Grilling Tips from Around University District

claydon 1With Fourth of July just around the corner, we want to address a very important issue here: grilling. America’s biggest celebration deserves a good ol’ fashioned BBQ! While hosting a BBQ on our rooftop is easy to say, it may not be so easy if you’re not sure if you’re grilling right.  We asked the best in our neighborhood to share with us (and you!) their ideas and knowledge for grilling, where to get the best meat to grill and where you could enjoy the best grilled meat in University District. As well as some must-have recipes and you can’t forget the drinks!

Grilling basics: 

  • Get it hot: Turn the grill on several minutes before you want to begin grilling. You want the grill nice and hot for when you begin.
  • Oil it up: Grab a paper towel and soak it in oil, grab it with tongs and rub it over the rack to avoid the meat from sticking to the grill.oil_grill_tip5
  • Dry it off: Pat your meat dry with a paper towel before you place it on the grill to get the perfect sear.
  • Let it rest: When the meat has reached your desire done-ness, let it rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to settle.
  • Use it: Grill pans are great for giving vegetables and fruits the smoky flavor we all love, without having them fall through the rack.

And for more advanced tips…

Where to get your meat

The number grilling tip our neighbors at the farmers market gave us was that the most important part of grilling is to get quality meat. Which is why you should skip the grocery store and go straight to the source: the farms. Not only will you save time avoiding the crowds, but you’ll get quality meat and will have supported a local business! We’re lucky University District has a year-round farmers market, which is exactly where you should begin your search. Whether you are looking for fish, pork, ribs, ribeye or simply poultry, you’ll find it at the market. Experts’ recommendations say your first stop should be Sea Breeze Farm. Their animals are all grass-fed and with a full service butcher shop, they can cater to your every request.

pork chops thyme


Our other favorite, if you want to grill fish or other seafood, is University Seafood and Poultry. Located on Northeast 47th Street, University Seafood and Poultry has fresh seafood (get your lobster out of the tank here!) Whether you’re looking for a particular fish, or you’re going for jumbo shrimp for your kebabs, they’re your go-to in our neighborhood. They recommended Salmon, Snapper or Mahi Mahi for grilling.

You have your key grilling tips, and you have your meat—all you need now is the right recipes to make your July fourth BBQ the perfect one. Here are our top five recipes for Independence Day:babyback-ribs-5

  1. Bacon Bourbon BBQ Chicken Kebabs
  2. Beer Marinated Grilled Steak
  3. Grilled Cilantro Lime BBQ Wings
  4. Grilled Veggies: Zucchini, Carrot, Mushroom and Peppers
  5. Chipotle Baby Back Ribs

Lastly, the drinks! Eater Seattle has a fantastic list of the best mixed drinks for July fourth. Tried and tested by the best bartenders. Looking for more summer and barbecuing or drinks recipes? Follow our Pinterest Boards!

What are your plans for Independence Day? Do you have any grilling tips or secrets? Share them with us in the comments!

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Our Best Kept Secret (not for long): Our Fitness Center

We recently made some upgrades to our gym at The Corydon and we wanted to get an expert’s opinion on how the gym is working for our residents.  We enlisted Kelcie Shorter to give us her unbiased opinion.  Turns out she thinks the gym at The Corydon is our best kept secret.

Kelcie moved-in to The Corydon about a year ago, and when she was searching for her new home, The Corydon stood out because of its location.  Kelcie is a sCorydongymtudent at the University of Washington (UW) and wanted a place close enough to campus, yet far enough away that it still had a slightly suburban feel.  Though our gym was not the reason she moved to The Corydon, she said it was a huge bonus.  The UW campus has its own gym, but Kelcie still prefers to workout at our gym. Why? Kelcie lays it out for us:

  1. Convenience

There’s nothing better than knowing you can walk downstairs anytime to do a quick workout.  Even if you are tired or feeling lazy, there is no excuse if the gym is so close.  Kelcie tries to work out in the morning every day and she says having a gym in the building helps to motivate her. Even when she’s really short on time, she knows that she can at least do a 15-minute workout without having to waste time driving.

