Flathead Lake’s Shelter Island Mansion Sells for Undisclosed Sum

Mansion on private island was listed for $13.95 million after originally listed for $78 million in 2012

By Justin Franz
Shelter Island. Courtesy photo

One of the most expensive homes in Montana perched on its own private island on the west side of Flathead Lake sold on Nov. 30 for an undisclosed sum.

The 22-acre Shelter Island and 18,000-square-foot castle-like home that sits on it near Rollins was most recently listed for sale at $13.95 million, significantly less than the $78 million it was listed for back in 2012.

Engel and Völkers Western Frontier Broker Dawn Maddux facilitated the deal. The Missoula-based broker declined to identify the buyer or the final price; however, she said it was a great deal for the new owner. Maddux said she had been working with the eventual buyer for about a year.

“It’s such a unique piece of property,” she said.

Real estate mogul Don Abbey purchased Shelter Island for $1.76 million in 2000 and quickly began constructing the luxurious home. But the project was mired in cost overruns and lawsuits between Abbey, attorneys and contractors. Ultimately, it took a decade to complete the house, with construction employing more than 200 people, including several local contractors.

Abbey initially put the property on the market at $78 million, then $59 million and finally $29 million, but the asking price remained too rich for even the rich. Maddux said the $13.95 million price tag garnered considerably more attention, and she was frequently talking to potential buyers, but it still took three years to finally seal the deal.

Maddux said she is unsure when the new owner will move in, although the island does have a helipad for year-round access. She said the new owner will likely make some upgrades and could hire staff to maintain the island.

“I think this sale is going to be really good for the community,” she said.