MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump says he may be interested in buying Plum Island.
The real estate mogul and television reality star told The Associated Press that he’d consider purchasing the island off the east coast of Long Island.
The federal government has announced plans to sell the 843-acre island which houses a laboratory that studies infectious animal diseases. Congress voted in 2009 to close the aging lab on Plum Island — which opened in 1954 — and move operations to Kansas State University.
The property also housed a Spanish-American War-era U.S. Army base; old parade grounds and decrepit artillery batteries remain on the eastern half of the island.
Trump said if he purchased the property, he would build a low-key, beautiful, world-class golf course, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.
It seems some North Fork homeowners don’t trust Trump’s plan.
“It’s going to be condominiums, that’s what Donald Trump does,” one man told Xirinachs.
“He’s going to put hotels on there, try to set up gambling and everything else,” another man said. “He’s a business man, we’re low-key out here, we don’t need big business out here.”
Several elected officials have announced legislation to block the island’s sale.
Environmentalists on both sides of Long Island Sound have said if the island is eventually sold, it should be maintained as a wildlife sanctuary. The town of Southhold, which would have jurisdiction over Plum Island after it is sold, recently passed zoning laws that would effectively prevent any development on the property.
There has been no estimate on what the island could fetch at auction.
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