Shelter Island estate sold to anonymous world traveler

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An aerial view shows Shelter Island on Flathead Lake. (Engel & Völkers Western Frontier photo)

Shelter Island, a 22-acre luxury island estate on Flathead Lake near Rollins that most recently was listed for sale at $13.95 million, has been sold.

Dawn Maddux of Missoula, a broker and license partner of Engel & Volkers Western Frontier, brokered the sale, but said she could not divulge the sale price.

“The buyer prefers to remain anonymous,” Maddux said. “He is a world traveler with several properties. He has big plans for improving the property and I think it’s a fantastic thing for our community.”

Maddux said she had worked with the buyer for about a year.

The luxury mansion was constructed by California real estate tycoon Donald Abbey in the early 2000s and features a five-bedroom, eight-bath main house covering more than 24,000 square feet, with 45-foot-tall ceilings. A shooting range, gym and heated boat stall are part of the lavish estate that was once listed for a purchase price of $78 million.

The property “is like nothing else in the world,” Maddux said. “The fixtures and finishes were curated from around the world and come together perfectly to complete this one-of-a-kind property.”

The transaction was the largest sale of Flathead Lake property in more than a decade, she said, adding “it was an honor to list, market and complete the sale of this iconic Montana property.”

In 2016 ownership of Shelter Island was transferred to Second Step Asset Management Co., according to court documents. Maddux said this was a transfer of deed but not a sale. Second Step took the property in lieu of deed from the previous owner, she said.

According to a 2016 Daily Inter Lake article, the deed transfer indicated the sale may have been a short sale for $23.5 million, plus the cost of tax assessments in 2015. A short sale is a sale in which the total amount paid is less than the amount of debt owed against the property.

The state tax board ruled that the property was worth $41.8 million in 2015, after a tax battle in which Abbey claimed the island’s taxable worth was far less at $9.8 million. The 2014 tax bill for the property was $367,696.

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