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Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s Julie Biniasz And Sandy Justen List Orcas Island Estate In NWMLS For $28 Million

By Amanda Lybeck |

Impressive “Eagle Crest Estate” affords unique opportunity to acquire 127 private and tranquil acres in San Juan Islands.

Julie Biniasz and Sandy Justen, founding brokers with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) listed a 127-acre Orcas Island waterfront estate for $28 million on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service—currently the most valuable property offered for sale in San Juan County.

  • The estate comprises two English cottages, a mid-century modern beach house, barns, orchards, sprawling gardens and grounds.
  • Approximately 3,000 feet of waterfront with a quiet bay and a front row seat to nature’s bounty.
  • Impressive grounds with orchards, historic pathways and terraces, water features, ponds and more.

In its early days, Eagle Crest Estate served as the site of Blackball Ferry Dock, where fruit was exported from Orcas Island. The Hawkins family established a working farm complete with cattle, goats and chickens. They also planted pear, apple, cherry and plum trees, which still bear fruit in the orchards over a century later. Over time, the property was parceled out and sold to various owners.

Though every attempt was made to repair the original Victorian Cottages that stood upon the hill, early renovation efforts revealed the homes were beyond restoration and they were removed. Two authentic English Cottages now stand in their stead, complete with lovely gardens and pathways. The original 1960 Mid-Century Modern Beach House was thoughtfully updated to flawlessly accommodate life at the water’s edge. Two barns and various outbuildings were added throughout the property, to encompass a comprehensive estate well-suited to meet the needs of its new owners.

“The estate’s current stewards have worked tirelessly to bring the estate back to its former glory by reassembling parcels over time and removing dilapidated buildings, designing new structures and restoring several others,” said Biniasz. “This is the first time the estate is being offered, in full, on the market.”

Historic granite and cobblestones from Pioneer Square were transported to Orcas Island from Seattle and now serve as the foundation to beautiful walkways and terraces, which surround the lily pond, water features and a stunning waterfront overlook with curved stone benches.

Legacy Homes of the San Juan Islands

A booming economy within King County’s urban growth boundary and accelerating commercial development are leading to the “Manhattanization” of Seattle—the largest metropolis in the Pacific Northwest and among the fastest-growing cities in the US. Just as New York’s well-heeled urbanites have for generations traveled to Martha’s Vineyard and the Hamptons for restful escapes from the noise and frenetic pace of the city, residents of Seattle are escaping to the San Juan Island archipelago at the northern end of Puget Sound [aka the Salish Sea].

Midway between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, yet close enough to be reached by seaplane, ferry, or a day’s sailing by yacht, these picturesque islands are increasingly preferred by affluent city-dwellers for legacy homes: vacation retreats, second homes, and extraordinary residences that occupy a central place in a family’s story of themselves. Given that Washington State has no state income tax—unlike California, which has one of the highest income tax rates in the US—the San Juans have been a popular financial safe harbor for those living more than six months a year in the Pacific Northwest as residents of Washington.

Orcas Island

Orcas Island is a popular venue for whale-watching and the diverse landscape of the San Juan Islands is home to the largest concentration of bald eagles in the U.S. The islands enjoy four seasons of mild temperate weather, and far less precipitation than the southern Puget Sound thanks to the Olympic Rain Shadow cast by the mountainous Olympic Peninsula to the southwest. Extreme weather is exceedingly rare in the islands, and the topography allows all sorts of outdoor activities year-round.

The quality of life and variety of recreation on Orcas Island, combined with easy access from the mainland and within a tax friendly state (there is no state income in Washington), are drawing the attention of legacy home buyers. For potential buyers of properties at the caliber of Eagle Crest Estate, the geographical diversity of the land offers a banquet, not just a feast.

With orchards, historic pathways and terraces, water features, ponds, and more, it is hard not to be enraptured by Eagle Crest Estate’s enchanting grounds. There are many places to pause for a moment of respite, whether it’s the awe-inspiring overlook with stone curved benches or a hike up the hillside to mossy-covered rock formations that are so magical and comfortable one could nap among the views of East Sound. A reforestation project added to the allure of the natural environment with the planting of over 14,000 trees across the property.

“At any given moment an incomparable front row seat to nature’s bounty unfolds. Eagles and seasonal migrations of birds soar overhead, deer roam the forest, seals bask on the rocks, and whale-watching opportunities are found nearby,” Justen added. “From the sea to land, gorgeous grounds to thoughtful living spaces, the privacy of one’s own 127 acres and seemingly endless waterfront, Eagle Crest Estate is a singular offering, truly unlike any other.”

Additional property information can be found on a dedicated website at https://www.OrcasIslandEstate.com