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South Pacific Island for Sale

April 11, 1998

HONOLULU (AP) _ For sale: a South Pacific island with a small airstrip and no neighbors. Available immediately. $47 million.

Honolulu’s Fullard-Leo family has put a ``For Sale″ sign on Palmyra Atoll, an uninhabited island about 1,000 miles south of Hawaii and 350 miles north of the equator.

The 13-square-mile atoll is the northernmost part of the Line Islands. It receives more than 13 feet of rain a year and is dotted with 90-foot balsa-like trees.

The atoll is a U.S. possession. It was annexed by the Hawaiian Islands in 1862, granted to Honolulu Judge Henry Cooper in 1912 and sold to the Fullard-Leo family in 1922.

From 1940 to 1947, the island was occupied by the U.S. Navy, which dredged a channel, built a causeway connecting the islets and constructed a 6,000-foot runway. The island has been uninhabited since 1951.

Doug Pothul, an agent for the real estate firm Monroe & Friedlander, said preliminary discussions have been held with representatives for Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates.

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