2020 12th Edition: August 17 - August 21
Searching for Solutions for a Sick Economy

One of the joys of my job is to provide meaningful information to our members that result in opportunity, savings and/or profit. During these challenging times when the pandemic has created monumental financial disruptions to our economy, the Partnership has teamed up with the Co-chairs of the Alliance for Balanced Growth to offer guidance and suggestions to our municipal leaders. 

Municipalities have been particularly hard hit from COVID-19 as sales tax generation has dramatically declined and many residents have lost their jobs. Budget cuts and downsizing of departments is an everyday discussion item on meeting agendas in response to declining tax revenues. With the added threat that the state will withhold 20% of funding to schools, local governments and hospitals if it does not receive further aid from the federal government, municipalities are now being forced to creatively attempt to make up for these potentially debilitating fiscal shortfalls.

On September 24th, the Alliance for Balanced Growth (ABG) will be discussing the major issues that municipalities face, and with the help of a number of experts, will make presentations that will offer municipalities workable solutions to the economic hardships ahead. An added benefit is the ABG is opening up the virtual session to Planning Board Members, municipal leaders and anyone who is searching for solutions.

The program will begin by illustrating how localities can increase tax rateables that will generate revenue in-perpetuity. It’s important to note that the pandemic has created a need in the marketplace, bringing developers and corporations to Orange County to site valuable projects. Thousands of jobs and millions in taxes will follow, but only with cooperation from towns, villages and cities. We have to act quickly because the competition is intense and companies will go to where they are wanted. There is a cost to inaction and the delay of projects and our quality of life is at stake.

Topic items and experts include (but are not limited to):

ABG Co-Chair Andrew Fetherston, a principal of Maser Consulting, who will cover zoning issues and the finer points of the local planning process.

Mike Turturro, a partner with RBT CPAS, LLP, will provide an accounting perspective on economic development and municipal finance issues and possible solutions.

Alan Seidman, executive director of the Construction Contractors Association, will offer an overview of the recently launched “BrighterHV” marketing initiative, illustrating the value of economic stability through job creation. 

County Executive Steve Neuhaus will update us on the RFPs on several prominent Orange County properties and the many resources available through the county that local municipalities can take advantage of.    

John Lavelle, a veteran commercial broker with Rand Commercial, will MC the event and weave in his insights on the commercial real estate market.   

All in all, we have a very powerful lineup that is guaranteed to provide support and guidance in these troubling times. In closing, the good news is this is only the first of a series of fall events that the Partnership and the Alliance will provide for our Investors., so stay tuned for further exciting updates.

For further information on the meeting, contact the Orange County Partnership at (845) 294-2323.

The Alliance for Balanced Growth is a cooperative effort between area developers, landowners, commercial real estate professionals, engineers, land-use attorneys, construction services and the Orange County Partnership. Their mission is straightforward -- to present a strong, unified voice for responsible development in Orange County.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock - Worawee Meepian
Industrial Retailers, Developers Should Take a Page from Amazon’s Playbook
E-commerce giant Amazon, which is investing heavily in New York State and in Orange County, is increasing its national footprint in the midst of a global pandemic.

The firm is building a 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center in Montgomery and will occupy a 227,000-square-foot building a 500 Hudson Valley Ave. adjacent to Stewart International Airport in New Windsor for a new delivery facility. In addition, the company announced significant expansion plans for its operations in New York City and other major U.S. markets. On Aug. 18, the firm reported it intends to invest $1.4 billion and expand operations in key cities, including New York. The initiative involves the hiring of 3,500 new tech and corporate jobs.

Orange County Extends Bidding for Camp LaGuardia;
Marketing Property to Firms Looking to ‘Escape’ NYC
GOSHEN— In an attempt to take advantage of real estate and business market trends in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Orange County has decided to market more than 250 acres of land adjacent to Route 17 to New York City businesses looking to relocate out of Manhattan.

Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said that the county has extended a Request for Proposals to developers and investors to acquire the nearly 260-acre former Camp LaGuardia property in Blooming Grove and Chester. The original RFP deadline for proposals was Aug. 7. The submittal date has now been extended to Thursday, Sept. 10.

Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus looks over a map of the Camp LaGuardia property.
Supply Not Meeting Rising Demand for Burgeoning Build-to-Rent Single-Family Home Market
Residential Realtors are telling the Orange County Partnership that the sales market is very busy since restrictions were lifted on the in-person showing of homes on June 9. While agents marvel over the housing demand in Orange County, an impediment to the market, in addition to the pandemic, has been the lack of available for-sale inventory both in terms of new and existing housing stock.

Guest Column: A New Regionalized MLS for a New Way of Doing Business
By Richard Haggerty
The New York metropolitan area, comprising the Hudson Valley, is one of the leading real estate markets in the world. Yet, for Realtors, doing business here has historically involved dealing with inaccurate data and a myriad of back-end systems. This also has been one of the only major metro areas lacking a regionalized Multiple Listing Service. In the early 2000s, the Hudson Valley was fractured into numerous real estate associations, each with its own MLS. It was neither an inefficient nor cost-effective way to do business.

Now, things have changed. We’ve merged our Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service with the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island to create OneKey™ MLS, the first regional MLS for New York. Launched earlier this year for Realtors and in June for consumers, OneKey™ is a comprehensive MLS. It is designed to empower our members to take advantage of New York City’s powerful geography and give consumers access to a broader geography of data, from Monticello to Manhattan to Montauk.

Richard Haggerty, CEO
Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS

The Construction Contractors Association began this grass-roots effort to help educate people on the crucial need for economic development and how phased-in taxes help main street businesses grow and provide financial support to schools and government services. We know the Hudson Valley has a strong workforce, but too many new and expanding businesses are moving to states with lower taxes. We need to attract businesses that provide well-paying jobs for local families that grow the economy.

The CCA, with the help of many businesses and groups, like the Orange County Partnership, is hoping people visit the website www.brigherhv.org and add their names to the list of active participants who down the road, will help us support economic development when the opportunity arrives in their community.
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