Charles Blaichman, who has purchased at least eight buildings in the Stockade neighborhood of Kingston and isn’t yet through buying yet, showed a significant card in his hand at the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency meeting this Wednesday morning. He and local broker Nan Potter presented Blaichman’s plan to convert four Uptown properties that he and New York City project partners Michael and David Barry and Scott Shnay had bought for a total of $2.7 million into a decentralized boutique hotel with about 40 units of accommodations in all, plus a ground-floor restaurant at 301 Wall St. (a former bank) and ground-floor retail at 270 Fair St. (formerly owned by Mark Miller).
The other locations in the four-property accommodations package are at 41 Pearl St. and 34 John St. Valet parking will be provided for guests, and other nearby Blaichman-owned properties are available to meet zoning requirements for parking spaces.
Blaichman indicated that the $8.7 million in total project cost, 70 percent in the form of a commercial mortgage from Rondout Savings Bank and 30 percent in equity, would be spent to convert the four properties to their new use. He said the restorations would in all cases meet or exceed local and state standards. “I have a penchant for historic properties,” he told the IDA. “With assistance I could make it better.”
The developer owns at least six other properties in Kingston, four of which are in the Stockade neighborhood. “I think that now Kingston is doing really great,” he said. “The bank building was a good start. I think we can do something unique and terrific.”
Blaichman is seeking assistance from the IDA, including exemption from property taxes on improvements as stipulated in the standard IDA format of 100 percent for the first three years, 75 percent for the subsequent two years, and 50 percent for the next five years. During that 10-year period, the project would pay the present property taxes estimated at $1.132 million rather than the approximately $2 million the applicant would pay without the exemption if the improvements were in place. The application estimates that IDA approval would save the applicant $632,000 in property taxes, $184,000 in sales taxes on the improvements, and $48,000 in mortgage taxes.
IDA staff was instructed to set a public hearing on Blaichman’s present application. Rumors abound that Blaichman may soon have other cards in his development hand.
Out-of-the-box boutique facilities appear to be all the rage. In other IDA business, the agency will hold a public hearing next Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at Kingston’s City Hall on the plans for a “food hub” at 311 Wall St., the former Woolworth’s in the same neighborhood. Also in the pipeline are IDA applications in the next few months for a wedding facility in former greenhouses in Shawangunk and a distillery-plus-eventual- accommodations facility planned for Route 9W in Esopus.