CATSKILL — Greene County plans to purchase land adjacent to the New York State Thruway with the goal of growing economic development in the area.
The 2.216-acre property, next to Exit 21 on the Thruway, came with a price tag of $421,000, according to a resolution adopted by the Greene County Legislature on Oct. 12.
The New York State Thruway Authority Board approved the sale Sept. 27.
The land will be combined with the nearly 5-acre site that formerly was the home of the Quality Inn, which was demolished in January 2019.
The former hotel site is known as the Exit 21 East Property.
The two sites will be marketed to developers together.
There are no specific plans for the land’s development at this time.
“The purchase of this excess Thruway land increases the available redevelopment acreage by 40%, as well as places acreage back on the tax rolls,” Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore, said in a statement. “The acquisition of this parcel will not only remove significant hurdles to the redevelopment of the former Quality Inn site, but it will also allow for the ability to site additional businesses at the location.”
The county foreclosed on the former Quality Inn property for delinquent property taxes and the site has been vacant for several years.
After foreclosure, the county transferred the property to the Greene County Industrial Development Agency.
“It presented the county an opportunity to enhance sales tax, create employment, increase tax base and provide additional hospitality businesses in support of a strong tourism economy,” Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said.
The Greene County IDA will work to develop the site to be “shovel ready,” or at a stage where construction can begin, under a development agreement with the county.
Initially, there were plans to attract another hotel for the Quality Inn site, with its prime location at the entrance to the Thruway, Greene County Industrial Development Agency Executive Director Rene VanSchaack said in March.
A developer was putting plans in place to construct a hotel at the site, but the pandemic put the plans on hold.
The IDA will look to market the combined site for a variety of uses, VanSchaack said.
“Now with the land acquisition in place and business investment on the rise in Greene County, the property will continue to be marketed to developers as an attractive location for hotels, hospitality services and commercial/retail businesses,” VanSchaack said. “The need for additional hotels in the county is still a priority, especially for mid-upscale properties at the Exit 21 Thruway exchange.”
The tourism and hospitality industries have long been components of the county’s economic foundation.
“Greene County continues to be an exceptional location for investment in hotel and hospitality properties, which has accelerated in 2020 and 2021,” Deputy County Administrator Warren Hart said.
Other hospitality projects in the works in Greene County include construction of the James Newberry Hotel and The Wire event center in Coxsackie, renovation of the Karl’s Rip Van Winkle Motor Lodge in Catskill, acquisition of the Wylder House and renovation of the Thompson House, both in Windham, among others.