POUGHKEEPSIE, NY-The Dutchess County Economic Development Corp. profiled some of the major development projects that it believes will spur significant economic growth in coming years, including the redevelopment of a former psychiatric facility, a speculative office complex and the possible expansion of IBM’s microchip facility.

In Eastern Dutchess County, John Gutleber president and chief executive officer of Castagna Realty of Manhasset, NY, discussed his firm’s Castagna Commerce Park project in Pawling. The project is approved for up to 500,000 sf on 100 acres. A total of 100 acres on the property along Route 22 will be dedicated for open space. The first phase of the park will feature approximately 300,000 sf of build-to-suit commercial/industrial space, most likely in one or two buildings. Also planned for the site is a wastewater treatment facility. Gutleber noted that in the future, 200,000 sf of retail and 125 units of senior housing development are planned.

“We expect to have site plan approval this summer on the 300,000 sf of office,” he said. The company is also seeking status as an Empire Zone from New York State. All approvals that would allow construction to begin should be obtained by the late summer.

Joe Bonura Jr., partner and project manager of Poughkeepsie Waterfront Development LLC, detailed his firm’s pending $40 million redevelopment proposal for the Poughkeepsie waterfront. The project calls for the cleanup of three brownfield sites totaling 25 acres; two by Bonura’s firm and a large parcel by the City of Poughkeepsie.

One of the main features of the waterfront development will be a 12-foot wide Riverwalk that will become part of the Hudson River Greenway. Some of the uses envisioned for the waterfront project include: a possible museum, a 50-slip transient marina and a large boat dock that can handle vessels up to 400 feet. Also planned for the site include a catering facility and restaurant, a 72-unit hotel and several mixed use buildings that will offer retail and office space. The project will be built in phases and it is currently in the approval process with a number of agencies, including the City of Poughkeepsie.

Kathy Schibanoff, project coordinator for Dover Knolls Development Company II LLC, said the master plan for the redevelopment of the former Hudson Valley Psychiatric Center in the Town of Dover, should be filed with the town in the next few weeks.

The campus features 83 buildings with approximately two million sf of space on 850 acres that includes a Metro North railroad station. She said the master plan will probably call for the development of 300 townhome units, retail, farmer’s market, restaurants, a possible art museum, as much as 900 units of age restricted rental housing and the upgrade of an existing nine-hole golf course. The plan calls for the conversion of the psychiatric hospital into a hotel and spa.

Also making presentations at the event was Steve Cole, a spokesman for IBM, who noted that the company is in the pre-permitting process for an annex expansion to its 300-millimeter chip-fab facility in East Fishkill. Cole said that the company has not decided as yet when construction on the expansion project might begin, noting that it will depend upon market demand for the firm’s microcomputer wafer technology.

Town of LaGrange Supervisor George Wade III detailed plans to develop commercial strips in the town into a town center and central business district. While Wade said there was a long way to go on the project, the tentative plan calls for the development of residential housing, including office, condominiums and senior housing as well as pedestrian and bicycle pathways that will be built on a former farm.

The plan is before the town’s Planning Board and Wade said he hopes that the plan can be finalized and approved by next year so that construction can begin sometime in 2005. Also discussed at the session was the upcoming $13 million renovation of the Metro North train station in the City of Beacon.

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