2023 44th Edition: October 23 - October 27

Defining our Tech Future

Tech-based economic development is coveted across the globe. Economic Development Organizations work to recruit the ever-elusive downtown office building with young software engineers coming in and out. The definition of tech economic development is subjective – our definition is different than that of New York City or Austin, Texas. To accomplish a tech based economic development effort, we must be honest with the market fundamentals and realistic in our “definition” of tech.


At the Orange County Partnership, our definition of tech is wholly manufacturing centric. Semiconductor production, clean energy products, food and beverage processing – all tech driven processes, creating good paying jobs in high-demand fields. Our commitment to tech driven economic development is based in sound market fundamentals –infrastructure, labor, sites, and quality of life offerings. Over the next few months, we will be rolling out a multi-faceted strategy, clearly outlining our approach to building our tech sector – a sector rich in manufacturing, production, and good paying jobs.


In order to execute real, measurable economic growth, we plan on leveraging a handful of opportunities – mainly, intra-state collaboration with other counties, workforce development, site selector partnerships, modern zoning recommendations, and leveraging state and federal programs (Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS, etc.). The State of New York is a risky, costly, and complicated state to do business in. Our job as economic developers is intrinsically tied to helping companies navigate the site selection and regulatory process. We must be honest with our location shortfalls, while acknowledging our market capabilities. Strategy, combined with an honest review of our market is the only way we win.

My very best,

Maureen Halahan

President & CEO

New Haas Innovation Center at Pine Bush High School.

Workforce Development: The Great Equalizer

Workforce development and economic development are symbiotic. In order to execute a high-level economic development strategy in the 21st century, a focus on workforce and in-demand skills is crucial. A talent pipeline becomes even more crucial in the high-end sectors that we’re actively working to attract – mainly advanced manufacturing, food/beverage, microelectronics, clean energy, and life sciences. We’re resolute in our commitment to workforce development – which is now the great equalizer in economic growth.

The Orange County Partnership and our colleagues in county government have been working closely with leadership at SUNY Orange on advancing partnership opportunities between higher education and the private sector. SUNY Orange has been a dynamic workforce development partner – recognizing our efforts to grow the cannabis manufacturing sector, the college secured a $1-million grant to develop a cannabis/advanced horticultural program in partnership with community colleges across the Hudson Valley. This is just one example of creative workforce development programming that the economic development and educational community have and will continue to collaborate on.

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New State Cannabis Regulations Spark Renewed Interest in Orange County

The rollout of legalized cannabis manufacturing, distribution and retail sites in New York State has been anything but smooth. Orange County, which was a leader in the sector with major facilities developed by PharmaCann and Green Thumb and other smaller companies, saw development interest from this sector fall sharply as litigation and confusion on the specifics and impacts of state cannabis regulation stifled investment.


Conor Eckert, Development Officer and Vice President of Business Attraction for The Orange County Partnership, said earlier this year the Partnership was responding to requests every month from medical and recreational cannabis firms about opportunities in Orange County. “The activity was robust,” he recalled. However, regulatory uncertainty, combined with the slow rollout of cannabis businesses in the state “paused most projects and opportunities” until recently.

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PharmaCann working on expansion in Town of Hamptonburgh.

Green Thumb Industries Rendering - Town of Warwick

From left, Steve Gross, Economic Development Director for Orange County; HGAR’s Carole McCann and Conor Eckert, Development Officer and Vice President of Business Attraction for The Orange County Partnership. (Photo Credit: John Vecchiolla)

(Photo Credit: John Vecchiolla)

(Photo Credit: John Vecchiolla)

Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS Hosts 'Orange County Day'

The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors staged its “Orange County Day” earlier this month that included updates by key economic development and tourism officials on new projects and initiatives that will foster economic growth now, and in the years ahead.

Participants at HGAR’s Economic Development Panel staged at the Salisbury Mills Fire House on Oct. 11 were: Steven Gross, Economic Development Director for Orange County; Amanda Dana, Director of Tourism and Film; and Conor Eckert, Development Officer and Vice President of Business Attraction for The Orange County Partnership.

