Sale price plummets; Allen sells Allan Island for $8 million

Billionaire Paul Allen sold Allan Island to space travel entrepreneur Eric C. Anderson for $8 million, less than one-third of the original $25 million asking price.

The 292-acre island, located west of Anacortes between Skyline Marina on Fidalgo Island and Lopez Island, was originally purchased in 1992 by the Microsoft co-founder, but the original idea to build a vacation home was abandoned after Allen bought and constructed a vacation home on the larger Sperry Peninsula on the east side of Lopez Island.

Wally Gudgell, the Orcas Island realtor and private island specialist who listed Allan Island in 2005 for $25 million, said that the recession has taken a significant toll on the value of private islands.

In 2009, the asking price was reduced to $13.5 million. AI Project LLC, the holding company set up to complete the transaction for Anderson and a group of private investors, closed the deal a few days before Christmas for $8 million.

Although the island reportedly has 44 tax lots, Gudgell said he believed the investment group is planning only a dozen vacation residences on the island for the ownership group. The island is reachable only by boat or airplane; an airstrip is located in the center of the island.

Eric Anderson, born in Colorado and a 1992 graduate of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., according to Wikipedia, has a computer science and aerospace engineering degree from the University of Virginia. He was a co-founder of the first spaceflight tourism company, Space Adventures Ltd., and is the chairman of Planetary Power, Inc. and co-chairman of Planetary Resources, a company which is reportedly developing and deploying technologies for asteroid mining. Anderson lives in Bellevue.

Other privately owned islands for sale

Ram Island, 10 acres, for sale, $3.5 million, south side of Lopez (owned by David Lamb.)

James Island, B.C., 780 acres, for sale, $75 million. (owned by Craig McCaw.)

Assessed value of islands not listed for sale

Spieden Island, 509 Acres, land value $21.4 million. (owned by Jim Jannard.)

Barnes Island, 33.9 acres, land value $1 million. (owned by Charles Bundrant.)

Long Island, 68.5 acres, land value $3.1 million. (owned by the Bender family.)

Satellite Island, 120 acres, value unknown, tax-exempt. (owned by Greater Seattle YMCA.)

Trump Island, 28.6 acres, land value $2.6 million. (owned by Trump Island, LLC; not Donald Trump.)

— Source: San Juan County Assessor