By CLOEY CALLAHAN
The three County-owned properties on Grand Street in Newburgh have officially found a new purpose. On December 3, the Orange County Legislature voted unanimously to award the Request for Proposal (RFP) to Foster Supply Hospitality.
“We are excited to move forward with this project which will help to create significant commercial growth in the City of Newburgh and turn these properties into success stories,” Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus said. “The Grand Street properties will provide economic development as well as job opportunities for Orange County residents. I’m pleased that the County will be putting this historic property on the tax rolls and to productive use.”
“I am very excited to see this project come to fruition,” said Orange County Legislator and Newburgh resident Kevindaryán Luján who was also one of the sponsors of the bill. “I believe this project can be a real game changer for our community.”
Their proposal includes developing the three buildings into an 80-room boutique hotel and spa with a 100-seat fine restaurant, rooftop lounge, the restoration of a bowling alley, and an event space carved out of the former Masonic Temple. The buildings were formerly a Masonic lodge, YMCA and American Legion Hall.
Foster Supply Hospitality’s RFP went up against one from Kearny Development Group, who proposed a mix-ed use application that would combine commercial and creative space with 62 residences, but back in mid-October, Orange County Executive encouraged the legislature to award the grant to Sullivan County’s Foster Supply Hospitality.
“While both responses offer intriguing concepts that reimagine the three historic buildings, Foster Supply’s proposal presents a more significant positive economic impact,” said Neuhaus in a letter back in October.
The new development will allow for more than 80 permanent jobs in the hospitality industry and hopes to provide career opportunities and pathways for Newburgh residents. They will work in partnership with SUNY Orange to give students the opportunity to build skills in culinary arts and hospitality management.
Additionally, it is projected that it will generate as much as $5 million in City, County and Newburgh school taxes over the course of a 10-year pilot.
“This project will also put three buildings back on the tax roll,” said Luján. “These new funding streams will be a big help to our City and our County. Having grown up in the city of Newburgh, I always dreamed of seeing a hotel looking over the Hudson River as we once did. I am proud that visitors will get to fall in love with our beautiful views of the Hudson”
Foster Supply Hospitality’s offer to acquire the properties was for $1.25 million, but it is expected that they will spend $20 million in private equity to renovate the three buildings. The project can be expected to be complete for a mid-2022 opening.
“Also as I look into the future, I feel hopeful that it will attract more businesses to the region, eager to be a part of our Newburgh Renaissance,” said Luján.