An opulent mansion and private island on Flathead Lake have been sold for an undisclosed price to an unknown buyer after sitting vacant for many years.
A downtown Missoula-based real estate company called Engel & Volkers Western Frontier announced the successful brokering of the sale of the Shelter Island Estate last week.
Located a short boat ride from the town of Rollins on the west side of the lake, the 22-acre island and 18,000-square-foot mansion were most recently listed for sale for $13.95 million — down from its original asking price in 2012 of $78 million.
Montana is one of a handful of states where the final sale price of real estate transactions is not public information, and is only available to real estate agents. Dawn Maddux, the license partner and broker at Engel & Volkers Western Frontier, represented both the buyer and the seller on the transaction. She did not disclose the final sale price or the buyer.
“It was an honor to list, market and complete the sale of this iconic Montana property,” she said in an email.
Maddux said that according to the Montana Regional Multiple Listing Service, it was the priciest real estate transaction ever closed on Flathead Lake.
After the $78 million listing in 2012, the price dropped to $39 million in 2016 before going down to $13.95 million this year.
According to Montana property tax records, a holding company called Second Step Asset Management based in Los Angeles, California, was the most recent owner of the property. Tax records aren’t immediately updated after a purchase, and wealthy buyers often form Limited Liability Companies in order to purchase property to obscure their identities and protect them from lawsuits.
The mansion took a decade to build and was completed in 2011 by a reclusive real estate tycoon named Donald Abbey. After fighting his property tax bills for years, Abbey relinquished ownership of the property to the holding company in 2012.
The sale of the European-style mansion with an interior made largely of imported marble and African mahogany includes a lavish guest house with a drive-in boat dock and a helicopter landing zone.
“The fixtures and finishes were curated from around the world and come together perfectly to complete this one-of-a-kind property,” Maddux said.
There’s also an underground shooting range, a complex water-purification system, a huge diesel generator, eight bathrooms, eight fireplaces and an elevator. The kitchen area opens to an expansive deck that looks out onto the lake and surrounding mountains. Because the island depends on shore access, the property includes a mainland house, lakefront property and a drive-in boathouse in Rollins.
“Anybody with any building background at all can just look at it and be amazed,” Casey Yarger, the property’s longtime caretaker, told the Missoulian in 2016. “It’s just an engineer’s dream.”
Maddux estimated that the mansion cost nearly $78 million to build.
“(It’s) like nothing else in the world,” Maddux said.