No buyers for New York's empty jailhouses at rock bottom price
A decline in prisoner numbers has prompted the State to try to sell off correctional facilities
Property values aren't always a matter of location, location, location. Try as it might, and despite rock-bottom prices, the State of New York is unable to find entrepreneurial investors willing to snap up its disused prisons.
Seven former correctional facilities, sitting empty due to a decline in crime rates, are now languishing on the market, after being listed for sale several month ago by Governor Andrew Cuomo as part of a cost-cutting drive aimed at streamlining his real estate portfolio.
What they may lack in ambience the empty properties certainly make up for in size and potential facilities. Some have gyms and baseball diamonds; others boast forests or waterfront views. Carpentry shops and secure fencing come as standard. One even has its own sewage treatment plant.
The properties have become vacant thanks to a steep fall in the State's prison population, which peaked at around 71,000 in 1999, but is now closer to 55,000. Ongoing early release programmes for non-violent offenders are expected to reduce that number further in the coming years.
By putting the buildings up for sale, a spokesman for the Governor said he hoped to prevent them from falling into disrepair. So long as they remain disused, they would be an unnecessary drain on public funds, he added.
"Instead of spending millions maintaining facilities we don't need, the Governor's approach saves taxpayers millions and opens up transformative economic development and investment opportunities in communities across the state," the spokesman told The New York Times. The market remains unconvinced, though. Fred Macchia, an estate agent who lives near the 998-bed Oneida Correctional Facility in the city of Rome – which sits beside a still-functioning prison – said he doubted a buyer would come forward.
"You couldn't make it into a hotel. You couldn't make it into an apartment complex. You're talking millions of dollars to renovate. Who's going to do it?" he asked. "The state's not going to do it – they're just trying to get rid of it."
Several other disused public properties were also listed for sale and are also proving hard to shift. They include a Romanesque armoury in Poughkeepsie, which dates back to the Spanish-American War.
Governor Cuomo has had better luck offloading less expensive public assets. In April, he auctioned off 454 disused cars and trucks, and set up an eBay site to find buyers for smaller items, including several industrial saws and Dell computer keyboards.
He is also hoping to cash in on the sale of 23 homes set aside for prison superintendents, which will go up for auction this summer. Some are next door to working correctional facilities, so may also prove hard to shift.
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Australia: Gay marriage law reversed by high court less than a week after first weddings
Krokodil in Mexico? Teenager hospitalised after 'injecting drug into her genitals'
Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 3 Australia: Gay marriage law reversed by high court less than a week after first weddings
- 4 Exeter to Edinburgh and back in a day: How one fresher's lost bet left him facing a 900-mile round trip
- 5 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- < Previous
- Next >
£90 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education is curr...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Chelmsford: English Teacher Essex
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: The Manchester SEN team require Tea...
£60000 - £100000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Busine...