In a lodging-starved city like Hudson, news that a 50-room hotel could be coming to the intersection of 7th and Union streets in the old McKinstry Mansion should be good. It is, but there are a number of hurdles that must be cleared first.
A hotel of that size could benefit Greene County at peak tourism seasons. Hudson is just six miles from Catskill, where lodging is in the planning stage. If the best of both worlds is desirable, tourists and visitors could stay in either town.
But since the hotel proposal was unveiled only this week, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The mansion is almost 200 years old and is located in a historic district, an element that adds an extra layer of difficulty for development. Once the Home for the Aged for nearly a century, the building has been vacant since. It sits across 7th Street from Governor’s Tavern and Iron Horse Cigar Depot, and located diagonally across the railroad tracks from the Hudson police station. The CSX trains traveling those tracks raise questions about noise. Traffic, parking and the hotel’s proximity to a residential area are other factors likely to come into play as the project unfolds.
One thing working in the hotel’s favor is that the property is located in a Federal Opportunity Zone, which was created in 2017 to provide tax incentives designed to spur economic development in economically distressed communities.
The developers need to demonstrate there is a pressing need for what will amount to a downtown hotel while at the same time showing sensitivity to the wishes of the hotel’s prospective neighbors. If that happens, the hotel will be good for both Columbia and Greene counties.