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Originally published December 17, 2010 at 4:51 PM | Page modified December 17, 2010 at 9:51 PM

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San Juan Preservation Trust buys Vendovi Island

Vendovi Island, seven miles north of Anacortes, had been on the market for more than two years. The San Juan Preservation Trust said it purchased the 217-acre island for $6.4 million, less than half the asking price.

Seattle Times business reporter

Vendovi Island auction video

A land trust has bought one of the largest private islands in the San Juans and plans to preserve it.

Vendovi Island, seven miles north of Anacortes, had been on the market for more than two years. The San Juan Preservation Trust said it purchased the 217-acre island for $6.4 million, less than half the asking price.

The seller was Seattle's Fluke family. Its patriarch, the late high-tech pioneer John Fluke, bought Vendovi in 1966.

The heavily forested, largely undeveloped island has no ferry service. The trust said on its website that no public access will be allowed while an inventory of the island's resources is conducted and a management plan is developed.

But a public park is a long-term possibility, it added.

"We are excited that [Vendovi] may one day be available to the general population through the trust," David Fluke, a spokesman for the sellers, said in a prepared statement. "It's a unique, beautiful property in a magnificent setting with a lustrous and storied past."

The island has six beaches, a four-bedroom house and a harbor protected by a rock breakwater.

The Fluke family put the island up for auction this fall, asking $14.5 million. But the high bid, from the land trust, was just $3.3 million, and the family opted not to sell.

The trust said San Juan residents have provided $3 million in donations and a $3.4 million, low-interest bridge loan for the purchase. Fundraising to pay off the loan already is under way, it said.

"This gives us an unprecedented opportunity to protect a large, intact ecosystem," the trust said.

Information from

The Seattle Times archives

is included in this report.

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or epryne@seattletimes.com

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