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Swansea’s Pleasure Island bought by Ernie Boch Jr.

The small island was set to be auctioned off earlier this summer when the billionaire bought it.

Ernie Boch Jr. is the proud owner of a new island. The billionaire auto magnate announced Tuesday that he bought Pleasure Island in Swansea. 

Boch paid $850,000 for the island in June, before it was to be auctioned off, according to WBZ NewsRadio.

The island, which is 4.25 acres and only a couple hundred feet from the mainland, has a long history. It was predominantly used as an event venue for weddings, picnics, and other parties, according to the Fall River Herald News. But it has been closed for over a decade, with fences surrounding the spit of land’s few buildings. 

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Pleasure Island has been the subject of multiple disputes regarding its owner. One such dispute centered on a property manager claiming that a local Selectmen was personally targeting him as retaliation for not giving his daughter a job, the Herald News reported. Another dispute was fought in court in 2012, with a panel of three judges ruling in favor of Costa Management. 

The island is connected to the mainland via a small wooden bridge near Ocean Grove Avenue. Local officials have long been concerned about the bridge’s safety. 

Boch told reporters this week that he has not landed on a definite plan for the property, but that his first priority is to fix the bridge. 

“Hopefully by the time I fix the bridge, I will have formulated what I want to do,” he told WJAR

Boch added that he doesn’t plan to revive Pleasure Island’s partying ways, instead opting for something that will be targeted toward quiet, public space. 

“From what I understand, they had some problems of it being loud. And I don’t want to do that. I want the buy-in from the neighborhoods, the buy-in from the town,” Boch told WBZ NewsRadio.

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