Saturday, November 17, 2007

Housing Glut Ahead?


These past months have generated an all-time record in number of property developments proposed for GreeneLand. These are in addition to the rapid pace of permits and constructions at Sleepy Hollow Lake and the renovation projects that are well under way. If everything that has been proposed actually goes ahead, then:

*Greenville will acquire “Golden Greens,” wherein 150 condominium units occupy a 140-acre Plank Road site, along with a new golf course, pool, tennis courts and clubhouse.

*Cairo will acquire the $50 million project “Alden Terrace,” with 140 town houses and a shopping mall disposed around a 30-acre parcel between Routes 32 and 23B.

*Tannersville will accommodate not only “Hemlock Knob,” a small housing development for seniors, sponsored by Catskill Mountain Housing Development Corporation, but also a new subdivision of 100 half-acre lots bordering on Rip Van Winkle Lake.

*Coxsackie is setting GreeneLand’s fastest pace in the way of property development—commercial, industrial and residential. In prospect as future home residences are “Hamlet on Hudson,” Mark Salomon’s proposal to put more than 500 townhouse units in small scattered around a new golf course and other amenities on a 587-acre site along Farm to Market Road, some of it with Hudson River frontage. Also in prospect—but subject to some fierce local opposition—is “Mountain View Estates,” where 280 modular homes for seniors, along with a central recreation complex, would be spread around 108 landscaped acres.

*In Catskill, ongoing transformations of the former Washington Irving Elementary School and the former Orens Warehouse will yield around 30 gracious apartments. In addition, three large residential developments are much in prospect. They include a condominium development for seniors, off West Main Street south of West Bridge; Cloverdale Estates, a 224-unit townhouse development on 100 acres fronting on Cauterskill Road; and Artists Ledge, another condomium development, hugging Catskill Creek and filling space presently occupied by Tatiana’s Restaurant.

Where will the tenants and the buyers come from? The residential property market here, as elsewhere, is already fllat.



RECOUNT of ballots in Catskill Town election yielded no change in outcomes but interesting details. Pat Walsh still led the field comfortably, but evidently had been given an accidental bonus of about 100 votes. His new total was 1231. Newcomer Michael Smith remained ahead of incumbent councilman Joe Leggio, with 1009 to 983 (vs. 992-973 in the original count). Bo Berzal still came in fourth with 829 votes. Mr Smith’s votes on the Democratic Party line (878) fell short of Mr Leggio’s votes on the Republican line (881), but Mr Smith picked up 131 votes as Independence Party nominee while Mr Leggio collected only 102 on the Conservative line. During most of yesterday’s recounting in the Elections Commission office in the County building, Mr Smith trailed Mr Leggio. But then Mr Smith scored big, percentage-wise, in his home district of Kiskatom, and again scored big in Mr Leggio’s backyard, Palenville.

Anyhow, we anticipate that the newly composed Town Council, led by Supervisor Peter Markou, who was elected without opposition to succeed the retiring Joe Izzo, portends a new era of good feeling between Town and Village leaders.

Messrs Leggio and Berzal, incidentally, were the Daily Mail-endorsed candidates.

COULD PEACE break out in Cairo? That would be a momentous change, and it just might come in the wake of the new election returns. Town Supervisor Joseph Calcavecchia and Town Councilman Gerard Aprea went down to defeat, at the hands of John Coyne and Janet Schwarzenneger. (Aprea came in fourth in a field of four, a very unusual thing for an incumbent). Those two men were the principal accusers of Town Clerk Tara Rumph, who won re-election by a comfortable margin. They also made a practice of riding roughshod over Council colleague Alice Tunison.


SATURDAY STUDIOS. Catskill’s Main Street galleries beckon today from mid-afternoon. At the Arts Council headquarters, visitors will be treated to a tribute to the life and art of the late Barry Hopkins as well as a big array of artisan items styled for the holiday market. At Terenchin Fine Arts, “Critical Mass” (not “Members Only” or “Only Members,” as suggested by local smartalecs) is the name of the new exhibition of works by Hudson artist (and gallery owner) Frank Faulkner. At Beginners Mind, photographic art by Susan Wides and by proprietor Lee Ann Morgan are on display, along with holiday jewelry choices. At BRIK, the subject is “Who Needs a Road?” At M Gallery, under the heading “Interpreting Paradise,” works by Debarry, Dill, Ferrara and Milbourn will be on show, ornamenting a Closing party from 6pm. (By identifying the artists only by last name, we bully the reader into believing that (s)he ought to know the full names of these famous people. Right?).

CHILLY WILLY TOURS of the historic Bronck estate in Coxsackie will be conducted today and Sunday, at 11am, 1pm and again at 3pm, by members of the Greene County Historical Society, with Dutch and Swedish refreshments served.

COMEDY SHOW. A new venture at Anthony’s Restaurant, tonight from 8pm.


SO WHY did young Steven Riley Jr change his name to Scooter? How did the local journalist come to write of a “descending plummet”? or of “homes…intended to be ascetically pleasing”? or of an event in which a “war veteran” received medals “62 years after death”? Don’t ask.

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