Figure Eight Island is a 5 mile long barrier island, located to the north of Wrightsville Beach. Total land area of Figure Eight Island amounts to about 1300 acres, most of which is marshland. The island was first purchased for $100,000 in 1955 by brothers Dan and Bruce Cameron of Wilmington. The Cameron brothers then teamed with developer Raeford Trask and investor Richard Wetherill to begin real estate development. The first thing they did was build a bridge from the mainland New Hanover County to Figure Eight Island. The cost of this project came to about $150,000.
The Cameron brothers sold Figure Eight Island in 1971 to Young Smith, Jr. for $4 million. The first home on the island was built shortly afterward, and was called a “treehouse”, because the living room was put on the third floor to provide scenic views, without disturbing the trees of the island. Figure Eight Island is now owned by the Figure Eight Island HOA.
There are approximately 475 homes on Figure Eight Island and 90% of these homes are second homes, with fewer than 1/4 of the homes being on the rental market. Figure Eight Island is a popular vacation spot for the rich and famous. Known celebrity visitors include Al Gore, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Aniston. Figure Eight Island also has several famous homeowners, such as former US Senator and Presidential Candidate, John Edwards, President and CEO of Pike Energy Solutions, J. Eric Pike, and multiple business and industry titans.
Residents of Figure Eight Island have the option of joining the Figure Eight Island Yacht Club. The membership fees for the yacht club are separate from residents’ HOA dues. Amenities of the yacht club include a swimming pool, tennis, fitness facility, restaurant, playground, marina, dock and ramp. HOA fees for Figure Eight Island are high, due to it’s private ownership and secluded location. HOA dues cover common area and road maintenance, master insurance policy, management fees, security and trash removal.