A new developer comes to the table to reimagine the ghostly village of Letchworth in Stony Point

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Hudson Park Group’s proposal is a mix of market-priced accommodations; The plan does not include the acquisition of the Patriot Hills golf course

By Tina Traster

A regional developer who has built nearly 2,000 residential units in the Tri-State and Hudson Valley area is proposing to build a multi-faceted community-focused mix of residential and seniors’ units on nearly 30 acres of Letchworth, city-owned and largely derelict. Village property in Stony Point.

Glen Vetromile, Managing Director of Hudson Park Group LLC, a real estate development and investment company, at a Stony Point City Council meeting on Tuesday presented a flexible plan to build about 450 market-priced units, including townhouses, condos, multi-family dwellings and 170 apartments for assisted and independent elderly people. The project does not include retail or commercial components.

The proposal includes a community pavilion with an outdoor pool, fitness center, yoga studio, coffee bar, cycling studio, movie theater and community hall.

The renderings envision a planned community with sidewalks, lush vegetation, and walking paths, as well as the construction of a municipal recreation center adjacent to the baseball diamonds. The plan also calls for repurposing the Kirkbride building to include Stony Point court and offices, and leasing the building to the city. The developer plans to demolish most of the decaying buildings and address environmental issues including asbestos and lead that were used in the construction of the old psychiatric center over a century ago.

The 30 acres the city plans to sell abut Patriot Hills Golf Course to the east and are located west of Knapp Road. The developer proposes to move and redesign the 16and and 17and holes on the course owned by the City because the land abuts the proposed subdivisions. No sale price was revealed, but previously the city planned to sell the site for about $3 million to Stony Point resident Raja Amar.

“This is a proven developer who has done high-end projects in the past and has a reputation for delivering a good product,” said city supervisor Jim Monaghan. “There is a need for this type of housing. In 2014, we created an overlay neighborhood to encourage these types of development uses.

The proposal is in line with the Patriot Hills Redevelopment Incentive Overlay – a zoning district adopted by the City of Stony Point in 2015 and revised in 2019 to promote private redevelopment in Letchworth Village.

Monaghan, to a room packed with residents, repeatedly stressed that the Hudson Park plan is only a proposal – not a done deal – and that a full SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) should be undertaken to assess traffic, drainage, see shed and other issues on the property and how development would affect surrounding neighborhoods. Monaghan is handling this proposal more cautiously than the one with Amar because the residents felt that a memorandum of understanding had been signed without adequate public participation.

This time around, Monaghan and the council have invited the developer to present the project at an early stage.

The proposal follows a failed effort by Amar to purchase 26 acres with the Patriot Hills Golf Course to build a luxury hotel/conference center and to upgrade the golf course facilities with a new clubhouse. In November, Amar’s plans were undone by a narrowly won referendum on the electoral ballot. Residents had organized against the plan because many believed Amar lacked the experience to redevelop the complex site. Many have expressed concern that he may eventually resell the property. In addition, some citizens were concerned about the fate of the public golf course.

The new proposal does not include the acquisition or management of the city-owned golf course.

Vetromile said it roughly estimated the project would generate $1.2 million a year in tax revenue.

Letchworth Village has remained a ghostly relic of the past for nearly 26 years since its facilities closed. Over the years, developers have come and gone with proposals ranging from a seniors’ residence to a water park. The towns of Stony Point and Haverstraw purchased the properties to build urban golf courses in 1998.

Glen Vetromile Presents to Stony Point City Council
Glen Vetromile, Hudson Park Group

“It’s a special property,” said Vetromile, who made it clear that functionality and aesthetics are hallmarks of its developments. “Developments like this downplay the importance of cars. They incentivize walking. They are more social, with pocket parks and green spaces.

The Hudson Park portfolio includes residential developments in Tuckahoe and Croton in Westchester County. The developer is underway with a multi-family development on nearly 18 acres on the former Stony Lodge Hospital site in Ossining. The plan, originally proposed in 2014, has been scaled back over time. It is expected to become 95 condominium units of 55 years and more known as river mound. Ten of the units will be sold at affordable housing prices, and Hudson Park intends to preserve more than half of the site as green space.

Similar to projects that Hudson Park has completed or is underway, the buildings range from one to three stories, with contemporary “farmhouse” designs.

Hudson Park focuses many of its projects on restoring obsolete properties and transforming them into housing estates through adaptive reuse. Although most of the buildings on the site will be razed and cleaned up, Vetromile has spoken of retaining the iconic Kirkbride building, which will house the courthouse.

Stony Point, along with most towns in Rockland County, suffers from a housing shortage for millennials and empty nests. It lacks facilities for the elderly and those who need assisted living and memory care.

“We call it a multigenerational project where people can age in place,” added Vetromile.

In Stony Point, the overall population decreased by 1.6% to 14,183 at the 2020 census.

“It’s hard for young people to buy a home, and Stony Point is made up mostly of single-family homes,” Monaghan said. “There aren’t a lot of rental opportunities or attractive communities for young people.”

The city’s planning board recently approved Eagle Bay, a waterfront development of 256 condos and rentals, aimed at attracting young people. The controversial development has been in the works for a decade.

Vetromile, a seasoned developer, previously served as Senior Vice President at The Related Companies for fourteen years. He is also a board member of Community Capital New York, a CDFI lender that provides grants and loans to start-ups and businesses that are typically underserved by traditional lending institutions.

At the end of the presentation, Monaghan opened the floor to a handful of questions. Residents asked questions about building heights, road layouts, relocation of the two golf holes, and open space.

“It’s at a very early stage,” the supervisor added. “It was an exciting presentation.”

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