  1. TVs and sound system.

Whether you are in the mood for a TV show or you simply want to listen to music, our gym can accommodate your preferences. Kelcie likes to work out in the mornings when the gym is empty so she can play music on the sound system. Who could say no to blasting your favorite tunes while you work out?


  1. Space

Something we often don’t think about for a gym is the need for open space— where you can do simple exercises. Kelcie mentioned that one of the things she’s very appreciative about is that not only does our gym have the equipment and tools needed for a well-rounded workout, but we also included plenty of open space for yoga, full body exercises, and other activities.


Kelcie told us she likes The Corydon’s gym because it has everything she needs for a successful workout. We’ve got the basics covered with treadmills, bikes and jump ropes for a bit of cardio. Plus there are free weights, dumb bells and multi-use bench press along with space for squats, lunges and yoga.

Kelcie Shorter

Kelcie Shorter works this machine a few times a week. She is aided in her workout by our posters that show her different exercises.

Thanks for the review Kelcie and we are glad that you are happy with the gym.  And congrats for keeping up your workouts!

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Meet our Team: Eric Nickelson

We hate to brag but we think the people who work at The Corydon are pretty cool. Each one of them makes The Corydon a special place to live because they do all they can to provide residents with a quietly awesome experience.  While you may know them while they are on the job, we thought it would be fun for you to get to know a little more about what makes them tick.   Cropped Corydon Headshots  10

For our very first Meet our Team post, we would like to present to you Eric Nickelson. Eric joined Pillar Properties almost three years ago and has been a huge asset to our team with his skills, creative mind and willingness to go above and beyond for our residents. For those of you who have not had a chance to meet him, Eric is fun, genuine and kind hearted! But don’t worry, you will not have to take our word for it, you’ll get a glimpse of it in here. We asked him a fun question— check out what he told us.

Our question: If you could fly anywhere, where would you go first and why?

Her answer: Mount Everest.

Mount Everest as seen from Drukair. Source:

Mount Everest as seen from Drukair.

Eric shared with us that he has always wanted to climb the Mount Everest, but he’s heard so many stories of backpackers who attempt to climb it and end up stranded on the mountain in severe weather. Though not everyone gets stranded on their way to the top, the possibility of it made him reconsider climbing it.  So when we presented the idea of being able to fly anywhere, he didn’t have to think about it twice and Mt. Everest would definitely be his first stop. He wants to reach the top to be able to see the amazing view, while still be able to come back and tell people he’s been to the top of Mt. Everest. Being able to fly would allow this to happen, plus Eric made a good point, flying would be a much easier route than climbing.

What about you? If YOU could fly anywhere, where would you go? Share with us on the comments! And let us know if there are any questions you’d like our team to answer.

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Best Pie in the Neighborhood to Celebrate the Ultimate Pi Day

Happy π Day!

This year, March 14 is more special than ever because Pi= 3.1415…, and today is 3.14.15, which makes it the ultimate Pi day!

We love celebrating days like these, and there’s no better way to celebrate Pi day than with some of the most delicious pies in the neighborhood—and our team even recommended their favorite pie!

Queen Mary Tea

Looking for a savory pie, rather than sweet? We’ve got the place for you! Queen Mary Tea is the best place in the neighborhood for a relaxing meal with a friend. Our team swears by their variety of savory pies! Such as Shepherd’s Pie, Chicken Pot Pie and Steak and Kidney Pie.

pie bar5

Steak and Kidney Pie, Queen Mary Tea.


Be sure to save some room for dessert! Queen Mary Tea also has their special Peanut Butter Crunch Pie!

