2020 9th Edition: July 6 - July 10
Developers Lining Up to Invest in Orange County

As I speak with my colleagues and friends who are ramping up to full operation inside the workplace, I often ask the question: What good has come out of this economic downturn in your respective industry? I have heard time and again that many employees have become more creative, adjusted to immediate change and are often more efficient. Such is the case at the Orange County Partnership. We are laser-focused on our mission that has kept the county thriving for decades. Economic development is the heart of the economy. One may think that the definition of economic development equates specifically to landing a project, but it takes years of preparation to make projects such as Amazon, Medline, Amy’s Kitchen, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and countless others become a reality.

However, it doesn’t have to take years to land a project if the sites in our portfolio are shovel-ready. And that’s where the investment of major developers often separates us from our competition.

When developers make the decision to enter into our market, invest in sites and embark on the generic approval process, we all benefit from their investment. Prepared sites are the most desirable and are purchased first. The following developers are spending their time and treasure to prepare for a future end-user. These examples of monumental investment will result in outcomes that will balance our economy moving forward:

One of the most ambitious projects in the pipeline in Orange County is a speculative project now under consideration by the Town of Wallkill. New Jersey-based firm Vision Real Estate Partners has begun the SEQRA process with the town’s Planning Board to develop a five-building speculative commercial project that could total more than 1 million square feet. The five proposed buildings to be developed at the Golden Triangle site adjacent to Silverlake Scotchtown Road and Route 17 and would range in size from approximately 170,000 square feet to 230,000 square feet.

National Realty and Development Corporation invested in a site in the Town of Montgomery that will accommodate 312,500 square feet of industrial space. This site is located in the heart of Orange County’s most active distribution corridor, which includes such notables as Fed/Ex, Home Depot, Staples, Do It Best, Cardinal Health, C&S Wholesale Grocers and UNFI to name a few.

A national developer is currently working with NAI Platform on several sites in Orange County. The Goshen Commerce Center, located in the Village of Goshen, is their first priority and the firm is seeking approvals to build 157,000 square feet for an industrial end-user.

In nearby Town of Wawayanda, veteran developer Matrix Development Group has begun site work on a 242,000-square-foot state-of-the-art warehouse building on a site adjacent to the 500,000-square-foot Medline building owned by Morgan Stanley. The site is fully approved and permitted and construction has begun. The facility is slated to be completed by the end of this year. This highly desirable site has gotten the attention of many end-users and it is likely the site will be fully-leased prior to completion. 

A major New Jersey-based development firm RDM Group is in contract on multiple sites throughout the county. They are working with the towns of Goshen, Wallkill, Middletown, Wawayanda and Hamptonburgh to prepare properties for speculative industrial end-users.

City View Commercial , based in New York City, is in contract on a 127-acre site in the Town of Montgomery. The firm is interested in constructing a 1.2-million-square-foot distribution facility on SPEC when the approvals are obtained. 

GFI Partners, based in Boston, MA, boasts a portfolio of nearly 7 million square feet. The real estate investment firm is focused primarily in Class B or C industrial properties and redevelop them as Class A worthy buildings. Currently, they are under contract on the 84-acre “Kikkerfrosch” site located in the Village of Goshen. GFI will be constructing a 500,000-square-foot industrial facility and is slated to close this quarter.

National developers, Bluewater Property Group - is currently constructing a 1,010,800-square-foot distribution e-commerce facility on a fully approved 184-acre site in the Town of Montgomery for Amazon. The capital investment will exceed $75 million and will employ 800 when fully operational in 2021.

A new SPEC warehouse is proposed in the Town of Wallkill by Weiss Realty. The site is located at the corner of Goshen Turnpike and Crystal Run Road. The proposed building will be 114,000 square feet when completed. The firm is also before the Town of Wallkill Planning Board for a major site assemblage along Crystal Run Road. When completed, the assemblage will accommodate more than 1 million square feet of pre-approved industrial space.

