This week news emerged that Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen had sold his private island north of Seattle for $8 million to an undisclosed buyer. Now the buyer has been identified, and it turns out that he and Allen have something in common: They’re both in the space biz.
The buyer is Eric C. Anderson, the aerospace engineer-turned-entrepreneur and investor, according to a report today in the Journal of the San Juan Islands. The newspaper doesn’t cite a source for the information. We’ve sent a message to Anderson, and we’ll update this post depending on what we hear back.
So who is he? Anderson is the co-founder of the Space Adventures space tourism company and the Planetary Resources asteroid mining company. He also co-founded the Planetary Power energy technology company and serves as CEO of Intentional Software, the technology company founded by Charles Simonyi, the father of Microsoft Word.
He’s a fascinating guy with a wide range of interests, as we learned when he joined us as one of the speakers at our GeekWire Summit this year. And now he’s the owner of the 292-acre Allan Island (named for a U.S. war hero, by the way, not for the Microsoft co-founder).
The island, near Anacortes, Wash., is accessible only by plane or boat. Here’s how the real-estate listing described it: “Enjoy outstanding building sites with beaches overlooking Rosario Strait, the Olympic Mtns, & Strait of Juan De Fuca. Log-style home for caretakers quarters located near the dock with water, septic, and generator.”
The San Juan newspaper reports that Anderson bought the island along with a group of private investors. The investment entity that was used to purchase the island, AI Project LLC, was formed too recently for its principals to be on file with the state.
Earlier reports said the buyer planned to build 10 to 12 homes on the property. Tere Foster, the real-estate agent who represented the previously undisclosed buyer, told The Seattle Times in its original report, “The vision for this property is it will be a small community for good friends and family.”
Allen, whose ventures include space transportation company Stratolaunch Systems, bought the island in 1992. He was planning to build a vacation home there, but he ultimately decided to develop the project on another island. He originally listed Allan Island for $25 million in 2005, but was forced to make multiple price reductions, as the recession hurt the market for private islands.