County Executive William R. Steinhaus has submitted a resolution to the County Legislature to authorize an option and contract of sale for the St. Andrews property, Hyde Park, New York, to a private developer for a purchase price of $2.75 million upon final closing. This 339 acres of property, across from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) was acquired by the County in 1993 for non-payment of taxes. The County Executive’s goal is to promote private ownership, bring a major new economic force to Northern Dutchess, create construction and long-term payroll jobs and expand Hyde Park’s tax base.
Beginning in 2002, Dutchess County issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to over 100 firms for the coordinated development of the St. Andrews property. Eight proposals were received by the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development and reviewed by the citizen member Dutchess County Planning Board. Three proposals met the criteria of the RFP and the vision offered by the county. Design principles guided by the RFP included consistency with the 1997 Hyde Park Comprehensive Plan as well as Greenway Connections. Ultimately, Baker Companies, Inc. and Gagne Development, LLC, in cooperation with the Culinary Institute of America, offered the strongest proposal.
Dutchess County Executive Steinhaus stated, “Because of the size of the property, the pristine nature of the land, and its location as the gateway to historic Hyde Park and the CIA, a tourist hub in the county, we tried to insure the eventual development of this property would coincide with our overall vision for high quality development. The proposal also promises to provide an impressive economic impact and new job opportunities and an expanded tax base in Hyde Park.”
The Baker/Gagne proposal calls for a mixed use development that includes an 18-Hole Tom Kite designed golf course, an inn and conference center, a variety of housing options and a small commercial village with rental units above storefronts. Their development plan will support the CIA, nearby historic sites and bordering lands and businesses. As proposed, the project will be completed in three phases and contemplates 10 acres for use by the CIA.
“Staff dialogue has already occurred with town officials. The entire legislative leadership has been briefed and introduced to the developers of this proposal,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “The proposed option will give ample time for the developers to continue intensive dialogue with the Town so an optimum site plan can be achieved.”
According to Roger Akeley, Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development, the proposed development will complement the work being done by the Hyde Park Bellefield Group. “I am very pleased with the thoroughness of the Baker/Gagne proposal and with its close match to the vision presented in the County’s RFP,” said Akeley.
The resolution offered by County Executive Steinhaus requires legislative approval. A 36-month option is provided for further site investigations, arrangements for water and sewer connections and local approvals. During the option period the developer will pay taxes and benefit assessments on the property freeing the county from that expense during the finalization of a site plan. A companion resolution fulfills requirements of the state’s Environmental Quality Review Act.