FOR SALE: Bids already coming in for Frying Pan Tower located 40 miles off NC coast

FOR SALE: Bids already coming in for Frying Pan Tower located 40 miles off NC coast
The auction for Frying Pan Tower started earlier this month.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - An exclusive bed and breakfast at sea could be yours.

An auction of Frying Pan Tower is underway today.  The owner, Richard Neal, says he's selling the structure, located about 40 miles off of Masonboro Inlet, at the eastern edge of Frying Pan Shoals.

The structure was a floating lighthouse until 1965.

In 2010, the Charlotte computer programmer found a government website where the tower was being put on auction.  Neal put in a bid and wound up the owner, for the price of $85,000.  He was the sole bid for the property and ended up buying it sight unseen.

"When I got it, it was what is this," Richard Neal said Thursday from his home in Charlotte.  "Who knows?"

It turned out to be an adventure, as Neal turned the structure into a bed and breakfast that included fishing and diving. Neal claims it's "not beautiful," but he says he made it work again and upgraded the property. He said he proved it go through hurricanes and the facility will last another thirty to forty years.  Neal says he never intended this to be a long term investment and he's had his fun here.

"Now it's time for the next guy to grab it," Neal said.

RELATED: Frying Pan Tower gets new lease on life

The bidding process kicked off at $10,000 Thursday, with two people already stepping up to the plate. Neal says the process will last at least through this month.

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