From east to west Putnam County has several development plans on tap — Butterfield Hospital redevelopment in Cold Spring to Patterson Crossing at Route 311 near I-84.
And there is still talk about enticing a college-level program to Putnam, bringing a hotel to the town of Carmel, and enhancing public transportation to help local business centers in the county’s six towns and three villages.
Putnam County is courting new businesses and development projects that will work with local communities, say county leaders.
Putnam County’s new president of the Economic Development Corporation Meghan Taylor and County Executive MaryEllen Odell addressed realtors last week at a morning breakfast at the Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac.
“We are a tiny county surrounded by giant counties,” Odell said at the meeting of the Commercial & Industrial Division of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc.
“We offer quality of life — agencies like libraries, museums, good schools, and faith-based services — that residents and companies want,” she said. The county has three rails stations and two major interstates making it a convenient location for corporate headquarters, financial institutions, light manufacturing and data centers, she added.
“Our sweet spot is a company looking for 30 to 85,000-square-feet of space,” she added. “Knowing who we are and what will work well here is part of the battle.”
Odell said discussions with colleges are moving forward and she hoped there would be a firm proposal to offer college-level courses in the county. This would save some of the $3.2 million the county currently sends to Westchester and Dutchess counties when Putnam students attend community colleges north or south.
“To get a college here is a cost saver if we do it the right way,” she said, repeating an often said refrain.
And she said also that at least six properties that had become county-owned after being foreclosed because of tax arrears were sold at market value by realtors and would be coming back onto the tax rolls. She said, too, that
Taylor emphasized that there are many large development projects under discussion. She also noted there are commercial spaces for rent scattered throughout the county which would be good for medium-sized companies and business headquarters.
And to better connect with real estate professionals the EDC, she explained, has updated its website with featured properties and expects to prepare a regular newsletter.
“When we are successful, you are successful,” she told the realtors. “And everyone in Putnam benefits if it is the right kind of growth.”
Here are some highlights of major development projects under consideration, and which generated audience inquiries:
- The former Butterfield Hospital in Cold Spring owned by developer Paul Guillaro of Unicorn Constracting is proposed as a multi-use site with senior housing, three or so single family houses and municipal offices to bring county services to the east side of Putnam. It is also proposed to include a new senior citizen center and a Roger Ailes foundation has offered to contribute $500,000 towards its construction. The project is under review by the village of Cold Spring’s Planning Board.
- Palladin Center in Carmel, which offers training classes for first responders, is being considered as a satellite office site for college-level training for emergency workers.
- Bull and Barrel Brew Pub is expected to open in the next couple months in the former Sciortino’s Restaurant on Route 6 in Southeast. After spending close to a $1 million in renovations to the 20,000-square-foot site, it will be the first craft beer operation in Putnam County. It is estimated to bring 35-40 jobs.
- The Garrison is looking to develop a hotel on its Route 9 site to accommodate guests to its 140-150 weddings it handles annually. Currently, guests are shuttled to hotels in Fishkill.
- Repurpose the Garden Street school in Brewster as a commercial space as part of a redevelopment of the downtown village.
And three projects under the auspices of Camarda Realty Investments:
- Patterson Crossing, a shopping center at Route 311 and I-84 which is approved for 410,000-square-feet of retail and 8,200-square-feet of office space. An anchor store is yet to be finalized since Costco Wholesale has a question on whether it is allowed to add a gas station on the site.
- Union Place in Mahopac, a multi-use development on a 300 acre Route 6 site at the Westchester/Putnam border, which is to have 575,000-square-feet of retail, 480 housing units, 350,000-square-feet of office space and also a hotel
- Gateway Summit, a 68-acre site between Putnam Plaza and Route 312, with retail, office space, 300 units of housing and a long-awaited 123-room hotel. The hotel has approval but its Long Island-based owner has said approvals took so long that the economic conditions are not currently favorable for construction and borrowing of funds. Taylor said she would want to encourage the property owner to build or sell the land with the approvals.
(Above photo: From Left: John Barrett, HGAR’s CID President; Diane Cummins, HGAR President; Richard Haggerty, HGAR CEO; Mary Ellen Odell, Putnam County Executive; Jennifer Maher, HGAR Regional VP; and Meghan Taylor, President, Putnam County Economic Development Corp./Photo Credit: John Vecchiola