New York City's real estate is famously insane (we have parking spots more expensive than most American's pay in rent) so how is that one man has been unable to sell an entire island here for more than two years? What is wrong with you people? The wonderfully-named Red Brennen has been trying to sell the regrettably-named Rat Island (off the coast of City Island) for bargain basement prices since 2009 with no luck. So next month he's putting the 2.5-acre rock on the auction block. Anybody want to loan us $10,000 so we can register to bid?
As you might recall from the last time we talked Rat Island, the spit of rock has quite the history:
Allegedly it housed a typhoid quarantine hospital in the 1800s, and the remains of cobblestone walls and foundations are still there. The Daily News reports that it got the name from "when prisoners, nicknamed 'rats,' escaped from Hart Island, they paused on the island to catch their breath before swimming on toward City Island." No real rats have been spotted there in over 50 years, they likely bailed out for the same reason it became abandoned: storm floods. According to Wikipedia the highest point on the island is underwater during high tide storms.
Still, the island is zoned residential (“You’d build up on stilts,” Brennan told realtor Malcolm Carter. “There’s a lot of novelty to it.”) and has been a financial boon for Brennen, who used to use it as a base for salvage operations before retiring to Florida. The island has been assessed by the city to be worth $265,000 (though it has been on the market for $250,000) with annual taxes of $1,000. So, you want your own island in the city? It hits the block on October 2 with bids being taken online and in person. All you need to bid is a certiﬁed check made payable to the Syracuse Realty Group in the amount of $10,000.
And don't let the name scare you away from buying. Once Rat Island is yours you can call it Kittycat Korner if that's what floats your, uh, house.