NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Looking for a chance to get away? A night of relaxation?
Well, soon, you may not have to look any further than a small island retreat off the Bronx.READ MORE: Nestlé Recalls DiGiorno Frozen Pizzas That Were Mislabeled, May Contain Allergen
Developers there are looking to possibly build a small island retreat.
Alex Schibli, 79, is originally from Switzerland, but the retiree now calls City Island his home, and regularly paddles to his own sanctuary: The last privately owned island in the city.
“To own a private island for the Swiss, a landlocked country, to own an island is a dream,” Schibli said.
Though it has a crass name, Schibli says there are no rodents there. He purchased the land with a friend for $176,000 about eight years ago.
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“It’s a nice place to relax, but it’s a little crazy to buy an island like this,” Schibli said.
It used to be an escape for artists and writers, and a few homes were even built on it. The last one was knocked down in 1938.
Now, Schibli’s family uses it for picnics and day trips, and an artist donated a statue of William Tell that was placed on the island.
Recently, a new idea came his way.READ MORE: Thousands Of Public School Teachers Await Court's Vaccine Mandate Decision
“I was not looking for building there, or selling it,” Schibli said.
Designers and developers came up with concepts to turn the island into a retreat center for yoga, fishing or canoeing, which sparked Schibli’s curiosity, CBSN New York’s John Dias reported.
“I think the interest of someone having some place to go to find peace 30 minutes away from Central Park is an amazing opportunity,” said Pablo Jedretzki, owner of Jendretzki Design.
Jendretzki came up with renderings, which show 10 wooden cabins. They would be rented out each night.
“The design is basically having structures in the island that will not completely overwhelm the environment,” Jendretzki said.
The island is 2.5 acres but at high tide it shrinks to under an acre. That will be a challenge when it comes to the official designs.
Schibli and his partner say they will only go through with it if it doesn’t negatively impact the neighborhood and if it’s absolutely sustainable.
“No connections to land, have solar thermal, solar electric and wind energy. Have water, recycling, rain water collection, make water out there with reverse osmosis and have it completely natural, maybe compost toilets,” Schibli said.
He even envisions solar powered water taxis to get people there.
He’s going through the zoning and permit process now.
As for what it would cost to spend the night? It would be comparable to Manhattan hotels, he said.MORE NEWS: Some Health Care Workers Still Defiant As New York State Vaccine Mandate Takes Effect
All to create an island retreat off a concrete jungle.