GRAND PLANS FOR DOWNTOWN

Three City Of Newburgh Historic Buildings
Masonic Lodge, YMCA and American Legion Hall

Orange County is in the midst of negotiating sale of three historic City of Newburgh buildings located  at 48, 54 and 63 Grand Street in the City of Newburgh to a Sullivan County small hotel developer. The buildings are within blocks of the City’s center, City Hall, the Broadway and Liberty Street art community, Ritz Theatre, bistro’s and the park grounds of Washington’s Headquarters. SUNY Newburgh is on adjacent property as are views of the Hudson River. The Orange County Legislature will meet about the sale next week.  

  Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said of the proposed sale,  “Foster Supply Hospitality’s Urban Resort on Grand will have a significant, sustainable positive impact on the City of Newburgh and Orange County, as well as SUNY Orange, and this represents an opportunity we must seize. I’m pleased that the County is moving forward to put this property back on the tax rolls and to productive use.” So far the public has been generally receptive to the proposal, noting that it would save historic buildings, and provide property tax income and hotel tax both to the City of Newburgh and the County. Despite the fact that they will likely get a tax pilot program, it will still provide significant income to the City and County and thus be “net positive”. Having bought the properties in 2014 for: $1.5M – Masonic Lodge, $1.4M – YMCA and $735,000 for the American Legion Hall  ($3.6M total) ,  Orange County would be selling the 3 buildings for $1 million, a loss, but feels that the benefits to both the City and County are well worth it. The project would also create about 80 jobs as well as opportunities for job training.

As described by the County, these buildings, the former Masonic Temple, YMCA and American Legion, respectively, sit side-by-side on Newburgh’s truly grand avenue in the heart of its Historic District. Each is an architectural gem in its own right but, taken together, they represent a transformative development opportunity. Orange County is experiencing an unprecedented wave of economic growth and our three small cities –led by Newburgh –have seized upon that momentum. Though it is a city of less than 30,000 people, Newburgh boasts unparalleled history, vitally important architecture and a setting on the mighty Hudson River that provides one of the most stunning vistas in the entire northeast and beyond. It was once heralded as an All-American city and, after enduring a period of post-industrial decline and while still carrying the scars of Urban Renewal, the City of Newburgh has been rediscovered for many of the treasures that led to toits 1950’s moniker,“the Queen of the Hudson.” Newburgh has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance in recent years as it has been descended upon by developers and investors, as well as professionals of all ages migrating from New York City. Two of the City’s most historic streets, Grand and Liberty, have perhaps benefited most from the current revival, in the form of new restaurants, coffee shops, co-work offices, maker spaces and countless restoration projects. SUNY Orange campus that sits behind all three subject properties, makes for clear collaborative opportunities between the College and a successful proposal. Communication and/or collaboration with SUNY Orange on a proposed project is encouraged but is not required. Foster Hospitality’s history in Sullivan County includes projects that include numerous small hotels: The Arnold House Tavern, The Bar Room & Restaurant at North Branch Inn, The DeBruce, The Cabin at Hessinger-Lare, Piccolo Paese Ristorante Italiano and Kenoza Hall.  They also developed expansive programs this past year to feed the hungry during the COVID-19 crisis. Foster Supply Hospitality have raised over $135,000 to prepare and deliver over 20,000 meals for families across Sullivan County since mid-March. They have now started a program to help feed Sullivan County school children. Residents can participate in the legislature’s Zoom meeting on Tuesday, October 13 regarding this project at WWW .ORANGECOUNTYGOV.COM I LEGISLATURE/ LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR and see more about these historic buildings on our website: http://www.ocpostny.com  

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