Press-Republican

Local News

November 18, 2010

No bids for Camp Gabriels

Officials continue to consider options for former prison

GABRIELS — No one bid to buy the former Camp Gabriels prison.

The submission deadline for bid opening Wednesday came and went without any response, according to Office of General Services spokeswoman Heather Groll.

The office announced a sealed-bid process for the 336-bed, 92-acre facility last month and set a low price for the site at $950,000.

The Town of Brighton Redevelopment Citizens Committee has actively tried to market the property for redevelopment and met with a similar response. No one attended recent open house tours of the facility.

Groll said the Office of General Services is trying to sell the parcel as a whole.

Any consideration for subdivision would need approval by local zoning and the Adirondack Park Agency because the property is zoned State Administrative use.

The state still hopes for reuse, sale or lease of Camp Gabriels.

"We're going to continue to look at what options are available to us to put the property back into use, and that could include re-auctioning the property," Groll said, citing a distribution center in Long Island that was put out to bid twice before it sold in October on the third try.

Sometimes they drop the minimum bid when re-auctioning property, she said.

"Sometimes we do, and sometimes we don't; in the case of Long Island we did."

It's too early to tell if the price will be lowered on Camp Gabriels, she said.

The agency will also work with Empire State Development to find a reuse for the closed prison.

"We will also work with real-estate community to see what options they might have available, and we will talk with people who had expressed some initial interest in buying the property and find out why they elected not to bid."

The Department of Correctional Services closed the minimum-security Camp Gabriels in 2009, along with Camp Pharsalia in Chenango County, Camp McGregor in Saratoga County and several annexes at higher-security prisons.

Located off Route 86 near the hamlet of Gabriels, the facility includes 91.7 acres of land, with 48 buildings, including storage buildings, dormitories, a gymnasium and a circa 1904 chapel.

The Camp Gabriels facility also has an onsite wastewater-treatment system and a water storage tank.

The former prison was originally a sanatorium run by the Sisters of Mercy for tuberculosis patients at the turn of the century.

E-mail Kim Smith Dedam at: kdedam@pressrepublican.com

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