BETHANY, MO (KMOX) – At just under 15 acres and complete with 240 rooms, office space, medical care facilities, a kitchen designed to accommodate 1,000 people, and an undoubtedly advanced security system, a facility in northern Missouri makes for an unusual auction item.

And yet, the former medium-security Bridewell Prison in Bethany, Missouri will hit the auction block at the end of this month as auction company AmeriBid hopes to shed the 8-year-old facility, located in Airpark Industrial Park in Bethany.

Bridewell was a privately owned and operated prison and hosted many prisoners from Iowa’s Polk County when Des Moines-area officials ran out of room in their own prisons. The need for a new Iowa prison was evident and, when one opened, Bridewell lost much of its business. It closed its doors for good in June of 2010, just five years after opening.

“This is a great opportunity to own a multi-use property between Kansas City and Des Moines,” Don Gabriel, Regional Director and Broker for AmeriBid, said. “The property includes additional land for expansion for any number of uses or the option to expand the capacity of the existing Detention Center.”

While it’s unclear what those “any number of uses” could be for a building with 240 prison cells, 12-foot walls, and concrete floors, the auctioneers are throwing in all equipment remaining in the facility. That includes commercial vans for “secure inmate transfers,” 240 cell beds, inmate garments, and restraints.

A 2006 appraisal found the replacement cost for the building would be $3.8 million, according to the Associated Press. For those interested, sealed bids are due by the afternoon of January 30 and more information is available on AmeriBid’s website.


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