Four friends bought deserted Florida island for $65,000 and completely transformed it into paradise worth $14 million

The thought of turning an uninhabited island into a paradise may seem like too much to ask of a handful of friends, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Pine Key Island is a small landmass off the coast of Tampa, Florida that was purchased by four friends in 2017 for around $65,000. In the years since, the owners have worked hard to renovate the island to the point that now, as the island is put on sale yet again, it is worth over 14 million dollars.

An overhead view of Pine Key Island (YouTube/Paul Balzano)

An overhead view of Pine Key Island (YouTube/Paul Balzano)

Previously known by Tampa residents as Beer Can Island, the spot was a popular place for parties amongst many in the area, with the location housing concerts, weddings, and several other small events over the years.

Cole Weaver, one of the owners of the Island, spoke to WFLA News in Tampa about the decision to sell the island at this time. “When we bought the island, I think we had a lot more intentions with the island,” Weaver admitted, “being able to build a restaurant on the island and do some zoning issues that we’ve been going through.”

With such a high price tag on the island, many who have gone to the island over the years worry that it will no longer be accessible to the locals.

Despite understanding Tampa residents’ fear of losing the island, Weaver noted that it was simply time for him and the other owners to move on from the property.

“I know Tampa Bay is a little nervous about the potential new buyer, but I think the owners are ready to take the next step in [our] lives and move forward,” he added.

“We’ve tried to do a lot for the Tampa Bay area and keep it public.”

While many are disappointed to see the island close, it has clearly been a worthwhile investment for the owners, who have been working to renovate the 9 acres of land for the past seven years, with an additional 90 acres of submerged land also being included in the sale.

The coast of Pine Key Island at the time of an event. (YouTube/Paul Balzano)

The coast of Pine Key Island at the time of an event. (YouTube/Paul Balzano)

Despite the owners noting that they’d also like to see the island remain available to the people of Tampa Bay, they also seem to recognize the ambitions of potential buyers of Pine Key Island.

“While historically recognized for hosting events, Pine Key is equally positioned as an exclusive VIP property, providing a perfect setting for either private sole or corporate ownership,” read the press release regarding the island’s sale.

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