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Old February 11th, 2008, 07:27 PM   #1
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Location: Marine City, Michigan
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Default Buildable lot on Private Island in Michigan

As the title says. A few years ago my wife and I bought a buildable lot on Russel Island, which is in the middle of the St. Clair river across from Algonac. It is an extra deep lot, 50X175 (most lots are 50X125 on the island) on a dirt road with electricity. View of the shipping channel and the north channel from the property, as it sits in the middle of the only 1/4 mile wide island. Lot is located about 600 feet from the only business on the island, a bar. It is also located within 500 feet of the ferry dock and the park with a private dock and beach on it.

A little about the island: Russel Island is a private island, with 106 cottages built from the 1800's to the 1950's, and only a few bare lots left. The island is about a mile long and only 1/4 mile wide at the widest point. 80% of the island is completely wooded (as is this lot) and cars are not allowed on the island. Golf carts, bicycles, and your feet are the only transportation allowed. The island is split up into several rustic single lane dirt roads. There is a small bar that is open thurs-sun with dirt cheap beer ($75.00 annual membership - private bar), and a private beach with a huge dock and diving tower. You can see freighters go by every half an hour or so.

My lot is the only bare lot with electricity, and the electric company has stated that unless they get a court order, they will not be providing electricity to any other bare lots. Phone service is availble on the island.

To get to the island you take a ferryboat from downtown Algonac. The fee is $1.50 for property owners that do not have a cottage. Cottage owners pay an annual fee for unlimited rides. Last time I checked it was just about $200, which covers your association fee. You do NOT have to belong to the association to own land or build a cottage, but you do to ride the ferryboat once your cottage is finished. There are no association rules for how you can build your home or what you can do. Township minimum square footage is 800 foot however.

When building your home, you can bring over service vehicles and trailers on a special barge for a special fee. Several builders live on the island and they are priced very reasonably.

Homes on the island have sold for over 2 million dollars in the past.

My wife and I bought with the intention of building a cottage for retirement. We have since decided to move south in the winter, and will not need this lot. I plan to hang onto it for an investment unless someone wants to buy it. All taxes and bills are paid and up to date on the property. The ferry only runs from May to November, so I cannot get pictures of the property right now. In the winter, you can walk over the ice from Harsens Island (accessable by car) to the island, and if someone was extremely interested in looking at the lot now, I'd take them over this way.

We are offering the property for $40,000, and we are open to offers. Just figured I'd put the word out there...

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