2022 32nd Edition: May 2 - May 6
Sprinting into Spring

To say the month of April was hectic for the Orange County Partnership and other key members of the economic development team would be an understatement. Interest in Orange County continues to be very strong. Some of the exciting prospects for future economic growth require some heavy lifting, but the staff at the Orange County Partnership is up to the task to move these developments forward.
In the spirit of “less is more,” I am going to be brief and let this edition of the “Resources & Results” e-newsletter speak to the tremendous opportunities and initiatives that hold so much promise in the weeks, months and years ahead for Orange County.
The newsletter features stories on the Orange County IDA’s new Shovel Ready program, a major victory in the 17-Forward-86 coalition’s efforts to have a third lane built on Route 17, a Request for Proposals by the City of Newburgh on some downtown properties and an exciting project by the Food Bank in Montgomery. Other stories include: the Alliance for Balanced Growth’s meeting with NYS DEC Region 3 Director Kelly Tuturro, the state’s approval of major Green Energy projects and the results of a study on multifamily projects impact on school districts in nearby Westchester County that produced some surprising results, particularly for those who argue against these type of investments.
Some real exciting stuff, so please scroll down to read this jammed-packed newsletter.
And to whet your appetites for the next edition of “Resources & Results,” my next President’s Report will focus on the key players that make up Orange County’s economic development team and how by working in tandem we are truly making Orange County a great place to live and work!

My very best,

Maureen Halahan
President & CEO
Orange County IDA Launches Shovel Ready Development Site Initiative With RFQ Release
The Orange County Industrial Development Agency in an attempt to secure new shovel-ready development sites has launched an initiative aimed at creating the link between infrastructure, zoning, land use and economic development opportunities in a cost-efficient manner. The IDA states that its intent is to maximize the economic benefit of potential projects involving both the re-use of existing buildings/parcels as well as the expansion of service areas.
While Orange County has continued to increase in population in recent years through in-migration, many of the previously prepared sites for economic development have been utilized, thus requiring the launch of its Shovel Ready Site Evaluation initiative.

Part of one RFP is the historic City Hall building at 83 Broadway in Downtown Newburgh.
City of Newburgh Issues Two Request for Proposals To Redevelop a Host of City-Owned Properties
The City of Newburgh has recently issued two Request for Proposals (RFPs) that represent what it terms are “exciting and unique development opportunities” for several city-owned properties, including City Hall.
The first, RFP #11.22, seeks proposals for the creative redevelopment of numerous city-owned properties—both existing buildings and vacant parcels—that the city hopes will result in a new municipal campus.

Gov. Hochul Earmarks Up to $1 Billion for Route 17 Third-Lane Expansion
The most consequential economic development project for the mid-Hudson Valley region in decades is not a major corporate relocation, a large lease deal or a new massive warehouse developed by a national e-commerce giant. Instead, it will be a major infrastructure project that will surely facilitate mega deals like those mentioned above in the coming years.
Advocates for the expansion of Route 17 in Orange and Sullivan counties learned on April 9 that their efforts had borne fruit as Gov. Kathy Hochul in touting her record $32.8 billion, five-year capital plan for the New York State Department of Transportation noted that the state would earmark up to $1 billion of the capital plan to “accelerate the conversion of the Route 17 corridor in Orange and Sullivan counties to Interstate 86, fueling transformative levels of economic growth in the region and improving quality of life by alleviating congestion.”

The 17FORWARD86 Coalition recently hosted a rally at the Galleria at Crystal Run in the Town of Wallkill with local, state and federal representatives to urge Gov. Hochul and state legislators to commit construction funding to the Route 17 expansion project as part of the NYS DOT capital plan.
Kelly Turturro
Region 3 Director
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
ABG Meeting held on March 30th at The Barn at Villa Venezia in the Town of Wallkill.
Regional Director of New York State DEC Meets with ABG to Discuss Wetlands Regs.
More than 100 members and guests of the Alliance for Balanced Growth were on hand for a highly informative meeting with key leaders of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 3 office to discuss key issues affecting the development community in the region.
The March 30th session at the Barn at Villa Venezia in the Town of Wallkill was one of the best-attended gatherings in the ABG’s history. Among the attendees included a number of elected officials who were interested in receiving updates on state environmental regulations, according to ABG co-chairman John Lavelle.
The featured speaker at the event was NYS DEC Regional Director Kelly Turturro. Also making the trek from the Region 3 office in New Paltz were: Brian Drumm, Wetland Biologist; John Petronella, Regional Permit Administrator and Nathan Ermer, Wildlife Biologist with the New York State DEC.

