Economic development initiatives continue to advance in Greene County. At the October 12th meeting of the Greene County Legislature, the Board approved the acquisition of 2.2 acres of land from the New York State Thruway Authority for economic development in the Town of Catskill. This additional land will be combined with the Exit 21 East Property and will maximize the number of available lots marketed to developers.
“The purchase of this excess thruway land increases the available redevelopment acreage by 40%, as well as places acreage back on the tax rolls”, said Patrick S. Linger, Chairman of the Greene County Legislature. “The acquisition of this parcel will not only remove significant hurdles to the redevelopment of the former Quality Inn site, but it will also allow for the ability to site additional businesses at the location”.
The site, adjacent to NYS Thruway Exit 21, used to be home to a shuttered Quality Inn Hotel which was delinquent in property taxes. Not only was it a blight, but the property also sat vacant and unproductive for several years. The Greene County Legislature approved foreclosure of the property, as well as the transfer of the property to the Greene County IDA in a proactive, redevelopment scenario. “It presented the County an opportunity to enhance sales tax, create employment, increase tax base, and provide additional hospitality businesses in support of a strong tourism economy” stated Shaun Groden, Greene County Administrator.
The development of Shovel Ready Parks in the Town of Catskill is a priority and accomplished in partnership with the Greene County Industrial Development Agency. The Greene IDA is developing both the Exit 21 East and 21 West development sites. The Exit 21 East Project is advancing under a development agreement with Greene County.
Following the demolition of the Quality Inn Hotel using funds from New York State under the RestoreNY Program and a State Aid to Municipalities Grant from Assemblyman Chris Tague, and after many months of feasibility analysis, marketing of the site, and negotiations with hotel developers, the Greene IDA attracted a developer to construct a mid-upscale hotel and was finalizing the agreement. However, the COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on the hotel project, also compounded by a surplus of franchised hotel rooms in the Capital Region. “Now with the land acquisition in place and business investment on the rise in Greene County, the property will continue to be marketed to developers as an attractive location for hotels, hospitality services, and commercial/retail businesses”, stated Rene Van Schaack, Executive Director, Greene IDA, adding “that the need for additional hotels in the County is still a priority, especially for mid-upscale properties at the Exit 21 Thruway exchange”.
Commenting on tourism economic development within the County, Warren Hart, Deputy County Administrator and Director of Economic Development, Tourism and Planning, added “Greene County continues to be an exceptional location for investment in hotel and hospitality properties, which has accelerated in 2020 and 2021.”
In addition to the County’s All-Inclusive Family Resorts and the unique experience they provide, some of the exciting new developments include the recent renovation and new construction of hospitality properties in Greene County, including: The Camptown renovation of the old Carl’s Rip Van Winkle Motor Lodge in the Town of Catskill, located across from the Greene IDA Exit 21 West project, the Piaule Catskill new construction in the Town of Catskill, the Wylder House acquisition and ongoing renovation of the Thompson House in the Town of Windham; the James Newberry Hotel and The Wire Event Center under construction in the Village of Coxsackie, and also including recent renovations of Scribner’s Catskill Lodge, East Wind Hotel, and Union and Post in the Town of Windham.”
The Greene County Legislature continues its commitment to growth and development, including investment in public infrastructure, business attraction and marketing, and supports the IDA’s advancement of shovel ready parks. The development of the Exit 21 East and West Properties will expand our tax base, create new jobs, and will help to attract and retain people to our area which in turn enhances economic growth and prosperity.