Queen Mary Tea

Courtesy of Queen Mary Tea


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St. Patrick’s Day Festivities to Get your Green On

St. Patrick’s Day is always a very festive day around Puget Sound.  Everyone wants to get their green on with parades, bar crawls and of course, beer!

Looking for your best option for celebrating?  We’ve got ya covered!

  • Irish Festival and Parade: Don’t miss the best place to get your green on with non-stop
    Photo by Paul Swortz

    Photo by Paul Swortz

    Irish music, dancing, workshops and cultural displays. For more info, click here.

    • When: March 14 and 15; Saturday and Sunday
    • Cost: FREE, all ages.
    • Time: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
    • Location: Starting on 4th Ave and Jefferson.
  • SPD_Barcrawl_Poster_SpecialsSt. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl: No actual crawling is required. Take a tour to the town’s best bars where you can enjoy drink specials and no cover at any of the participating bars.
    • When: March 14 and 17; Saturday and Tuesday.
    • Cost:
      • $15 – two day pass
      • $10 – individual pass
    • To purchase tickets click here.


  • Leprechaun Pub Crawl: With a ‘Going Green’ theme, and over ten local bars to crawl to,waterwaycruises it is sure to be a Saturday night to remember. For full details click here.
    • When: Saturday March 14 at 3 p.m.
    • Cost: $10 per person.
    • Location: Pub crawl begins at Kells Irish Pub.


  • Half_Paddy_with_bibSt. Patrick’s Day Dash: Get ready for the 31st annual St. Patrick’s Day Dash filled with a wide variety of activities for both kids and adults! Forfull details, click here.
    • When: Sunday March 15.
    • Time: 8 a.m. Start times vary depending on the activity you chose.
    • Location: Seattle Center
    • Price: $35 individual registration. And $12 for ages 10 and under.
    • To register, click here.



Know of any other fun St. Patrick’s Day activities in town? Share them with us on the comments below!

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Pillar Properties Named Tops in the Nation for Resident Satisfaction!

National-Award-Company-2014-2-300x94Our teams are constantly focused on customer service at Pillar Properties.  Its the cornerstone of our mission – to provide what we call a ‘quietly awesome’ experience for our residents.  That means our teams work diligently behind the scenes to make sure the experience inside our properties matches residents lifestyles, needs and expectations.  Being quietly awesome is a focus for everything we do and it is the guiding light of our customer service team.

That’s why we are especially proud to receive the SatisFacts 2014 National Resident Satisfaction Award for 2014.  SatisFacts is a national company that works with more than a million apartment dwellers annually to gauge their experiences.  We are thrilled that of the nearly 300 property management companies across the country, Pillar Properties is ranked in the top three!*

“Seeing Pillar Properties recognized with this award is exceptional but I can humbly say I am not surprised,” said Billy Pettit, senior vice president for Pillar Properties.  “This all comes back to the teams at each of our properties – The Lyric, The Wave and The Nolo at Stadium Place, The Century, The Corydon and The 101.  They are deeply committed to making our properties a special place to live and they are clearly succeeding.”

SatisFacts surveys all residents annually and again anytime a resident moves in, has a maintenance request or moves out. Based on those surveys, Pillar Properties also received an Exceptional Company Award (score of 4.5 or higher of 5.0) for resident satisfaction.  You can see the awards and rankings here.

“This awards shows us that our teams are responding to our resident’s needs and that’s what truly matters to us. We focus every day on ensuring that our property teams are quick to address any issues that arise for our residents.  That’s what makes Pillar Properties different from other property owners and that’s what being quietly awesome is all about,” said Pettit.

SatisFacts is the apartment industry retention and reputation management authority, working with hundreds of management companies and more than a million apartment units nationally.  You can learn more about the company here.



* Of companies with less than 2,000 apartment units

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Our Restaurant Pick for Valentine’s Day: Mamma Melina

Imagine you are sitting at a candle-lit table with your loved one, a feeling of intimacy surrounding you both while you sip on your favorite wine and wait for a mouthwatering dinner to be served.

