Alex Schibli Buys ‘Rat Island’ For $160,000

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — We’ve all heard of buying a house, an apartment and a car. But an island?

CBS 2’s Mark Morgan spoke with one City Island man, who can now see his new acquisition from his backyard.

It may be called “Rat Island,” but it’s a thing of beauty to Alex Schibli. After spending years gazing from his City Island backyard at the small island jutting out of the water, Schibli has just become the ruler of all he surveys. He bought the small island at auction for $160,000.

How long did he stare out at the island and admire it?

“Oh every day. Every day,” Schibli said. “I wanted to buy the island to protect it…that is doesn’t get into wrong hands. That I don’t lose it as my recreation place.”

Schibli and his wife often kayak out to the island 2 or 3 times a week. Chopper 2-HD roamed overhead to get a birds’ eye view of the island as Morgan spoke with Schibli and navigated the choppy waters of the Long Island Sound.

The small island, which is almost completely submerged at high tide, is mostly rocky, and is littered with thousands of mussel shells among the rocks and some small patches of grass.

As owner of the island, Schibli can make any changes he desires, but right now, he has no major alterations in mind.

“I’d like to have it as it is. That I can still go out there, take people out there. I might put a sign out there that it’s a private island and that they should respect nature,” he said.

As for the current name of the island, Schibli thinks it’s quite “stupid.” He says he’s considering renaming the Island after his 5-year-old granddaughter, Malina.

“There are definitely no rats out there, it’s a stupid name — Rat Island. I don’t know if it’s possible to re-name the island. I don’t know,” he said.

What would you do with your own private island?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

  • radioranger

    Mow if I could affort a nice little island up on Lake of the Woods, Ontario/Manitoba/Minnesota, about 3 to 10 acres…………………..That’s be REAL nice.

  • Darren Deane

    Who would want such an island anyhow? A publicity con artist? The whole thing is silly!

  • finster

    Good Luck with your Island. Be Proud!

  • J.C.

    There must be a GOLD mine down there, he sould name it as “Malina Treasure Island”.

  • radioranger

    $ 160K would build a beautiful home out here and furnish it very nicely.
    But to spend that amount on a rock , I dunno, If I had enough money so the 160K amounted to almost nothing, then who knows, I might do the same thing.
    People have just plain wasted that much money on so many other things that buying a bit of rock out in the bay probably isn’t that big a departure from reality.

    • jimmy

      i dont know were u live bit 160k isnt even a down payment for a house these days let alone furniture lol

      • radioranger

        I live out where things are not terribly overpriced like in much of the US.

        My medium sized house (stick built , not a mobile) on a full basement, with a 32’x24′ garage and matching 32′ carport , with an additional 14x 12 foot shed sold for 69K about 5 years ago.

        That said, the small town we live in is really just a bedroom community for Rapid City, SD. so there’s not too much shopping right in the neighborhood. That also said, the 25 mile drive to Rapid at 75 MPH doesn’t take very long and everything we could want is there (except for a good ham radio store — :-( )

  • Char

    I think he should find away to fix it so it doesn’t get mostly submerged . And put a Log Cabin out their for him and his wife. Then tell ev1 see, what your comment’s have proved you all wrong. Especially Tyler’s. Can’t believe that one got in. Then name it Our Island. Congrat’s to you and the wife. And God Bless you and your Island. Char

  • clarencepj

    who’s laughing “he owns a piece of the ROCK” my question… does he need to have property insurance?

  • d

    When my six year old heard that there were no rats on the island, she said he should change the name to “Rocky Island” because it has plenty of rocks

  • radioranger

    And with the “Global Warming” when the ocean levels get a bit higher it’ll be completedly submerged just about all the time.

  • louisthethird hemmingway

    Watch out all you dopey nayayers out there – the man’s probably a marketing genius and with all the press he’s received lately, can run 10 boat tours per day x 365 days per yr, at $42.20 per tour = $165,000 in rev per yr…….so who’s the idiot now???

    • Shibsy

      That’s a good math, but there are many other ways to exploit that land commercially, but it seems that few people can think outside of the bun…

  • Sandra

    Are you serious? $160k such a small thing full of rocks and shells, mind as well have kept admiring the rocks from where he was!!!!!! i swear the more money people have the less they know what the hell to do with it!!! — pointless buy.

  • pumpkin head

    What an idiot. I could have sold him a home!

  • mifted

    Good for him…………’s his money and let him do with it as he wishes ,you envious asses.

  • Marius Satori

    Thats when you know you have too much money,. when you can a small piece of worthless land. If anyone gets hurt on the Island they can now sue him and people do go out there. Im afraid is looks out and does see people on there enjoying the Island he is going to call the cops to get the people off of there.
    I see no upside to this purchase whatsoever. NYC should just have bought it and started opening up boat tours of the Pelham Islands to bring some more money into the NYC economy. I know a lot of people would love to see Hart Island and a couple of the other smaller Islands.

    • Harry E.

      Marius, you have an excellent idea that the city should allow tours to its numerous, but relativelt unknown islands. For example, Hoffman and Swinburne
      Islands south og the Verra zano Bridge. If island tours were offered, I would go,

  • Tyler

    i would name it suck me off island, who gives a frogs fat ass

    • Marius Satori

      Thats just cause you are a typical male doosh without a brain cell alive.

  • Leon Alston

    He can rename it “mussel” beach.

    • floyd bannister

      that is genius!

    • My Name

      I think Mussel Island makes a bit more sense, since there really is no beach there.


    He must have plenty of money to burn to pay $160k for a pile of rocks that’s mostly submerged during high tide.

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