BY KATHY KAHN
Dr. Dennis Murray, president of Marist College and Dr. Leonard Schleifer, president/CEO of Regeneron, on September 12 welcomed Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul to Rockland Community College for a briefing on the Mid-Hudson Council’s priority projects.
The Tuxedo-Sloatsburg Route 17 revitalization, Urban Electric Power and a program to create Tech Smart/Tech Pod locations were the three projects submitted by Rockland that have been designated as priority projects.
Regional councils are the brainchild of Governor Andrew Cuomo and have been central to the disbursement of economic development grants during his tenure.
Interest in the Village of Sloatsburg and the Town of Tuxedo in Orange county have heightened considerably since the decades on plan by The Related Companies has been fought by both Sloatsburg and Tuxedo. The 1,250-acre property finally broke ground in 2016 and yellow “cats” have been busy making the land usable.
A projected 1,200 homes and a 100,000 foot retail complex are part of the plan and appears to have gotten the attention of investors who see both Sloatsburg and Tuxedo as prime territory to rebuild.
Antique dealer turned realtor Michael Bruno, who moved to Tuxedo Park three years ago, opened the Tuxedo Hudson Company and began buying up vacant properties in 2016. Bruno’s vision for the village of Tuxedo includes bed and breakfasts aimed at cyclists.
One of his purchases, the former IGA supermarket in the village of Tuxedo, was scheduled to be re-opened by August 2016, but as of this writing, is still boarded up. Bruno envisions the area as the perfect location for day trippers.
The Town of Ramapo has been installing new water mains on Route 17 for several months in anticipation of the new development, which will consist of houses ranging from $400,000 to well over a million with either a condominium or market-rate apartment complex. The retail space is also scheduled to include a YMCA, which will be open to the public.
Though the bulk of the property is in Orange County, the Village of Sloatsburg and Tuxedo are expected to see their population double within the next 10 years. It’s going to be an eye-opener for the residents who have lived in the quiet village for many generations.
While The Related Companies is still putting in roads and mapping out how the homes will be built, Bruno and others are jumping on the bandwagon in anticipation of the influx of residents both Sloatsburg and Tuxedo will soon see.
The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council will learn which of Rockland’s three submitted projects will be approved for state funding by Empire State Development in mid-November. In the meantime, Sloatsburg and Tuxedo residents are wondering what the future will bring to what has been a relatively quiet area for decades.