Gross related that one of the issues facing economic development and tourism in Orange County is the lack of conference center space. He said that the Neuhaus Administration believes that the county is uniquely positioned to provide conference center space to the hundreds of associations and business groups outside of New York City.

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New Proposal Puts Orange County in New Emerging Sector - Multistory Warehouse Development

A relatively new industrial real estate sector is Multistory Warehouse Development. According to a recently released study by commercial brokerage firm JLL entitled “Multistory Warehouses and Their Towering Future,” 2023 marks the fifth anniversary of multistory development (urban logistics) market in the United States.


Internationally, multistory warehouse development is several decades old and was fueled in part by the lack of available land in most markets. The JLL report cited a host of major development projects as examples of this burgeoning sector, including a number in the New York metropolitan area including the four-story, 385,510-square-foot Red Hook Logistics Center (Phase 1) in Brooklyn (completion date 2024); the three story, 315,000-square-foot Bronx Logistics Center (completion date 2023); the four-story, 680,000-square-foot Borden Complex in Queens (completion date 2024); the three-story, 245,337-square-foot College Point Logistics Center in Queens (completion date 2024); the Terminal Logistics Center, a three-story, 300,000-square-foot facility in Queens (completion date 2023) and 807 Bank St. in Brooklyn, a 172,000-square-foot, two-story facility slated for completion this year.

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Rendering of 2659 Route 17M proposed multistory warehouse in Town of Goshen.

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus addressing the audience at the Partnership's 2023 Investor Breakfast.

Over 350 business leaders in attendance at the Partnership's 2023 Investor Breakfast.

County Executive Neuhaus Highlights County's Growth Sectors as Keys to its Economic Future

One of the highlights of the Orange County Partnership’s Investor Breakfast held on Oct. 3 was a frank, but unapologetic upbeat outlook for the county’s economy offered by Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus.


Neuhaus at the event held at the Villa Venezia in Middletown, discussed his proposed 2024 budget that calls for a decrease in the county’s tax rate for the eighth consecutive year, despite nine New York State mandates alone that exceed $168.3 million. He credited the work of his administration and economic development and tourism promotion efforts that include the work of the Orange County Partnership, the county’s Economic Development office and the Orange County Tourism & Film office, for facilitating the significant growth in the county’s tax base.

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Mark your calendars for the Orange County Partnership's Annual Event on Tuesday, December 5th at The Barn at Villa Venezia. It's the LARGEST economic development networking event and you won't want to miss out!

We're thrilled to honor these outstanding individuals and organizations:

Quality of Life Award Recipients:

  • Jonah Mandelbaum
  • Donna Applegate

Spirit of Innovation Award Recipient:

  • Hank Gross from Mid Hudson News

Alliance for Balanced Growth's Golden Shovel Award Recipient:

  • Matrix Development Group

Contact Rebecca Hulse to RSVP and for more information on sponsorship opportunities: (845) 294-2323 or [email protected]

Aspire Brewing Holds Ribbon Cutting for New Taproom and Brewery in Middletown, NY

On Thursday, September 28th - Sonny Patel Brewing Company, Inc., a startup brewing company founded by Sonny Patel, Owner of Beer World, celebrated the opening of their new taproom and brewery, Aspire Brewing in Middletown, NY. The event for the new hospitality establishment was attended by the project architect, LAN Associates.  

Approximately 30,000 sf of existing retail space was renovated to bring Aspire Brewing to life. The location includes 6,500 sf of commercial brewery space to craft microbrews, a 12,100 sf restaurant space, a 1,700 sf outdoor seating area, a 2,300 sf game room, and a ~2,000 sf commercial kitchen. The commercial brewing space was designed to accommodate everything needed to brew and can beer. This includes a 1,000-sf drive-in freezer to house the beverages after they have been brewed. LAN Associates provided architectural design services, project management, interior design coordination, and construction administration services in support of the project. LAN retained Gerard Associates to provide mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering services for the design of the project. FW Interior Design led the interior design.

