New York state halts latest sale of mountaintop prison site

Markets Associated Press

The "for sale" sign has been removed from a closed mountaintop prison that's among several correctional facilities New York state has been trying to unload.

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Empire State Development said it has halted its latest effort to sell the former Mount McGregor prison site, but will continue to market the property for redevelopment. The public agency had been seeking a buyer for the complex located in the Saratoga County town of Wilton, north of Albany.

Three proposals were received since the state put the site out for bid in January, but all were rejected as unfeasible, agency officials said Tuesday.

"We are currently evaluating the next steps for the reuse of the Mount McGregor Correctional Facility, which could include having direct discussions with potential developers," Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's economic development office said.

The medium-security prison closed in 2014 after nearly 40 years in operation. Before it was a prison, the site was home to a center for developmentally disabled people, a rest-and-recreation camp for servicemen returning from World War II and a tuberculosis sanitarium. It was previously offered for sale in 2015.

The prison site features more than 60 buildings spread across a mountaintop offering spectacular views of the Adirondacks and Vermont's Green Mountains. A hotel occupied the site before it burned down in the late 1890s. The state-run cottage where former President Ulysses S. Grant died in 1885 soon after finishing his memoirs is located next door to the prison property, but wasn't included in the sale.

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State officials gave tours of the prison grounds to potential buyers earlier this year. They included contractors involved in hotel construction and a television producer eyeing the prison for reality-style shows.

About a dozen prison and incarceration camps in New York have closed since 2011. Only four have been sold.