Aden Slate Hill, LLC is in discussions with local developers on a potential 1 million-square-foot facility at the old Shapiro Farm on Route 6 in the Town of Wawayanda. The property is zoned commercial with access to the Middletown and New Jersey Railroad (M&NJ) short line. The property is currently being used for agriculture with a mining permit.

Finally, in what could be a major boon for the region, Orange County issued in late June separate Request for Proposals (RFP) to developers and investors for the purchase of the massive Camp LaGuardia property in Chester and Blooming Grove and three iconic properties on Grand Street in Downtown Newburgh.

Both the Camp LaGuardia and Grand Street properties in Newburgh are county-owned. The Camp LaGuardia property, a former New York City men’s homeless shelter, was acquired by the county in 2007 and features four parcels totaling 258.3 acres including a 153.5-acre parcel in the Town of Chester; a 40.8-acre parcel in the Town of Chester; a 59.6-acre parcel in the Town of Blooming Grove and a 4.4-acre parcel in the Village of Chester.

The county acquired the Grand Street Properties in December 2013. The properties include a former YMCA, Masonic Temple and American Legion buildings.

The deadline for the submittal of proposals to acquire Camp LaGuardia is Thursday, Aug. 7. The deadline for submittal of proposals for one, two or three of the county-owned buildings at 48, 54 and 62 Grand St. in Newburgh is Thursday, July 30.

As you can see by our plentiful pipeline and the impressive roster of national, regional and local developers seeking to invest here, Orange County is positioned well for an economic recovery and boasts more projects in the pipeline than any other county in the Hudson Valley.

My very best,

Maureen Halahan
President & CEO
Farewell to one of the Good Guys

Dave MacFarland, longtime supporter of the business community and friend to all who knew him, passed away peacefully late last week. 
Dave was known to burst into a room with a smile on his face, greeting everyone with positive words and an endearing nickname. He was intelligent and direct, with a gift of making everyone around him feel important and valued. 
Dave served for 15 years on the Partnership Board of Directors. He fought for the things that mattered most to us as a region. Economic sustainability and the creation of jobs at every level of skill was his top priority both at the Partnership and as Chairman of the Orange County IDA. 
Dave had the heart of a lion, and he forever left his mark on the region. He will be sorely missed.
Commercial Market Sentiment Plunges, But Analysts Expect Conditions Will Significantly Improve in Next 12 Months
Not unexpectedly, the sentiment of commercial real estate professionals plunged by the mid-point of this year due to the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on most commercial real estate sectors.

With the exception of a few sectors, such as warehouse, medical-office-lab space, logistics, cold storage and last-mile distribution, most commercial real estate sectors continue to struggle with COVID-restrictions, late rental payments, etc.

E-Commerce, Big Pharma Prevent Cold Storage from the Deep Freeze
If there has been one industry investors have turned to during the COVID-19 pandemic it has been the cold storage sector.

Fueled by consumer demand for online grocery services during the stay-at-home directives, as well as the continued need to increase pharmaceutical capabilities, including research and distribution in the United States, the cold storage sector is seeing very strong demand in spite and in some ways as a direct result of the pandemic.

JLL Report Predicts Mixed-Results for Major Retail Sectors Post Pandemic
National commercial brokerage firm JLL recently issued a report on the prospects of 13 major retail sectors coming out of the COVID pandemic.

The report, authored by James Cook, Americas Director of Research, Retail JLL and Taylor Coyne Research Manager, U.S. Retail JLL, predicts growth for the grocery, home improvement and pharmacy sectors and continued struggles for dining, sporting goods and home décor/home furnishing sectors.

NYS Bridge Authority Awards ‘Once in a Generation’ Project
The New York State Bridge Authority has awarded the largest capital improvement contract in its history last month in connection with the re-decking of the north span of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.

