The story of Edith Macefield’s famous “UP!” House has taken another turn.
Paul Thomas, with Realty Brokers of Seattle, says the winners of an auction for the house this spring have backed out after it became apparent the building's age and condition would make it too expensive to fix. And that means the house will be donated and moved or demolished, and the land under it sold, Thomas said.
The highest offer was from a mother and daughter who wanted to open a pie shop in the house, which sits surrounded on three sides by a huge retail-office complex.
They had hoped to make a few alterations to turn the house into a commercial building.
In the end, the red tape was too much and the cost too high to bring the 100-year-old house into commercial business compliance. It would also be difficult to get a permit to use the home as a residence again, Thomas says.
Thomas says he’s accepting proposals from potential recipients for 30 days through his website, www.NoBSBroker.com.
After Macefield turned down $1 million to sell out to developers, they just built around her. The battle resembled the story in the 2009 animated movie “Up!”
Macefield died in 2008. She bequeathed the house to the superintendent of the construction site, who had befriended her. He sold the house to a buyer who fell on hard times, and the home wound up in foreclosure.
The house, just 1,050 square feet, is boarded up and disconnected from power and sewer lines.
"This is not at all the outcome that I or I think seriously anybody was either expecting or hoping for,” Thomas said. “There was a huge amount of interest from people who wanted to preserve the house and make it look like it looked in the movie “Up!” and make it look something like it looked when Edith Macefield was there.”