Rat Island sold for $160,000 in auction sale, new owner wants to change island’s name

By on Oct 5, 2011 in Lifestyle, United States Comments

The Rat Island, which went for auction sale in 2009, was recently sold for $160,000, and was bought by a man who noted that he wants to change its name.

Rat Island
Image Credit: Dan Callister

According to US news sites on Monday, October 3, 2011, the Rat Island, located in New York City and measures about 2 1/2-acre, was bought by a retired Port Authority worker named Alex Schibli.

“It’s right off my property. It’s so close I can go swimming back and forth,” Schibli was quoted at New York Post, who lived in City Island for 12 years and has been seeing the Rat Island from his window.

“I feel like it has always belonged to me. It’s so lovely out here. You wouldn’t even believe you were in New York. And there are no rats at all!” Schibli added, who beat other bidders.

Ozzie Crisalli of Syracuse Realty Group, which represented the property at auction on Sunday, noted that there were six other bidders and the bidding lasted for about 25 minutes only.

According to history, the Rat Island was bought by the New York City in 1888 and became a mini colony for writers and artists in the early 20th century.

Back in 1972, a retired marine contractor named Red Brennen bought the Rat Island for about $5,000 and used it as a storage area. He put it to an auction sale in 2009, with an original asking price of $300,000.

Apparently, the Rat Island has no water and electricity and much of it is being submerged during high tide. The origin of its name not exactly known but some believed that it was used by prisoners nicknamed ‘rats’, as they escaped from the nearby Hart Island.

Meanwhile, Schibli was noted to have not liked the name “Rat Island” and said that he would love to change it to something closer to his family, like “Malina Island“, after his 4-year-old granddaughter.

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