Silo Ridge plans to sell to high-end buyers, mostly young families from the New York metropolitan area, who look for a place in the country that caters to not only adults but their kids, too.
The developers, Stoneleaf Partners and Discovery Land Co., expect to present formal updated proposals to the town’s planning board next week. It’s a revised and downsized plan, weighing in at 245 homes. This time, Pedro Torres, whose family has owned the property and tried to develop it since 1999, is sounding confident that the team and time are right.
Although a golf course has been there for many years, earlier housing plans, including some by other developers, did not proceed.
Town officials hope this one will. Joining in the developers’ briefing at the Route 44 site Tuesday afternoon, they spoke favorably about the benefits it will bring. Among them are jobs and a 10-year boost of more than $63 million in added property taxes local governments will collect.
“The buzz is just amazing,” said Mike DeLango, 43, who runs DeLango Automotive in the hamlet of Amenia and is a member of the Amenia Town Board. People, he said, need the economic boost that a Silo Ridge community would bring, “so they could pay for their homes and their mortgages.” As for business, “We need a shot in the arm,” he said.
If it comes to pass, it would benefit eastern Dutchess broadly with jobs and an infusion of well-heeled people who would likely bring friends, adding a tourism element.
Permanent jobs, full- and part-time, could number 200, providing services to the residents and their guests at the redesigned golf course, spa, fitness center, a small hotel, a store and providing maintenance services.
“We are expanding business opportunities, even before it’s built,” said Victoria Perotti, town supervisor. “It’s inspiring growth and it’s providing a future for our citizens.”
Next step is to sit with the town’s planning board and present a new master plan, site plans and about 60 documents, said Pedro Torres, a partner in Stoneleaf.
The planners’ chairman, Joseph Fontaine, said he was hoping the review would be done by spring. “We’re going to do whatever we can to make this happen,” he said.
Torres said much of the earlier work should stand, including environmental impact statements. It’s up to the planners as to whether a supplemental statement will be needed, but Torres said the environmental impacts of this plan are smaller. His said team has worked to ensure the amended plan complies with the one the town accepted in 2009.
About 538 acres will remain open space, which is about 80 percent of the land the developers own, they said. No building will exceed the height limits of current rules in Amenia of 35 feet or less, they said.
Daniel O’Callaghan, an executive with Discovery, said the project’s appeal is mainly to younger buyers who have families. The centerpiece is an 18-hole golf course along with other amenities aimed at appealing to the whole family.
“This particular project speaks to the younger families, certainly younger families of means.”
Marcus Molinaro, Dutchess County Executive
“This particular project speaks to the younger families, certainly younger families of means,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. He said the county has recently been seeing a number of development projects as the nation’s economy continues its recovery and outreach efforts continue.
“We think we’re on the upswing,” Molinaro said.
Total investment in the 245-unit project is estimated at $500 million, said Torres. Build-out is expected over 10 years. Prices for the homes were not given.
Tax revenues from a full build-out are estimated over a decade at $42 million for Webutuck schools, $7.7 million for the town, $12 million for Dutchess County government and $1.7 million for the Amenia Fire District.
At Tuesday’s briefing, questions were posed about the health of the economy to support such a development. Dutchess County’s housing market has slowly regained volume since a slump began and the nation went into the Great Recession, and the median price has been flat for about four years.
O’Callaghan said Discovery has 17 successful projects in the same model and another in development in Long Island’s tony Hamptons resort area. Rural eastern Dutchess offers a getaway destination that is not far from New York.
“We think this is going to be very, very successful,” O’Callaghan said. Though no major marketing campaign has begun, word is out. “The response has been overwhelming.”
Craig Wolf: 845-437-4815, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter:@craigwolfPJ
BY THE NUMBERS
$500 million: Estimated total investment
245: Total homes,
224: permanent residents
21: Short-term homes
200: Total permanent jobs
1,000: Construction job-years
$63.3 million: Estimated property taxes over 10 years
Silo Ridge impact hailed by local government leaders: www.poughkeepsiejournal.com
The developers will present a formal amended application to the Town of Amenia Planning Board. Its next scheduled meeting is Jan. 14.