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Five American Private Islands Left Over After the Summer

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If summer is the prime time to sell real estate, it is particularly the time to unload a private island, at least in the country's northern reaches. Some, however, continue to languish on the market, with Labor Day just a week away. New York's Petra Island, advertised as "15 minutes by helicopter" to NYC, has been left on the market for years, attracting little buyer interest, but plenty of controversy, which stems from the two structures built on the 11 acres island. The first, a 1,200-square-foot cottage, was completed in 1949 to designs by Frank Lloyd Wright, who also oversaw construction. The second, the one that draws the ire of some purists, was built in 2007 based on designs penned by Wright, but never completed by the owner during Wright's lifetime due to the high cost. The seller and listing continue to refer to the new house as a Wright design, but the contested validity of that claim may be deterring some buyers. Either that or the price, which is only available upon request, is simply astronomical, which wouldn't be surprising given the reference to helicopter commuting.

? If price is probably not a concern for a buyer of Petra Island, it is really not an issue for the owner of Allan Island, in Washington State's Puget Sound. That's because it belongs to Microsoft mega-billionaire Paul Allen. Allen picked up Allan Island in 1992 and had planned to construct a large home there, before deciding to buy 387 acres on nearby Lopez Island and build there instead. The island first reappeared on the market in 2005, with a $25M asking price, but now the price has been sharply reduced to just $13.5M. That price includes 292 acres, a grass airstrip, dock with breakwater, and a (rather grand) log cabin for the caretaker.

? For something a bit more accessible, both geographically and financially, check out this much smaller private isle in Rhode Island. Located on well-protected Point Judith Pond, Jonathan Island enjoys views of a protected wildlife sanctuary and access, from the dock, to Block Island Sound. Listed for $1.4M, the island includes a two-bedroom contemporary cottage. The house could use some updating, particularly in the kitchen, but that sort of task must be much more difficult on an island.

? Heading down south to find a private island might result in something with a bit more all-season usefulness. This large, heavily developed island estate, called Little Hawkins Island, lies not far from Sea Island, Ga. and is listed for $20M. That hefty price tag includes a huge, highly detailed main house, two guest houses, a club house adjacent to the swimming pool, and 700 feet of water frontage with dock and boat lift.

? Another Southeastern island with "Little" in the name, and a big price tag, is Florida's Little Bokeelia Island. On the market for a whopping $29.5M, the 104-acre island was once visited by inventor Thomas Edison and includes a classic Spanish-style villa built in the 1920s for fellow inventor Charles Burgess, the battery wizard who founded what would later become Duracell. The sprawling island home suffers from some over-the-top decorating, but what else should we expect from a $30M private island home.
· Petra Island [Private Islands Online]
· Allan Island [Zillow]
· Jonathan Island [Lila Delman]
· Little Hawkins Island [Private Islands Online]
· Little Bokeelia Island [Zillow]