A US-CUBAN tycoon has bought a Spanish island which had been on the market for 30 years.
Alex Meruelo purchased the Illa d’en Colom islet, off the coast of Menorca, for €3.2 million.
He bought the island through his company Meruelo Investments, but had to negotiate with the 16 heirs to the property and outbid a French businessman to close the deal.
Despite rising property prices, the islet lowered its asking price on several occasions
The asking price had dropped from €6 million in 2010.
The new owner is a businessman born in New York to Cuban parents who left the Caribbean island in the 1960s in search of a new life in the Big Apple.
After living in several cities across the country, the Meruelo family settled down in Los Angeles.
Meruelo started his empire by acquiring a pizza chain, before expanding into the construction and property sector in southern California.
Meruelo’s holding company currently encompasses electricity companies, television and hotel chains such as SLS Las Vegas, and the former Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.
He is also the first American of Hispanic origin to acquire an NBA team with a majority shareholding: the Atlanta Hawks.
The original proprietor, Antonio Roca Álvarez bought the island in 1904 for the equivalent of around €47,18.
It features a beautiful landscape with two beaches— Tamarell and Arenal d’en Moro. There is a country house on the property as well as a 100 square-meter summer home and a wooden cabin.
There is running water but no connection to the electricity grid, since everything is run by solar energy.
The islet is part of the Albufera des Grau natural park, which greatly restricts development or reforms of any kind.