Rat Island has officially been sold, but don’t expect to see a sprawling mansion emerge from the bedrock any time soon. Alex Schibli, a 71-year old retiree, purchased the islet at auction this weekend, and has promised to leave the property intact, The Post has reported.
“Some developers might build something on top of the island if they got their hands on it, but I believe it should be conserved, kept as is,” Mr. Schibli told The Post. Mr. Schibli is no stranger to the island.
The City Island resident been picking up beer bottles on the lonesome rock for years. “Rat Island is a flat rock but it’s a very special rock, at least to me,” he explained. Mr. Schibli paid $160,000 for the island which was valued at $265,000. Apparently the economic downturn has has a negative effect on the uninhabitable, private island market.
The 2.5-acre crag, which can be fully submerged at high tide, has been in the news in recent weeks since the current owners announced they were putting it on the market. While some developers and high-profile New Yorkers fantasized about building on the property, the brokerage firm representing the island described the island in decidedly unromantic terms. “It’s a two-and-a-half-acre rock that’s sticking out of the water,” Ozzie Crisalli of Syracuse Realty Group told The New York Times last week.
The Observer asked Mr. Crisalli if any of the prospective buyers had seriously considered developing the island. “No,” he said bluntly. “You know that might have been in some of the bidders long range plans but the process to develop that piece of property, between state approvals, city approvals and DEC approvals, would have been a petty big undertaking,” Mr. Crisalli clarified.