Owner: Craig McCaw
Estimated value: $75.1 million
About 18 years after transforming British Columbia's James Island from an explosives plant into an exclusive island retreat, U.S. telecom billionaire Craig McCaw is looking to sell the property for $75.1 million .
McCaw bought the 780-acre island located off the coast of Vancouver Island for $19 million in 1994 - the same year he and his brothers sold McCaw Cellular Communications to AT&T for $12.6 billion. On the island, the billionaire went on to build a 5,000 square-feet main house; six guest cottages; a pool; private docks; an airstrip and an 18-hole golf course designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus. The grounds also house a library, gym and a general store. Power lines are buried underground throughout the island, electric vehicles are used and smoking is banned.
The bursting of the dotcom bubble took a tool on McCaw's finances, leading him to put the island up for sale in 2001 after his fortune dropped from $7.7 billion to $2.7 billion. The island was originally listed for over $70 million, but by 2003 the price had dropped to $49 million before the sale was halted. Some famous guests known to visit the island include music producers Quincy Jones and David Foster, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.