Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen sells private island for $8 million

OLYMPIA, Wash., Dec 23 (Reuters) - Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has sold a private island in northwestern Washington state to undisclosed buyers for $8 million, his real estate agent said on Monday.

The 292-acre (118 hectare) Allan Island - not named for its former owner - had been on the market for nine years and sold on Friday for well below its original asking price of $20 million, according to selling agent Wally Gudgell of Windmere Real Estate.

Allen wanted to ensure that the buyers would maintain the essential natural integrity of the mostly undeveloped property, which lies east of the San Juan Island chain about 80 miles (129 kilometers) north of Seattle near Anacortes, Gudgell said.

“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, which Allen bought in 1992, 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.