Real Life Shutter Island For Sale: Former Government Lab Off Long Island To Hit the Market

04/22/2010 11:56 AM |

Plum Island

Here’s an interesting Earth Day project for the very wealthy and extremely ambitious: Plum Island, an 840-acre stretch of land just off the tip of the North Fork of Long Island, is expected to go on the real estate market soon after serving as a hazardous government germ lab for the last 55 years.

The facility that used to be on the historic island has been moved to Manhattan (the town in Kansas, not the island in New York, heh), and now the federal government is conducting studies and taking steps to put the property up for sale. The Times talked to some locals and folks who spent time in the Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center, which, FYI, was a biosafety Level 3 pathogen lab specializing in the study of contagious animal diseases, all of whom explain why rumored projects like real estate developments, Hamptons-y resorts and a Native American casino won’t work.

In addition to the labs—which, buyers beware, will require a multi-million dollar cleanup—the island also has a historic lighthouse (pictured) and the remains of Fort Terry. And whenever a strange animal washes up on a beach along the Long Island Sound, people point ominously at Plum Island. And when kids in surrounding towns misbehave, their parents threaten to send them to Plum Island. It’s basically Shutter Island, plus The Island of Dr. Moreau, and Jurassic Park, rolled into one. Also, it’s mentioned in Silence of the Lambs as a possible site for Hannibal Lecter’s supervised vacation. Start your bidding! (Curbed)

Unrelated, but sort of related: While looking for a possible real estate listing for Plum Island, I found another Plum Island for sale, much smaller but even closer to the city, right here. Also, you’ll notice that the listing is from Private Islands Online, a real estate company that specializes in private islands. I didn’t think such things existed, but I guess it makes sense.