The historic Arnott House, saved from wrecker’s ball and relocated when Amazon built a warehouse near the intersection of Routes 17K and 747 in the Town of Montgomery, will have new life as a group home for Vietnam Veterans.
The Montgomery Town Board, last week discussed a plan to acquire the house from Bluewater Property Group, developers of the Amazon Warehouse and lease it to the Yerik Israel Toney (YIT) Foundation for use as a residential facility for Vietnam Veterans. Both the town and YIT would sign a 50-year lease for $1 per year, with YIT agreeing to maintain the property.
Town Attorney Will Frank said the town would not take title to the parcel until it is in turn-key condition, ready to house veterans.If there ever comes a time when the house is not being operated, the lease will be cancelled and the property will revert back t the town for another public use.
“The whole goal here is to not have another historic building sit dilapidated,” said Town Supervisor Brian Maher.
Don Chase of Bluewater Property Group presented plans to the Montgomery Town Board at a recent meeting. Bluewater is seeking a two-lot subdivision for its property, in order to spin the house off from the warehouse site. The subdivision hearing began in January, when the intention was to donate the house to a community group but a specific user had not yet been identified.
The plan calls for a four-bedroom house, with four Veterans residing there. There would also be a separate office for a care provider, a recreation area and a third-floor meditation room.
The planning board determined that the house would be exempt from the site-plan review process because t would be municipally owned.
The YIT Foundation, headquartered along with the Orange County Chamber of Commerce in Maybrook’s historic Blake House, was founded by Sharon-Toney Finch, a disabled military veteran It has a two-fold mission of support for the families of premature babies and providing help for homeless and low-income military service veterans in need of living assistance.
The Arnott house was built in 1820 and is located on the Amazon site. It was first inhabited by James Arnott and his family. They farmed a number of acres there. The family’s descendants lived in the house over the years. The last deeds date back to the 1930s, and the house has been vacant for at least 20 years. In November of 2020 it was moved within the Amazon site so as to not interfere with the warehouse construction.