Regional Director Turturro’s presentation focused mainly on the different departmental responsibilities within the DEC and how to better interact with DEC staff.

New York State Awards Food Bank of Hudson Valley $10.7 Million to Build New Facility in Montgomery
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on April 25th a $10.7-million award to Food Bank of the Hudson Valley for the construction of a new 40,000-square-foot food distribution warehouse in the Town of Montgomery.
State officials noted that the increased demand for emergency food assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a larger facility with additional capacity for cold storage and sorting. The new 40,000-square-foot warehouse is expected to benefit 179,000 low- to moderate-income New Yorkers currently receiving assistance from Hudson Valley food banks.
Sara Gunn, director of the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, said that the new facility will double the not-for-profit’s storage and office capacity of its current location at 195 Hudson St. in Cornwall-on-Hudson. A firm date on the relocation has not been established. Gunn said that the Food Bank is hopeful it can complete the move to the new location at the corner of Route 416 and 211 adjacent to the new Medline facility, by the end of 2023. Its current landlord has agreed to have the Food Bank utilize its Cornwall space rent-free for the next two years.

“The ongoing financial impact of the pandemic has left more New Yorkers to rely on their local food pantries to feed their families,” Gov. Hochul said. “New York is committed to addressing food insecurity and combatting hunger in our communities, and this new larger facility will strengthen our emergency food network in the Hudson Valley and help more residents in need.”

A host of state, local and Food Bank of the Hudson Valley officials were on hand to celebrate the award of $10.7 million for its new facility to be built in Montgomery.
Orange County Partnership's Senior Development Officer & Vice President of Business Attraction with Town of Montgomery Supervisor, Brian Maher
The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley’s current location is at 195 Hudson St. in Cornwall-on-Hudson.
PSC Approves Green Energy Projects Valued at More Than $8 Billion
The New York State Public Service Commission on April 14th approved contracts with Clean Path New York LLC for its Clean Path NY project and H.Q. Energy Services Inc. for its Champlain Hudson Power Express project to deliver clean, renewable solar, wind and hydroelectric power from upstate New York and Canada to New York City. The two contracts are expected to generate more than $8 billion in economic development activity for New York State.

“New York continues to lead the nation with innovative green energy initiatives and has been an example to the rest of the world how to confront the perils of climate change, the existential threat of our time,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “Today's decision is a major step forward in achieving New York State's goal of 70% of our energy from renewable resources, while paving the way for thousands of high-quality jobs, spurring billions in economic activity, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and ushering in a cleaner, greener New York for all.”

Study Finds No Major Impact on School Enrollment From Recent Multifamily Development Projects
The Orange County Partnership felt that investors, developers, municipal and school district officials should take note of a recently released study of multifamily development projects in affluent Westchester County and their impacts on school districts. The study debunks chief claims by project opponents that these developments add an onerous number of students to the district. Instead the study finds they add minimal new students, but generate “eye popping surpluses” for those districts.

LEGOLAND® New York Resort, Built by LeChase, Honored Among Nation's 'Most Impressive' Projects
LeChase has received a prestigious 2022 Construction Risk Partners Build America Merit Award for construction of LEGOLAND® New York Resort. The company served as construction manager for the 150‐acre destination – the Northeast’s first new theme park in decades.

The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America annually presents the Build America Awards to recognize firms who build the “most impressive” construction projects in the nation. LEGOLAND New York Resort, located in Goshen, N.Y., was honored in the category of “building, new or renovations, over $126 million.” Representatives from LeChase accepted the project’s award at the Construction Risk Partners Build America Awards Breakfast during AGC’s Annual Convention at the in Grapevine, Texas.

“LeChase takes great pride in constructing many different types of projects, but It’s especially rewarding to build a destination where families can create lasting memories,” said LeChase Vice President David Campbell of the New York Metro office in Armonk, N.Y. “We’re honored to receive this award and thank everyone who played a role in delivering a resort that truly reflects the creativity and fun of the LEGO® brand.”

