If you have ever wanted to own your own Princely kingdom, now’s your chance.
The only remaining property in Prince’s real estate portfolio is up for auction, and the executors of the late singer’s estate saved the best for last.
A New York auction house is taking sealed bids on an exotic island villa Prince owned in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.
The 5.74-acre property is surrounded by water on three sides and includes several buildings with more than 10,000 square feet. There are two private beaches, a marina, and a long, winding driveway that Prince painted purple right after he bought the property in 2011.
“It was a little gift to himself,” said Todd Wohl of Premiere Estates Auction Co., which is handling the auction. “It’s quite a property, the water around it is about as blue and crystal clear as you can ever imagine.”
The property had been built as a retreat by a British family in the early 2000s. Prince bought it for an estimated $10.5 million, and then bought two adjacent lots for an additional $2.5 million to ensure his privacy.
After moving into the property, Prince didn’t radically transform it, but he did make some modifications.
The sealed-bid auction ends on July 12 to give prospective bidders time to visit the property. Bidders must provide proof of funds and a $100,000 registration deposit. While there’s no minimum bid, guessing how much it will fetch isn’t going to easy.
“There really isn’t another one like it,” said Bernadette Hunt, a real estate agent who is working with the New York auction house to sell the property, which has “breathtaking views” because it is perched about 40 feet above the beach and ocean.
Hunt also said that determining value is difficult because so few of the houses that have been built on the island have been sold. The property next door, for example, is still owned by the original owners. And the property two doors down was on the market for $25 million, but is on a smaller and less-private parcel of land. That property, however, is available for a weekly rental rate of $150,000.
While the expectation, Hunt said, is that the Prince property is expected to fetch at least $15 million, the last two big sales in the area were no slouches. A house on a 4.5-acre parcel sold for $7.625 million, and a house on 5.38 acres on Parrot Cay sold for $17 million, $2.5 million less than the asking price.
The property is apparently the last in the late singer’s portfolio. In late 2016, the megastar’s estate started selling off those holdings, including the site of the former purple house on Lake Riley in Chanhassen where Prince once lived, and a 160-acre undeveloped parcel near Lake Ann, also in Chanhassen. The properties — four listings — were valued at more than $15 million.
As for his island retreat, it’s likely no accident that the famously reclusive entertainer picked the Turks and Caicos. The islands, which are a nine-hour or so flight from the Twin Cities, are known for their discretion when it comes to celebrities and big money. With the exception of the Kardashian sisters, who papered the internet with photos of their recent visit to the Turks and Caicos, rarely will you see a celebrity photo in the tabloids. “You never see a photo in the media taken by a member of the public,” Hunt said.
Still, Prince’s part-time presence in the area didn’t go unnoticed by the locals, especially after he painted the driveway purple.
“People here love it,” Hunt said. “It’s just one of those things that people are going to remember.”
Jim Buchta • 612-673-7376