Hope Island, the sprawling estate of once-controversial developer John Cacoulidis, is on the market for $7.95 million.
The online listing for the 86-acre island property by Christie’s International Real Estate calls it “one of Maine’s most extraordinary estates” and “a unique world unto itself,” complete with a nearly 12,000-square-foot residence, as well as “numerous guest/staff dwellings, a boathouse with deepwater pier, numerous barns and storage buildings and a tavern.”
The listing goes on to state that the island, technically part of the town of Chebeague Island, is about 25 minutes by boat from Portland.
“The sweeping and elevated views are everchanging from vistas over the Atlantic Ocean to passing boats of every description,” the listing gushes. “During the past 24 years, no expense was spared in creating this magical island kingdom.”
According to The Forecaster, Cacoulidis and his late wife, Phyllis, bought the island in 1993 for $1.3 million. But real estate broker John Saint-Amour told the newspaper the Cacoulidis family doesn’t use the property as much as it previously did, and are now deciding to sell it.
Cacoulidis, a wealthy New York developer, has grabbed headlines in Maine on multiple occasions over the years. In 2001, The Forecaster reported, he tried and failed to secede his island from the town of Cumberland, which had jurisdiction over it at the time, and three years later, local residents complained that a large George W. Bush campaign sign on the Hope Island boat house defied town ordinances.
In 2005, he proposed twin developments in Portland and South Portland that would be connected by a tramway across Portland Harbor, although the projects were never approved or permitted, and less than a decade later, then under Chebeague Island, Cacoulidis got in a dispute with the town over the construction of additional island pathways that were reportedly never permitted.
Finally, around 2014, the developer proposed a 10,000-person capacity outdoor concert venue to be built near Bug Light Park in South Portland, but ultimately backed off the plan.