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Blog Entry

Blazers owner Paul Allen selling private island

Posted on: September 9, 2011 8:40 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 11:43 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver

We're in the middle of an NBA lockout and that means painful cutbacks. That goes for everyone, including the billionaires who own the teams.

It's impossible not to feel immense sympathy for Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen, who has decided to make the difficult decision to sell one of his private islands. has the details.
Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder that ranks 57th on the Forbes World’s Billionaires list with $13 billion, is offloading his private island. Allan Island, situated near Anacortes, Wash., is back on the market and at a reduced price, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Allan Island has bounced on and off the sale block since 2005, when its initial price tag was $25 million. It took a $5.5 million price chop in 2006 before re-emerging with the current $13.5 million asking price. Windmere Real Estate has the listing. Allen bought the island in 1992, reportedly to build a vacation home, before snatching up the Sperry Peninsula site on nearby Lopez Island in 1996 and abandoning his original plans.

Allan Island, named for a Navy hero (not the billionaire), is an almost entirely undeveloped 292-acre island jutting out of the Pacific Ocean, north of Seattle. It is one of 172 islands comprising the San Juans archipelago. The land boasts one modest house — a caretaker’s cabin fitted with water, septic and generator. There’s also a 2,400 foot grass airstrip and a boat dock, the only two means by which a person can access the island. Jeep trails wind through the acreage and beaches dapple the coastline. The island does not, however have electricity. That would cost about $3 million to pipe in, says Wally Gudgell, the property’s listing agent and a 40-year veteran of private island real estate sales.
The island's real estate listing has some additional information.
292 acre private island SW of the City of Anacortes near Skyline Marina between Burrows Bay and Rosario Strait. Accessible by private plane, boat, or float plane with a partial breakwater and dock plus a grass airstrip. Enjoy outstanding building sites with beaches overlooking Rosario Strait, the Olympic Mtns, & Strait of Juan De Fuca.
No electricity? What a dump. This is like the Sacramento Kings of private islands.

And yes, you read that right: The island has lost nearly half of its asking price in six years. You've got to love the business savvy from Allen, who has honed a reputation in recent years for impatient and rash decisions and has lost untold sums of money in failed investments in the technology and cable industries.
For comparison's sake, the current $13.5 million asking price is a little bit more than what Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge is set to make in 2011-2012 but a bit less than what guard Brandon Roy will take home. 

Picture courtesy of

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: September 12, 2011 1:02 am

Blazers owner Paul Allen selling private island

Paul Allen does not need to worry about the sale of this island. $25M or $5M won't make a dent in his fortune. Perhaps it was something he wanted at one time to develop and now has lost interest. Blazer fans seem to appreciate that Allen has sunk hundreds of millions into the team trying to get back to the finals. He is not at all inept with financial matters. He is only using his money as he wishes (although he has given billions away to charity.)

Obviously he could build a house and use generators to get whatever electricity he needed. That he has owned the island so long it is unlikely he is going to lose money. What is intriguing is the interest the media takes in whatever he does. Do all the island sales end up on the blog? Only those for Paul Allen, as far as I can tell. This is a big stretch to say it is basketball related. Shows how desperate for news the NBA writers are with the lockout.

Since: Dec 30, 2007
Posted on: September 11, 2011 3:13 am

Blazers owner Paul Allen selling private island

This seems like a guy that should thank god every day for bill gates

Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: September 10, 2011 11:30 pm

Blazers owner Paul Allen selling private island

What did he buy it for in '92?

You'd have to be able to get solar or a generator for less than the $3m, right? 

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: September 10, 2011 6:02 pm

Blazers owner Paul Allen selling private island

Allen should keep the land, but sell the rights to harvest the trees on his land. Lumber prices are high so I could see the island being used for that purpose. Other than that, why would anyone pay over $10 million for living space and not have access to electricity. Does the new owner get to rename the island? If I bought it...I'd rename it to Gilligan's Island.

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