Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen sells private isle for $8 mn

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has sold his 292-acre private island in the San Juans, in northwest Washington State, to undisclosed buyers for $8 million, his real estate agent said on Monday.

Allan Island is named after a Navy hero, though its current owner coincidentally shares the surname. It is southwest of Anacortes, and about 80 miles north of Seattle. Allen bought the island in 1992 to build a vacation home. It's only accessible by private plane, boat or float plane.

Data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows it was listed in 2005 for $25 million and slashed to $13.5 million in 2009, according to Wally Gudgell, the Windmere Real Estate agent who listed the property.

According to him, Allen wanted to ensure that the buyers would maintain the natural integrity of the mostly undeveloped property. "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 currently 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.