander Marine USA. “It’s actually quite common to meet new owners of our yachts whether they are walking the docks in Roche Harbor or joining us as a guest at private events like this. We’re proud to partner with RSIR on yet another showcase.”

Steenkamp suggests the Pacific Northwest is a mecca for yachting, not just because the protected waterways are beautiful but because Washington residents pay no state income tax, helping to make yacht ownership more affordable while they qualify as second homes for mortgage interest tax deductions. This is particularly attractive to current residents of California, which has one of the highest combined tax rates in the US. Norris suggests that for some high-income earners, the collective tax savings alone could very well pay for a luxury yacht while spending the majority of the year in Friday Harbor and wintering back in California. 

“I think our buyer will be another family legacy in the making from the Pacific Northwest or perhaps a tech titan from the Bay Area seeking to escape the city and the taxes,” adds Norris. “In any case, it’s compelling to acquire this type of asset that’s move-in ready, rather than investing the year and countless millions to build – for our buyer the value of time is a major consideration. A new owner could very well enjoy this lifestyle this summer, yacht and all.”

In addition to the real estate and yacht tours, guests will enjoy fine wine and food pairings by DeLille Cellars, acoustical music by Orcas Island native Robbie Christmas, dockside fashion by Annette Dresser of J. Hilburn and lawn games by the bay.

“This is my happy place, for sure” said Greg Lill, CEO and Co-Founder of DeLille Cellars, a property owner on San Juan Island who will be offering wine tastings during the rendezvous. “We’ve been celebrating the 4th of July here for many years and we hope this event will inspire new families to discover why this region has become so popular.”

Invited guests will be welcomed by land, sea and air. Special arrangements to accommodate larger vessels require advance registration. For more information, visit here. Guest registration is required.

Do You Hear That" It's Mansion Global Revealing the "Secret of the San Juans"

On May 19th, Mansion Global shared the “Secret of the San Juans” with its readers, celebrating the beloved archipelago for its “remoteness and simplicity,” and highlighting its most recent achievement as “the hottest luxury real-estate market in the country.” As Nancy Keates writes, the growth in the area “has been fueled in recent years by an influx of high-tech companies to Seattle, where soaring home prices make the San Juans look like a bargain,” and for its allure as an idyllic retreat.

The article features a number of luxury estates in the area including Friday Harbor Estate and Madroneagle, listed by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR). Jennifer Johnsen Cameron, the Listing Agent and Vice President of Brand Development for RSIR tells Mansion Global that with Friday Harbor Estate, there is relative value in the unique home, as “the replacement cost of the house is ‘significantly higher’ than the price.” The property, which is listed for $14.8 million and owned by rock legend Steve Miller, “has an 11,686-square-foot, stone-and-wood home on a total of about 40 acres. It also has a dock with deep-water moorage.”

Miller says the appeal for the property was convenience, “For a guy like me, who does 70 cities a year, I needed to be somewhere I could get in and out of.”

Of Madroneagle, Keates writes that “it took three years and about $12 million for Kathleen Dickinson and her late husband Ron McDowell to build their house, which was finished in 2007. On 41 acres on Orcas, it is filled with reclaimed wood and intricate architectural details. It first went on to the market in April, 2016 for $11.6 million, and was reduced last year to $10 million, a price she says is under the cost of construction.” In the property feature video below, Dickinson can be seen in her state-of-the-art kitchen putting the finishing touches on a culinary creation.

“I am thrilled to have had an opportunity to share these truly unparalleled properties with the world,” Cameron reflects. “Each home is an amazing retreat and I look forward to aligning both with their next stewards.”

This article appeared in the May 19th, 2017 print edition of Mansion Global and is available to subscribers of The Wall Street Journal at WSJ.com

Want to know more about the Pacific Northwest’s best kept secret? Explore Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s Legacy Home Reportwhich retells the history of the San Juan Islands, discusses what it means to be a legacy home, and compares the retreats found in the San Juans to the most desirable estates found in Long Island, New York.

Friday Harbor Estate is Featured on the New York Times Real Estate Page

We are thrilled to share that Friday Harbor Estate, listed by Realogics Sotheby's International Realty is a current feature on the New York Times digital real estate section! An unparalleled land portfolio of 38.72 fenced acres in the famed San Juan Island archipelago, the next steward of Friday Harbor Estate will enjoy a sheltered bay with deep water moorage, an 11,686 square foot main residence with exquisite craftsmanship, and contemporary architecture that blends interior and exterior living spaces designed around entertaining while retaining privacy.

The feature, which runs through the end of May, offers a glimpse into life at Friday Harbor, with a video that showcases the waterfront land portfolio, primary residence, and yacht moorage. A legacy estate unlike any other, explore the main home, meandering trails, and points of interest before ending in the historic town of Friday Harbor, where amenities complement a seasonal or full-time lifestyle:

Ocean Homes Top 20 Coastal Homes 2016

Country meets the coast at this expansive estate in Washington. Nestled in more than 38 fenced acres on the shores of idyllic Friday Harbor, this wonderful family home offers an unparalleled land portfolio in a sheltered bay with a 360-foot deep-water dock for berthing a large yacht. The main residence delivers 11,686 square feet of interior and exterior living space, designed in a contemporary style with extensive use of timber. The open-plan living and dining room features a central stone fireplace. Outdoor entertaining spaces include a patio with a hot tub and wooded gardens leading to the dock and bay.

