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Amazing Northern Michigan Homes: Frying Pan Island

For this week’s Amazing Northern Michigan Homes, Kevin Essebaggers and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson take us to a unique that has the potential to really sizzle.

“My clients that bought it originally bought it to build their cabins on it. And they just got too busy and life got in the way,” said Lake Home Realty associate broker Cindy Anderson. “They decided now with the real estate market the way it is and social distancing, you can’t get much more distant than buying an island.”

It’s a beautiful blank slate that you can customize to your heart’s desire. Your own private island, with a peculiar name, shape and backstory.

“Frying Pan Island… story has it that gentleman happened upon it and there was a frying pan sitting there, but I had thought because of the shape, you know, because it’s circular and then it’s got a pier that goes out that it’s kind of shaped like a frying pan. So who knows if it’s lore or not,” Anderson said.

The island has a pier that was built by the Army Corps of Engineers and was once home to a lighthouse until it was removed in the 1980s. Now it’s ready to be transformed into a seasonal or year-round home, business opportunity or any other use you can imagine.

“You’ve got the acreage. And as long as you can have the infrastructure to support it, I’ll tell you… it would be kind of cool to take a little ferry ride or a little boat ride over to the island and and stay there,” Anderson said. “That could be a very unique Airbnb situation where it’s a vacation rental destination.”

From rustic cabin to stunning mansion and everything in between, this nearly 3.5 acre island is a superb setting for any Up North retreat.

“What’s unique about this property is a lot of times when you’re buying real estate on the Great Lakes, you don’t own the bottom lands. You own what’s called the ordinary high watermark. And in this case, there’s between 60 and 70 acres of bottom lands that come with,” Anderson say. “For instance, you know, a marina has to approach the state of Michigan to get a bottom lands lease. So in this case, the one that buys the island wouldn’t have to, and they can have their own little marina, provided the necessary agencies approve it. You could have your own private marina and your own private island… what more could you ask for?”