Pacific Northwest Island Sells for $6.4 Million
December 28, 2010 - Washington
By Maura Webber Sadovi from The Wall Street Journal Asia
A remote island around 68 miles north of Seattle was sold this month to a land conservation trust in a deal that values the property at about $6.4 million, well below the $12.5 million price at which it was recently appraised.
The San Juan Preservation Trust says it acquired Vendovi Island using funds provided by three residents of the area who wanted the more than 200-acre property to remain protected from development. The trust declined to identify the benefactors.
Vendovi was sold by a family who has owned the largely undeveloped island for more than 40 years. David Fluke, who represented the family, did not return calls for comment.
The San Juan Islands region, where whale watching and sea kayaking are popular activities, is sometimes compared to Martha's Vineyard.
Before the financial crisis property values had risen as wealthy individuals from nearby Seattle and California purchased second homes there.
But the weaker real estate market gave the trust a chance to gain control of the island. "We thought it was out of our reach," says Tim Seifert, executive director of the San Juan Preservation Trust.
"But the market in the islands has suffered just like everywhere else in the past few years."
The sellers rejected the trust's initial bid of $3.3 million made at a September auction but both sides eventually came to an agreement during subsequent negotiations, says Mr. Seifert. Arvin Vander Veen, a Colliers International broker who represented the Flukes in the sale, said the family was pleased the island would be protected and was in part motivated to sell to the trust by the fact that it would realize a tax benefit by selling to the non-profit.
The island includes a four-bedroom home and about 2.8 miles of shoreline.
The trust is working on a management plan that will likely allow public access to Vendovi, which last sold in 1966 for about $225,000.
This article has been republished from Wall Street Journal
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