POUGHKEEPSIE, NY-Dutchess County is looking to the development community to get a prime 339-acre tract of land across Route 9A from Culinary Institute of America off its hands.

Dutchess County government has issued a Request for Proposals for the property that it acquired due to non-payment of taxes in the mid-1990s.

John Clarke, development and design coordinator of the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development, notes that the property, which was the former farm, winery and woodlands for the St. Andrews Novitiate, had been proposed for a 600,000-sf research center for the food industry. The proposal was a cooperative venture with the Culinary Institute of America, but was stalled due to litigation about five years ago.

The county is accepting development and conservation proposals for the site, which now has no intact buildings on the property. The site is zoned for office research and residential uses, but the town of Hyde Park is proposing a Planned Development District for the property. Dutchess County officials say the zoning proposal now being discussed by the town would “offer a greater flexibility” than the current zoning regulations. The town’s Comprehensive Plan is to promote tourism-based economic development. County officials say that any development in the St. Andrews area should complement the Culinary Institute of America and the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, which is less than one mile south of the St. Andrews property, while not competing with the businesses in Hyde Park’s Town Center.

Dutchess County officials say that the county intends to sell the parcel at current market value for a use or combination of uses that fulfills the long-range planning concepts of the county and the Town of Hyde Park. The county says it will consider proposals for the entire 339-acre parcel or for major portions of the property. The county noted that the Culinary Institute had expressed interest in approximately 90 acres of land directly across from its campus.

Deadline for submittals of proposals is Nov. 25, 2002. Potential buyers are encouraged to attend a proposers’ conference on Oct. 17 at the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development Conference Room, 27, High St., Poughkeepsie, NY. The session is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.