Walden Savings Bank Commemorates its 150th Anniversary by Honoring its Legacy of Community Service and Growth, and Investing in the Future
Walden Savings Bank this week celebrated 150 years of providing personalized financial solutions with two significant events that honored its history and its legacy of community-first services, and introduced the next era of digital banking for its valued customers.

On Monday, April 25, an impressive crowd made up of community leaders, elected officials, members of the business community and bank leadership were on hand for the unveiling of Walden Savings Bank’s restored chime clock. The iconic clock was returned to its former glory to commemorate the bank’s 150th year in business. The chiming of the clock at the Bank Street location was truly a sentimental moment; it had been silent for nearly 30 years.

The Walden Fireman’s Monument currently outside of the Josephine-Louise Public Library was originally in front of the bank until replaced with the Chime Clock in 1925. Walden Savings Bank was commonly associated as the “bank with the chime clock,” which later was adopted as one of the bank’s slogans and became a regular feature in advertising during the earlier years. The Chime Clock was modernized in 1962 and was later restored to the historic look that lives on today. The clock, long silent, was reactivated for the anniversary and will continue to be a downtown landmark.

Subsequently, on Tuesday, April 26, Walden Savings Bank debuted the digital transformation of the Scott’s Corners headquarters branch at an official ribbon-cutting celebration in partnership with the Orange County Chamber of Commerce.

“Our milestone 150th anniversary is entirely about our service to our community, our customers and the mutual trust and respect that have been the foundation of all we do,” said President and CEO Derrik Wynkoop. “While we look back fondly, and with gracious thanks to our community, we also continuously look ahead to new and exciting ways to serve our customers. As our digital transformation demonstrates, we will continue to invest in the future and ensure our customers’ personalized service and experience are exceptional every day.”

LCS Facility Group Announcement - Featured as American Dream Success
The story of Poughkeepsie’s own LCS Facility Group and Joe Lepore was featured on an episode of The American Dream that aired on The Bloomberg Network, this past Saturday, April 30th at 5:00pm.

From its headquarters in Poughkeepsie, New York to its four national offices, LCS has been at the forefront of excellence in the facilities industry and service to their communities. With key values that extend far beyond most, LCS Facility Group has demonstrated significant commitment to clients, economic development, and charitable organization since its inception in 2001.

What began with a single van and (4) four employees has grown into a family-owned organization, that today, employs hundreds of employees offering a vast array of service lines: facility maintenance, hospitality and stewarding, construction support and much more.

The American Dream is a nationally broadcast series hosted by Eric Roberts that inspires audiences with the stories of successful organizations’ humble beginnings and delves into each entrepreneur’s journeys. Organizations that have been featured in the past have included KFC, Jersey Mike’s, and Royal Caribbean, to name a few. “This recognition is a testament to hard work and the power in believing not only yourself, but those who believe in you along the way” says, Joe Lepore on being recognized as an American Dream success story.

Beginning with nothing but a dream – no investors, no capital, and no financial support, LCS Facility Group’s success is undoubtedly a pure example of the American Dream and is honored to have our story and the important work we do shared with a national audience.
Focus Media Celebrates 20th Anniversary and a Legacy of Partnering for Business Growth, Community Service and Philanthropy
Focus Media, a strategic full-service marketing, public relations and advertising agency based in New York’s Hudson Valley, is celebrating its 20th anniversary – two decades of growing businesses, creating jobs and fostering community investment and philanthropy.

Focus Media was founded by Josh Sommers in April 2002. He started his career as a radio broadcaster, but he saw the need for Madison Avenue-quality public relations, marketing and advertising services in the Hudson Valley and Catskills, with aspirations to do international work. Part of that work evolved into a management contract to oversee the day-to-day marketing operations at Monticello Gaming and Raceway for three years, and later remain a consultant for 15 years to its parent company Empire Resorts, which later built Resorts World Catskills. Sommers, his business partner and wife Lisa Sommers, and his company have parlayed that vision into a legacy of service for clients that has resulted in $2 billion in economic investment in the region.

“I am so incredibly proud of our company, but I am even more proud of how we have helped nurture business development and quality of life in the Hudson Valley and Catskills, and serve marketing and public relations clients internationally,” Sommers said. “We are tremendously grateful for all of the trust our valued clients in diverse fields have placed in us over the years, and how we’ve partnered in their successes.”

