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Steve
09-23-2007, 07:28 AM
The other night on MTV's cribs, they did an episode on Richard Branson's Necker Island. Richard bought the island when he was 24 years old and was running his record label Virgin Records.

You can see the island near the top right area. It's in the British Virgin Islands.

http://www.paradise-islands.org/images/British-Virgin-Islands-Map.jpg

Here is some really fascinating information on how he purchase the island. Sometimes it pays to make a lowball offer on a piece of real estate. It did in Richard's case! WOW did he get that island for a cheap price.

"Sir Richard first became aware that some of the islands in the British Virgin Islands were up for sale in 1979. In 1978 (then) Richard Branson went to the British Virgin Islands for a holiday in order to investigate the prospective real estate. On first observing the islands, Branson envisioned using them to put up rock stars for his record label. Upon arrival, they were given a luxury villa and travelled around islands for sale by helicopter. The final island he saw was Necker Island, and after climbing the hill and being stunned by the view and wildlife, fell in love with the island. After making a lowball bid of 200,000 for the 3 million island, however, he was turned down and evicted from the island. A while later, the owner, Lord Cobham, in need of short-term capital, eventually settled for 180,000, under certain conditions. The Government imposed a relatively common restriction on alien landholders; that the new owner had to develop a resort within five years or the island would revert to the state. Branson committed, determined to build a resort on his tropical dream island, notwithstanding his relatively modest capital at that time in his career.

When Branson bought the 74 acre island, it was uninhabited. It took 3 years and approximately US$10 million to turn it into a private island retreat. Using local stone, Brazilian hardwoods, antiques, art pieces and fabrics and bamboo furniture from Bali the Architects and designers created a 10 bedroom Balinese-style villa crowning a hill above the beach. Each of the 10 bedrooms has open walls giving a 360-degree view and cooling winds from any direction in the house. The island has accommodation for 24 people and rents out at a reported US$46,000 a day. All that includes two "private" beaches, private pools, tennis courts, breathtaking views, a personal chef and a wide array of water sports equipment." From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necker_Island_(British_Virgin_Islands))

http://www.eihr.com/necker/Photos/ISLANDAR.jpg

On the MTV cribs show, Richard said he didn't have much money to develop it at the time of purchase but when his artists had hits, such as the Rolling Stones, then he would add a building and then when Janet Jackson had a hit, he would add another building etc.

WOW What an amazing place!