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You Can Own Your Own Private Island, Right Here In New York City

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Rat Island (in the foreground) is seen from City Island - Bronx, NY - Sep 27, 2011 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Rat Island (in the foreground) is seen from City Island – Bronx, NY – Sep 27, 2011 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Alex Silverman Feature Image Alex Silverman
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Ever dream of owning your own private island? Now you can, right here in town.

It lacks many basic amenities and has an off-putting name, but Rat Island can be your very own when it goes up for auction next week.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman On The Story

Without a boat, the closest you’ll get is a beach on City Island. Rat Island doesn’t have a dock, anyway.

From City Island, Rat Island looks like a misshapen mound of rock just sticking out of Long Island Sound.

There is no greenery.

There are no houses either.

But it’s zoned residential, says Red Brennen, who has owned Rat Island for more than sixty years.

“Would someone be able to build on the island?” asked WCBS 880 reporter Alex Silverman.

“Oh yeah, but there’s never been an accurate survey,” Brennen answered, adding that the tide does come up quite high.

Why is it called Rat Island?

“There was prison on Hart Island. When they broke out of prison, they would stop there to rest ’cause it’s like halfway between Hart Island and City Island and they called the prisoners ‘rats,'” said Brennen.

He used the island to test equipment for his marine contracting job.

Brennen is retired in Florida now and he’s tired of paying taxes on this rock, which the city says is worth $400,000.

Manhattan Island was acquired from the Lenape for what was about $24. Brennen is certainly hoping to get more than that.

For more information on the auction, contact Ozzie Crisalli at Syracuse Realty Group at 315-410-0373.

Would you buy this hunk of rock if you had the money? Sound off below!

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