“At Aspire, our commitment goes beyond crafting exceptional brews. We're proud to be part of this community, creating jobs and contributing much-needed tax dollars,” said Aspire Brewing owner Sonny Patel. “Together, we're building a stronger, more vibrant future as we brew dreams one glass at a time, and now, my dreams become reality. We have not only crafted good brews but also a welcoming space for the entire family to enjoy. Join us on this hoppy ride and make memories one sip at a time as we bring you the perfect blend of beer, food, and games where good times are on tap!”

The restaurant includes both a Taproom and a Beer Hall. Patrons can choose between the Craft Beer Bar or a traditional restaurant experience in the Taproom. In the Beer Hall, there are currently over 30 beers on tap. RFID scanners allow visitors to pour their own beer and the technology calculates the volume of the serving and automatically bills the patron. On-site entertainment includes a space for axe throwing and a golf simulator as well as cornhole and Jenga for guests. Aspire Brewing is also hosting live music, and when the weather is nice, guests can take advantage of the outdoor seating areas carved from the former interior retail space.

The aesthetic of the taproom has a darker, more intimate environment with storefront glazing flanking the bar that offers expansive views of the brewery allowing visitors to watch the brewing process unfold. The beer hall was designed to be a brighter and more lively space, while the exterior facade was modernized to strengthen and support the branding of the brewery and its beer.

“We are thrilled to see the official ribbon cutting for Aspire Brewing. Sonny Patel is a prominent business owner, and this hospitality project was a great opportunity to showcase LAN’s capabilities. We feel the finished product reflects the passion, enthusiasm, and creativity of our hospitality design team,” said Vice President and Architect at LAN Associates, Matthew Milnamow. “The functional and thoughtful layout enabled the interior designer to complement the branding and style of the brewery and taproom. We are proud of the outcome and our design team’s commitment to executing Mr. Patel’s vision.”


LCS Facility Group in NY Announces New Growth Strategy

In a significant move, LCS Facility Group, a renowned New York-based commercial cleaning, and janitorial services company, unveiled a strategic growth partnership with 4M Building Solutions, headquartered in St. Louis, MO. The announcement was made by Daniel Lepore, president of LCS Facility Group, and Tim Murch, CBSE, Chairman of 4M Building Solutions, a commercial cleaning company entrenched in the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast.


The LCS partnership with 4M includes the owners of LCS also becoming investors and equity holders in the 4M Building Solutions entity. LCS will retain its autonomy, existing leadership, name, and brand.


LCS was founded in 2001 by Joe Lepore, the company’s present Chairman. The company has a footprint in three states, New York, Texas, and California, and cleans nearly 18 million square feet daily under the power of 450 Team Members. It maintains three New York offices: in Poughkeepsie, servicing the Hudson Valley; an Albany location for work in the Capital District; and in Long Island. 


Founder Joe Lepore will move to an advisory role within the company. Two sons, Daniel Lepore, President, and Domenico Lepore, Business Development Executive, will maintain their current positions.


“LCS aligns closely with 4M in terms of our business approach, service philosophy, values, company culture, and the treatment of our Team Members,” said Daniel Lepore. “This strategic move will result in growth and enhance prospects for our team; and benefit our customers through expanded resources, improved infrastructure, and increased innovations.

LCS Growth Strategy :

The LCS client portfolio spans industries including healthcare, education, hospitality, and commercial facilities. The company has established a specialized presence in the commercial kitchen sector and is known for its excellence in fire and food-safety programs and hygiene standards. They also recently unveiled a new service line dedicated to Kitchen Hood and Exhaust cleaning.


“LCS is a highly respected name in commercial cleaning in New York and out-of-state markets,” said Tim Murch. “It was essential to 4M to keep the equity in the LCS name, and its stellar reputation built over two decades. “


The purchase of LCS is the second this year for fast-growing 4M and the 28th since its founding in 1978. It’s also the company’s largest acquisition, possible through a significant growth investment announced in January from Midwestern-based private investment firm O2 Investment Partners (www.o2investment.com).


  • Adjacent to the I-84/I-86 Interchange in the Town of Wallkill

  • Fully-approved for a 300,000 SF spec industrial building which can be designed specifically to meet your needs

Looking to relocate or expand your company? Reach out to our Vice President of Business Attraction, Conor Eckert today!



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