Read More > >

San Juan Islands Real Estate Sales Increase, says the Puget Sound Business Journal

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) broker Peter Phillips has that listing and agrees that increasing numbers of people are discovering the San Juan Islands. Phillips has a listing coming on later this week with a price tag of about $14 million on Orcas Island’s Cormorant Bay, near the town of Eastsound. Owned by a Santa Rosa couple, the 170-acre estate has a half mile of waterfront with two grandfathered-in private beaches and a deep water docking system that can accommodate a 170-foot yacht. It offers two houses at water’s edge, and a five hole golf course.

One of the most publicized pieces of property up for sale currently, an RSIR listing picked up by both Bloomberg and the Robb Report, is musician Steve Miller s 39-acre, $16.8 million property in Friday Harbor. It has a 5-year-old, 11,686-square-foot custom home, which looks like Hawaii meets the Northwest, and a 110-foot boat slip with a 360-foot causeway which leads from shore to dock. The deep water docking system is so top-of-the-line, it has been dubbed the Gucci dock. Built for entertaining, for creating and playing music, and for privacy, the sprawling rambler has only two bedrooms.

Read More > > 

Friday Harbor Estate Showcased in the Seattle Times

There’s quite a bit of hubbub recently about real estate in the Seattle area: bidding wars, $1,000 rent hikes, and ongoing discussions about equitable housing practices. 

And recently released data show that home prices in Washington are rising faster than any state in the country. If you like, you can distract yourself by checking out the 10 most expensive real-estate listings in Washington state.

With the entry-level price point being about $11 million, the data about rising statewide real estate doesn’t begin to touch these luxury home listings. It’s interesting to consider the locations: Seattle and Bellevue claim one apiece, with two each for Vashon and Mercer islands. The remaining homes are sprinkled across the shorelines of Puget Sound.

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The 10 Most Expensive Properties for Sale | Curbed.com

As news of Steve Miller's $16.8 million-dollar listing in Friday Harbor has been making the rounds recently, it's brought a renewed interest to the San Juan Islands. Perhaps what newcomers might find most intriguing is the realization that it's not even the most expensive listing on the island right now. Nor is it the second most-expensive either. With that in mind, we thought it might be a good time to check in with the islands to see what's at the top of the market these days. There's a lot of places we've written about before, even going back a couple of years. You've got islands (Trump Island, which is not named for who you think it's named for). You've got starchitects (George Suyama). You've got acreage (one property is 233 acres!). Check'm out.

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Rock, Roll & Relax

If you're that special kind of classic rock fan and island aficionado who also happens to be a tech millionaire, your dream property just came on the market.

Bloomberg reports that rocker Steve Miller's 38-acre compound in Friday Harbor is on the market for a cool $16.8 million. It features a massive main residence, fenced grounds and unparalleled access to the San Juan Islands. But the true jewel of the home, says Dean Jones, principal and owner of Realogics Sotheby's International Realty, is a 360-foot deep water dock with a 110-foot slip.

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Friday Harbor Estate Featured on Curbed

This massive estate and property has been looking for a buyer for a few years now, but the price hasn't been right. Back in 2014, this 39-acre property hit the market for all of one day asking $20M. For some reason, it came down and stayed off the market until June 2015 when it re-emerged at $17.5M. After no bites, it went away in February. Now it's back and the price is down a little bit more: $16.8M.

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Realtor.com weighs in

It looks like newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steve Miller is attempting to fly like an eagle from his gorgeous spread on Washington’s San Juan Island. He recently listed his northwestern nest for $16,800,000.

That might sound like a princely sum, but Miller isn’t playing the joker. San Juan, the namesake island of the remote archipelago, is a 40-minute seaplane ride from Seattle, which makes it an ideal respite for actors, musicians, politicians, and tech titans.

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Fly like an eagle

The musician Steve Miller famously wants to stay right there at home, playing his music in the sun. And that’s what he’s been doing since 2011, when he built an 11,686-square-foot home on 38.72 acres he had owned in Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island, Wash., for decades. Alas, he’s now got to be movin’ on, and his house at 67 Roulac Lane in Friday Harbor is on the market for $16.8 million.

As befits its Pacific Northwest setting—San Juan Island is the most populous of its namesake 172-island archipelago northwest of Seattle—the house is a marvel of woodworking, with clear fir on the walls, ceilings and floors. “Mr. Miller was very exacting in the selection of the wood materials,” said Dean Jones, president and chief executive officer of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, which holds the listing. “There are no knots in this building. This isn’t a home with a bunch of drywall. It’s very organic, celebrating the natural wood and the beautiful surroundings.”

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