Yonkers Contracting Company Inc. was the lowest of four bidders with a base bid of $95,043,552.00 for the re-decking project. The firm will also undertake a nearly $6.8-million project on the span involving the removal of all the toll booths and the realignment of traffic lanes. The two projects put the total award to Yonkers Contracting at approximately $102 million. The Bridge Authority awarded the project to Yonkers Contracting at its June 9 th session.

Newburgh-Beacon Bridge
Work-From-Home Programs Could Have Far-Reaching Impacts on Tax Revenues, Incentive Programs
While it may seem like an eternity by now, the COVID-19 pandemic first came on the scene in New York on March 1 with the first confirmed case. In the past four months there have been well in excess of 402,000 confirmed COVID cases and nearly 25,000 deaths in the Empire State alone.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc, numerous companies & local leaders have stepped up to assist our community. We'd like to recognize and keep you apprised of private businesses that are creatively supporting our community during these challenging times.

Exhibit and Tradeshow Consultants , a Town of Wallkill-based company that is a full-service exhibit house for trade shows and special events now makes acrylic dividers and barriers for residential and commercial spaces.

Alternate e-Source , a Middletown-based business that creates sensors for smart buildings now makes thermal imaging sensing devices for public health safety and building security.

The Orange County Partnership would like to thank Alan Seidman of the Construction Contractors Association   who graciously donated PPE to our team so we can work safely from our office during the Phase 2 re-opening.
In response to the dire need for childcare services  for essential personnel  during these unprecedented times, the  YMCA of Middletown   is providing  Emergency Childcare Service for children ages 5-12  at a few locations in Orange County.
Decked out in masks and gloves, a small group of Realtors from the  Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation (HGRF)  recently volunteered their time to help pack groceries at the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in Cornwall-on-Hudson.

From making well known retail displays to providing food packaging, Orange Packaging offers full retail solutions. Orange Packaging also seeks to help find a solution to the mask and face shields needed in the area. The company has been making face shields out of the plastic that they would usually be using for their packaging materials. Also, when they realized that other companies could not get access the plastic to make face shields as well, they donated their materials to them.

PRG is known for their dramatic set work, design, and entertainment. However, since the pandemic, they have been using their craftsmen skills for a different cause. PRG has been creating face shields to supply to those on the frontline.  

With their business growing, FPS Apparel needed to expand their operations and they chose to move to Chester in nearly double the space. Now, they are using this extra space to give back by making and donating over 8,400 masks for frontline workers.

The Orange County Association of Towns, Villages and Cities represents the 21 towns, 19 villages and three cities in Orange County. The organization realizes access to good, nutritious food is essential and understanding that supplies at many non-profits who typically provide food to those in need is down, The Executive Committee has approved sending a $1,000 check to each of the following organizations - RECAP, HONOR, Hudson Valley Food Bank, Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan and TOUCH.

Between working remotely for her clients, Deborah Garry, President & CEO of BBG&G Full-Service Integrated Marketing Agency  decided she needed to help. So far she has made about six dozen face masks and distributed them to Crystal Run Healthcare, Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties as well as friends and family members. Her home “factory” consists of her sewing machine, an ironing board and a work table raised up on four bed risers left over from her sons’ college dorm days.
Walden Savings Bank  completed its 22 Days of Giving campaign and donated $11,000 in bank-matched employee donations to 32 community members and organizations helping those in need.
Clemson Bros. Brewery  set up a Small Business Relief Fund and donated $10,000 of their own money to the cause. They are also accepting donations from the community to go towards the fund to help small businesses throughout the Hudson Valley.
The Keller Williams –Chris Scibelli Team  is stepping up in a major way to help. As a team they have agreed to give back 5% of earnings (based on commissions earned from the sale or purchase of any home) from now until August 31, 2020. The money they will be giving back will be donated in their clients names to frontline workers in Orange County. Talk about a selfless act!

