State sells Camp Gabriels prison property for $210k

The state has finally found a buyer for Camp Gabriels.

The state sold the shuttered former minimum-security prison Tuesday to Mohammad Ibrahim of Elmont for $210,777, according to Heather Groll, a spokeswoman for the state Office of General Services.

It’s unclear what Ibrahim plans to do with the property. The Enterprise could not immediately reach him for comment.

“He did not attend the auction in person,” Groll wrote in an email. “We reached out to him yesterday but I do not believe we have spoken to him yet.”

The agency had received a total of seven bids for the former prison. The next highest bid, $166,000, came from Adam Fine of Rockland County. The Albany Times Union reported today that Fine reportedly wanted to turn the property into a summer camp.

Other bidders included a pair of Saranac Lake residents: Ronald T. Fina, who bid $122,001, and Adrien N. Vlach, who bid $121,250. Northeast Concrete Coring and Cutting Inc. of Canton bid $121,000, Wooden Boat LLC bid $120,000, and Richard Williams offered $91,117.

The 91-acre, 332-bed facility is located on state Route 86 in Gabriels, a hamlet in the town of Brighton. The property includes 55 structures ranging from storage buildings and three circa-1927 dormitory buildings to an outdoor workout facility, a newer gymnasium and a circa-1904 chapel.

It began a century ago as a tuberculosis sanitarium run by the Sisters of Mercy. Nearby Paul Smith’s College later used it for dormitories, and then in 1982 the state bought it and made it a prison camp without fences.

It was one of three prisons the state closed in 2009 as a way to cut costs amid a declining inmate population.

The Office of General Services originally put it up for bid in October 2010, asking a minimum price of $950,000, but no one bid on it. The state knocked $200,000 off the minimum in 2011, and still no one bid. This time the minimum was $90,000.