Belle Glade businessmen buy former prison

BELLE GLADE, FL (WFLX) - Five Belle Glade businessmen are buying the former Glades Correctional Institution for $1.2 million. The property is massive with 211 acres, more than 50 buildings and lookout towers.

The local buyers say they are hoping to bring some type of industry to the site, whether it be a distribution plant or factory is up in the air, but their goal is to bring in jobs.

The former Glades Correctional Institution opened in 1932 and shutdown in 2011 -- taking 250 jobs with it.

That was a huge hit for Belle Glade, and the local buyers are hoping to reverse that. "We hope to bring something positive to Belle Glade that will add jobs to an already struggling economy. We feel there should be something else out here besides farming and we think this property will be excellent to help the city do that," said prison buyer Henry Rionda.

The prison site is right next to two major highways, including 441, and there is a railroad going through it.

The buyers were asked about the possibility of Hollywood coming in and shooting movies here. They said the idea has crossed their mind, but it is unlikely because their main objective is getting as many jobs as they can to Belle Glade.

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