By Alberto Gilman
Foster Supply Hospitality, LLC [FSH] has closed on a purchase deal of three buildings, the former Masonic Temple, YMCA and American Legion on Grand Street with the City of Newburgh. FSH seeks the redevelopment of these three buildings into a hotel and varying amenity establishments.
Sims Foster, Co-Founder of FSH is grateful for the deal closure and is looking forward to the work ahead and delivering this project to the city.
“It’s a big milestone for us to have closed on the buildings and own them, and also to have finalized the arrangement with the City of Newburgh IDA,” Foster said. “I’m feeling happy and excited. We’re really grateful to the City of Newburgh IDA [Industrial Development Agency] for their necessary support and assistance in order to make this project feasible and financeable.”
According to the FSH application documents, FSH has developed six hotels in the past seven years in Sullivan County and Wayne County, Pennsylvania. The three properties identified in the application are currently under the ownership of Orange County, are currently exempt from ad valorem tax levies and are assessed at $2.51 million. In the agreement, the City of Newburgh Industrial Development Agency listed a 12 year payment in lieu of taxes [PILOT] with a 90 percent tax exemption for the first six years. Beginning at year 7, the tax exemption decreases incrementally to zero after 12 years.
Foster followed with a timeline for the project for the public heading into the new year. “We [FSH] should start some selective demo just in the new year , with full construction, really getting going in, probably late spring, with an anticipated opening, very late 2024, or first thing 2025,” Foster said. “We don’t have renderings right now, but we will produce some in the spring.”
Mayor Torrance Harvey shared his thanks to the City of Newburgh IDA, Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus and additional supporters of the project for the city. “My understanding is they closed about a week or so ago. We’ve been working with this for about a year and a half,” said Harvey. “They [FSH]were talking about opening for business Summer 2023.”
With the hopeful projection of 100 new jobs, workforce development in the city has been an aspect that Harvey and the city executive staff have been working towards over the past several years. The partnership with the State University of New York [SUNY] Orange in offering education opportunities for management and hospitality focused professions is another positive initiative for the city.
Councilman Anthony Grice, who is also in support of the project, shared that he is looking forward to the project’s development and the anticipation of bringing visitors to enjoy the city in the future.
“The thing that makes the City of Newburgh unique, as opposed to other places, is that we have those small businesses that you cannot find any other place. And now we’re going to have a boutique hotel, on three historic properties that no other place is going to have. You know, certainly, I like visiting those other places. But to have that uniqueness here in the City of Newburgh is just fantastic,” Grice shared.
Grice shared that he is not aware of an immediate timeline yet but was made aware of fencing to be placed around the site soon. However, no exact date has yet been announced. In addition, Grice also clarified for public knowledge that the three properties were not under city ownership, but rather the ownership of Orange County.
Newburgh Industrial Development Agency [IDA] Chair Marlon Ramos shared his thoughts on the closure of the deal and what the project means for the city going forward. “I basically, am personally looking forward to the completion and seeing these buildings create vitality in the area. I’m also pleased to see the IDA do exactly what it’s supposed to do and that’s, of course, job creation. I’m also excited about the added benefit that they’ll be partnering up with SUNY Orange, and doing job creation for a job training program for hospitality,” Ramos said. “Its [the hotel] success will signal Newburgh being a viable, great spot for future entrepreneurs to look at and set up business.”
According to Ramos, the project has appeared before the public several times in public forums and will continue to move forward. He does encourage the public to reach out to the IDA with additional questions should they have any.