- October 27, 2010
BOKEELIA -- Manatee County entrepreneur Mark Pentecost and his wife Cindy Pentecost have fulfilled their dream of buying their own private island, in what is being called the most expensive single residential transaction in Southwest Florida history.
Little Bokeelia Island, where dry cell battery inventor Charles Burgess once entertained the likes of Thomas Edison and others, sold July 15 for $14.5 million. The listing, through Sarasota-based Michael Saunders & Co., received international attention last March from its original asking price of $24.5 million.
The property includes 104 acres with permitting rights to construct nearly 30 homes. The property also has a 1920s Spanish-style estate home, complete with guest houses and cottages. Built in 1928, the 6,500-square-foot home has four bedrooms and four bathrooms, according to Michael Saunders' listing. Other features include a tennis court, a pool, a koi pond, sandy beaches and a waterfall.
“Little Bokeelia is a slice of paradise that allows you to enjoy friendship, fun, freedom and to unplug from the chaos of today," Mark Pentecost says in a statement. "It's in these moments when you're able to relax that you can brainstorm and innovate."
Pentecost is the founder and CEO of Manatee County-based It Works Global, a multi-level marketing firm with $538 million in annual sales in 2014 and 90,000 worldwide distributors. The firm sells a line of skincare and nutrition products.
A former high school math teacher and basketball coach, Pentecost founded It Works in Grand Rapids, Mich. in 2001. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year for the Sarasota-Manatee region in the Business Observer in 2013.
Lee County property records list the previous owner of the Charlotte Harbor island as Thomas Munz. The owners had lived on the island for 26 years, but decided to “pursue new lifestyle goals,” according to listing agent Klaus Lang. Munz said he would consider all reasonable offers, and received them from all over the world, including India, South Africa, China and Canada.
ABC News described those “lifestyle goals” as Christian ministry work in a story about the property listing last March.