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Where beach house meets bunker

Aching to leave the world behind? With the survivalist setup on this $14-million island, you could do just that.

June 17, 2007|Ann Brenoff | Times Staff Writer

Wanted: One survivalist with 11 friends and a checkbook.

A 25-acre island in the Bahamas, which was developed as a secure sanctuary capable of sustaining 12 people with no outside contact for five years, will be auctioned on June 28.

Expected sales price: $14 million.

Leaf Cay Exuma was bought about 25 years ago by Jack N. Holcomb for the purpose of ... well, actually nobody is saying why he developed it, but given his life's work -- he was the world's largest manufacturer of audio intelligence devices sold to police agencies in the U.S. and abroad -- let your imagination run wild.

And while nobody is saying what Holcomb intended the island for, the people who received an exclusive invitation to bid on it are a veritable Hollywood A list -- "Mission: Impossible's" Tom Cruise included.

The island is being sold with 4,000 pounds of frozen food and the storage units to keep it that way, plus backup refrigerators, freezers, stoves, microwaves and air conditioners.

The property has 18 buildings on its 15 developable acres, including a utilitarian main house, guesthouse and staff quarters plus other structures for storage.

A total of 7 1/2 miles of electrical cable was laid under the sea to bring power to the island, which sits about 70 miles south of Nassau in the Exumas.

And should that power source fail, there are seven generators as backup.

The communications systems are as sophisticated as the man who installed them.

With one phone call, Holcomb was able to activate a radar tracking system for his plane as it departed from Florida. Leaf Cay Exuma also has its own 1,500-foot airstrip.

There is a desalination plant to provide fresh water, plus lumber, electrical wiring and plumbing supplies to make repairs or build another structure, if needed.

"I can honestly say that in my 35 years of selling unique properties, I've never seen anything as unique as this," said Benny Fisher, whose company, Fisher Auction Co. Inc., is handling the sale.

The auction will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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