Well, that is exactly what your romantic night will be like if you go to Mamma Melina this Saturday!

Source: Mamma Melina's Facebook

Source: Mamma Melina’s Facebook

We picked our favorite neighborhood restaurant and asked them for a sneak peek on what they have planned for Valentine’s Day!

Mamma Melina has always been one of our favorites, and with the incomparable atmosphere, the exquisite food and attention to detail, we assure you it is a must-try Italian restaurant.

Source: Mamma Melina's Facebook

Source: Mamma Melina’s Facebook

Now, while we were assured that the Valentine’s Day menu will come out this week, Roberto Varchetta, co-owner of Mamma Melina gave us a sneak peek of what they’ll have to offer on Valentine’s Day.

Reservations are filling up quick so be sure to give them a call to make sure you get your table for Valentine’s Day!

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Washington Multi Family Housing Association (WMFHA) Finalist: Richard Hughes as Maintenance Supervisor of the Year

We are always excited to see one of our team members get recognized for their outstanding job. It’s not an easy task to become an Emerald Awards finalists, but Richard Hughes showcased his abilities and passion to work as a leader and as a team member, as he is now a finalist for the category Maintenance Supervisor of the Year!

This annual awards presentation, sponsored by the Washington Multi Family Housing Association (WMFHA), honors the top performers in the apartment industry in the PacificRichard Hughes North West.

It’s a long road to becoming a finalist and we couldn’t be more excited to see Richard recognized for all he does. After submitting written information about his work, Richard was interviewed in person by a judging committee. Only the best make it to the finals.

Richard is going against four other finalists for his category. The Emerald Awards Ceremony will be held next Thursday February 12, and we will know then if Richard is the winner or not. In our minds, he is already a winner and we are happy to have him in our team.

Please join us in congratulating Richard Hughes on his accomplishment of becoming a WMFHA Emerald Awards finalist.

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Thank you Residents for your Contribution to Northwest Harvest

We are proud of our partnership with KING5 to cheer on the Seahawks and help fill the shelves at Northwest Harvest.  We hosted a food drive at our property and everyone who donated got a pair of these cool KING5 #twelfie shades!

corydon shades

Manager Katie showing off her #twelfie glasses!


And while the Seahawks didn’t quite bring home the victory (so close!), the big winner was Northwest Harvest as generous fans from all over Puget Sound donated more than 75,000 meals in the week leading up to the Super Bowl.


We want to thank our residents and everyone else who was part of the food drive, we couldn’t have done it without you!

We donated, too! Our VP of Multi Family Operations, Diana Norbury and VP of Construction and Plan Operations, Scott Haines presented a check to Northwest Harvest live on KING5 News!

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Super Bowl Party Planning

We’re assuming all you can think about this week is the Seahawks playing in the Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday—that’s all we can think about, too!

Let us indulge in this Hawks fever together with every other living person in the city!

Let’s talk party! Whether you are hosting your own party, going to a friend’s party or going out to celebrate with all other 12s, we have the best food, drinks and places to guarantee you’ll enjoy the Super Bowl!



Impress your friends by making one of these for your Super Bowl party, or bring it to your friend’s party—they’re crowd pleasers!



Don’t forget the Seahawks-themed snacks!

Source: Queen Bee Coupons

Source: Queen Bee Coupons

Oh, and be sure to make a Russells Sprouts Cheese Dip—get it?

Source: Queen Bee Coupons

Source: Queen Bee Coupons

What better way to support the Hawks than with Seattle-made drinks!

Source: Queen Bee Coupons

Source: Queen Bee Coupons

Source: Queen Bee Coupons

Source: Queen Bee Coupons

For those of you going out—our team recommends these hopping bars in our neighborhood.

Or just stay home to watch it on the big screen in our media room!

And remember, ANYTHING is possible. GO HAWKS!

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