Sommers’ and Focus Media’s strategies to position economic-development and land-use projects are bold, creative and analytical. Several initiatives have resulted in an important legacy: A forever changed Hudson Valley. For example, Sommers was the public relations strategist and lobbyist who helped secure government and regulatory approvals for some of the largest, most complex, and dynamic projects in the Hudson Valley and Catskills: The construction and opening of a $500 million destination theme park in Goshen, Resorts World Catskills in Sullivan County, and the expansion of Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley.

President Container Group Supporting Ukrainian Relief Organizations, Donating Corrugated Containers Through its “PCG Cares” Initiative
President Container Group’s “PCG Cares” initiative has provided thousands of corrugated containers to three Ukrainian relief organizations, as well as medical supplies to a fourth group.

More than 4.3 million residents of Ukraine have fled their country due to the Russian invasion, making the exodus the largest European refugee crisis since World War II. Ukrainian relief organizations contacted President Container Group’s PCG Cares initiative, requesting corrugated containers to package supplies to benefit Ukrainian refugee families.

The corrugated containers donated by PCG Cares are filled with food, hygiene products, pet food and backpacks. Medical supplies were sent to Poland, where the goal is to transport them across the border into Ukraine to assist those in need.

“Our goal is to help each other, one box at a time,” President Container Group Vice President Larry Grossbard said. “We are all responsible for doing our part to serve the communities around us. By providing corrugated containers, we will provide one more necessary item to help aid the Ukrainian refugee crisis, or food pantries, shelters and other such organizations, helping them stretch their resources further and help more people in need.”

“These humanitarian groups are providing crucial resources, assistance and support during what is an international crisis. If other organizations are still in need, we would love to help in any way that we can,” said Grossbard.

To date, donations have been sent to:
  • Baranova 27, a Ukrainian Relief Fund, Fort Lee, N.J.
  • Ukrainian relief via Royal Albert’s Palace, Edison, N.J.
  • Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization, New York City branch
  • Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church Relief Effort, Kerhonkson, N.Y.

President Container Group’s generosity has been graciously acknowledged. "Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization New York City branch gratefully acknowledges your contribution of 130 cartons for our Ukraine fundraiser,” said organization representative Natalie Danysh.

President Container Group is one of the largest manufacturers of corrugated containers in North America, producing more than 2 billion square feet of corrugated products every year. PCG Cares reflects PCG’s deep concern for its communities and the greater good, also demonstrated by President Container Group’s sustainable practices. The company fabricates its corrugated containers with renewable and recycled source materials when possible, which are manufactured, transported and recycled using renewable energy.
To request corrugated containers to aid Ukrainian relief efforts, or inquire about the PCG Cares Initiative, please email pcgcares@presidentcontainer.com or call (201) 933-7500, ext. 263.

To learn more, visit www.presidentcontainergroup.com.
The corrugated containers donated by PCG Cares are filled with food, hygiene products, pet food and backpacks.
Bon Secours Charity Health System CEO Named Regional Hospital Association Chair
Mary P. Leahy, MD, MHA, CEO of the Bon Secours Charity Health System, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), and a resident of Rockland County, was named chair of the Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association (NorMet). Her two-year term expires January 2024. NorMet represents hospitals in seven counties in the Hudson Valley. It advocates for reasonable and rationale healthcare regulation and legislation. NorMet is affiliated with the Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State (SHANYS), which oversees lobbying activities for NorMet and its sister organization on Long Island, the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council.

Dr. Leahy began her career more than 30 years ago as a board-certified internist.

In 2012, she became senior vice president of physician operations for Bon Secours Medical Group. One year later she was named CEO of Bon Secours Charity Health System. Her efforts and leadership as CEO played a key role in facilitating the joint venture between Bon Secours and WMCHealth. 

Dr. Leahy received her medical degree from the University of Rome and a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Boston College. She is a member of the board of directors of the Healthcare Association of New York State and sits on the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board. She also serves on the boards of Catholic Charities of Rockland County, Rockland Business Association, Catholic Medical Mission, and Dominican College. In 2017, she was named one of 16 winners of the Hudson Valley Magazine Sixth Annual Women in Business Awards and received the Rockland Business Association’s Pinnacle Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in Business.
Mary P. Leahy, MD, MHA, CEO of the Bon Secours Charity Health System
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