Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen sells private island for $10 million

Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and the world's fourth richest man according to Forbes Magazine. Mr Allen has sold a private island in northwestern Washington state to undisclosed buyers for US$8 million (S$10 million), his real estate agent sa
Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and the world's fourth richest man according to Forbes Magazine. Mr Allen has sold a private island in northwestern Washington state to undisclosed buyers for US$8 million (S$10 million), his real estate agent said on Monday. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

OLYMPIA, Wash. (REUTERS) - Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has sold a private island in northwestern Washington state to undisclosed buyers for US$8 million (S$10 million), his real estate agent said on Monday.

The 292-acre (118 hectare) Allan Island - not named for its former owner - had been on the market for nine years and sold on Friday for well below its original asking price of US$20 million, according to selling agent Wally Gudgell of Windmere Real Estate.

Allen wanted to ensure that the buyers would maintain the essential natural integrity of the mostly undeveloped property, which lies east of the San Juan Island chain about 129 kilometres north of Seattle near Anacortes, Gudgell said.

"It was important to the seller what the buyer was going to do to the island," Gudgell said. "We had some pretty wild buyers looking at it."

The eventual buyers of the property plan to build roughly eight homes on the island and use it as a retreat, said buying agent Tere Foster, also of Windmere.

"They hope to basically live off the grid," Foster said."It's a 'be-one-with-the-environment' kind of a thing."

The island, which Allen bought in 1992, has one log cabin, a small landing strip and a network of walking trails.

Foster said she was not sure whether the buyers would keep the log cabin or raze it.