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Own an Island in the San Francisco Bay, Asking Price: $5M

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If you dream of owning your own island within an easy commute, now is your chance. The price for Red Rock Island, a six-acre isle in the waters just south of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge has been slashed to $5 million. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, it first listed for $22 million in 2012, and when you put it that way, it seems like a bargain.

According to a website marketing the property, this is the only private island in the Bay. It also lists potential uses for buyers, including tourism, a natural sanctuary, a mineral extraction site (mineral rights are included in the price), or a personal retreat. Since it is a blank slate (there's reportedly nothing there beyond rocks, plants, and marine animals and birds), possibilities seem endless.

The Chronicle says the island is also known as Golden Rock or Treasure Island, perhaps because of legends that say it was once a place where pirates buried treasure. Since no gold has ever been unearthed (publicly, anyway), the story can't be proven. Things known as facts include that it was once used as otter hunting grounds for Russians in the 19th century and that in the 1960s it was owned by the son of Frank Lloyd Wright.

The latter (Mendel Glickman) reportedly dreamed of building a hotel there. But, as the Chronicle reports, since the island sits within the boundaries of three counties (San Francisco, Marin, and Contra Costa), a developer would likely have to possess a strong stomach and deep pockets to navigate the bureaucracy involved.

· Red Rock Island [Private Islands Online]
· Red Rock Island Now Yours for Only $5M [San Francisco Chronicle]