Milmar Food Group located in Goshen, donated 10,000 pounds of food to Orange County's Office for the Aging to benefit the county’s Senior Meals Program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Servpro of North Orange County , a restoration facility located in Middletown, has been utilizing their services by helping our local first responders stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak including disinfecting the City of Newburgh's patrol cars and sanitizing the Goodwill Fire House located in Newburgh at no cost. 

Moroney's Harley Davidson located in New Windsor, graciously donated head covers to local nurses, doctors and medical workers at Highland Rehab & Nursing Center in Middletown. 

Mount Saint Mary College in the City of Newburgh has donated more than 7,000 disposable gloves and hundreds of masks and gowns from its School of Nursing supplies to regional hospitals, retirement homes and even the temporary hospital at the Javits Center in Manhattan. The college sent about 5,000 gloves to Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, 1,500 to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern in Rockland County, and 500 to Four Winds Hospital in Cross River in Westchester County.

Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery , in partnership with their sister business, Black Dirt Distillery have produced hand sanitizer for local hospitals and nursing homes throughout the region.

The Castle Fun Center , a popular family entertainment center in Chester, N.Y., is helping keep front-line healthcare workers safe by using its 3-D printer to manufacture components for face shields, a type of personal protection equipment in short supply. So far, more than 100 have been created; it will produce 500 to 1,000 or more, depending on the ongoing need.

From their home or classroom, local educators from Pine Bush Central School District , Minisink Valley Central School District and Goshen Central School Districts are creating face shields using 3-D printers as personal protective equipment for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Aurochemicals: The internationally recognized manufacturer of natural aroma ingredients in the flavor and fragrance industry, based in Washingtonville, has provided tens of thousands of hard-to-find surgical masks to protect healthcare and first-responder teams in the community. The company recently supplied Orange County Government with 50,000 surgical masks and provided 42,000 masks to Orange Regional Medical Center. 

Bonura Hospitality Group:  The wildly successful company, which owns and operates restaurants, catering halls and a hotel, has had to lay off more than 400 of their 1,000 employees during the pandemic. The family-owned business is making meals out of an otherwise closed facility to care for not only their employees but their families, providing a hot meals every day for curbside pickup.  

Konica Minolta and Laborers’ Local 17 LECET/Hudson Valley Building & Construction Trades Council have donated a number of N-95 and N-99 masks to nursing homes and first responders throughout Orange County.

SUNY Orange: In response to requests from healthcare facilities in Orange County fighting COVID-19 on the front lines, the leaders of SUNY Orange Health Professions Programs recently delivered a donation of 4,505 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items to the Newburgh campus of Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital.

DNA Entertainment hosted a live stream dance party and raised more than $6,000 to supply meals for workers around Orange County’s medical centers, nursing homes and urgent care facilities.

Fidanza Family Properties: The property, food and beverage management group based in Middletown, announced a food donation program for businesses who want to help supply meals to essential employees while on the job. Business can make a donation by ordering food from one of their restaurants (Pizza E Birra and Planet Wings) and the company will match that donation, up to $1,500 worth of food. To date, $2,0000 worth of food has been donated to the staff at Orange Regional Medical Center. To participate email: franco@planetwings.com .

Construction Contractors Association , Danskammer , Boyce Excavating and Focus Media were all instrumental in securing and donating to the emergency need of N-95 masks to protect medical workers from the Coronavirus.

Medline Industries , the nation’s largest privately-held healthcare manufacturer and distributor, has worked tirelessly with local hospitals and healthcare facilities to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) and has donated an abundance of supplies to the Town of Montgomery and Orange County.

Orange County Distillery was creative in turning a 55-gallon barrel of extremely high-proof spirits into hand sanitizer, which they gave out to Orange County residents for FREE.

Please help us recognize private-business leaders who are creatively contributing to the health and well-being of our community. Please share stories by emailing our Marketing Director, Sarah Brosnan to be included in next week's newsletter:

We are all in this together, the best of people come out
in the worst of times.

Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Strong.
Follow us on our social media platforms to stay up-to-date on all of the latest economic development news!