Winston Farm is back on the market

Saugerties officials hope that whoever purchases the 736-acre Winston Farm, which recently went on the market, will be willing to sell about a half-acre to the village government for construction of a wellhouse and to allow an easement for waterlines to the village’s water distribution system. Engineers have identified Winston Farm as a possible secondary source of water for the village should anything happen to the Blue Mountain Reservoir, the village’s primary water source.

For almost a year, the fate of the site of Woodstock ’94 and the more recent Hudson Music Project has been in a state of flux. Owner of the property, the Schaller family, used the property as collateral to get an $836,871 loan from Biten Patel, who does business as Saugerties NY Hospitality L.P. Patel will be constructing the 86-unit Holiday Inn Express on Route 32 adjacent to Winston Farm.

As part of the loan, the Schallers had until February to pay Patel back to reclaim the property. Greg Helsmoortel, town of Saugerties supervisor, said the Schallers redeemed the property last month, and have now listed it for sale.

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A listing for the property on the website of realty firm CBRE Albany says the site is for sale at $10,775,000 or $14,639.65 per acre. Andrew Mangini, a broker with CBRE Albany, is overseeing the marketing of the property. He says his firm has received expressions of interest from three firms who have said they will be ready to make offers in the coming weeks.

He said the people looking on at the site are “all over the board,” with one possibly looking to restore the mansion and keep the rest of the property as is.

Michael Hopf, superintendent of the village water department, said the village had an agreement with Patel to enter the property for a brief environmental study to drill four test wells. The test wells would be used to determine the average flow of water from the underlying aquifer and the quality of the water. That data would be used to decide where a wellhead and wellhouse would be sited.

Hopf said he hoped either the Schallers or the new owners would be willing to grant access to the property for the test wells and eventually sell a small parcel to the village.

The Winston Farm was once considered as a possible site for a county landfill. Local residents successfully fought against that idea. It was also considered as a possible site for a casino. A half-century ago, it was considered as the location of Ulster County Community College.

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