It may have been quite a bit less than the owner had hoped for, but at least this little isle in New York City did sell at Saturday’s auction.
Despite the rumours, it doesn’t seem as though Ivanka Trump turned out the October 2nd auction of Rat Island; the 2.5 acre rock in City Island Harbour did, however, find a nature-loving local buyer, according to the New York Post. The final price on the auction block was US $160K, almost half of what the seller, Florida retiree Edmund “Red” Brennan, had been trying to sell it for on the open market. It was also more than $100K less than the City’s appraisal value. Brennan had reportedly received a few bites his $300K asking price, but none of the interested parties were able to seal the deal.
It may be a highly rare commodity, but the small island came with some big pitfalls that were reflected in the ultimate selling price. The main issue is that in stormy weather, the low-lying island is virtually underwater, leading to some serious issues with construction. In the 19th century, the island had been used as a quarantine hospital during a typhoid epidemic, but had to be abandoned due to flooding. Since then, Rat Island has changed hands numerous times, and struggled to find a purpose. That didn’t dissuade the buyer, retired Port Authority worker Alex Schibli, however.
So, what could the new owner do with the island? Brennan used it as a place to store equipment and conduct salvage operations, but for those interested in a private retreat, it is zoned Residential; although the former owner warned that a cottage would need to be built on stilts. The isle has a wild quality, amazing views, and, reportedly, excellent fishing can be found offshore – maybe a weekend campsite for Schibli, a kayaking enthusiast? Perhaps the best reason to have bought the island, though, is purely for bragging rights. After all, how many people can claim to have a private island to call their own in New York City?
Read the original NY Post article: Link