The last private island in New York City is now for the birds.
South Brother Island, a 7 acre island with no residents or buildings, was sold to the Trust for Public land and then handed over to the New York City Parks Department last week. The island was the last private island in New York City, and the buying price was $2 million.
The island was not attractive to real estate developers, as it is only accessible by boat. Although it could have become an industrial area, or even a prison like nearby Riker’s Island, the Trust for Public Land brought the high bid. The island will be preserved as a refuge for the island’s birds and wildlife.
The island’s previous owners, sand and gravel company Hampton Scrows, bought the island for $10 in the 1970s. It was previously owned by a beer magnate and former Yankees owner Col. Jacob Ruppert. The island will be preserved, and the only possible future human presence will be eco-tourism.
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