Scenic Hudson wants to buy the 508-acre site of the Kingston Landing development project on the former Tilcon property along the Hudson River in the City of Kingston and Town of Ulster. In a release late last Friday, the land conservation and environmental advocacy organization said it was studying transforming “the property into a public asset that would strengthen local communities’ relationship with the river, enhance tourism-based economies and complement ongoing projects to provide new recreational opportunities.”
Proposed in its earliest form in 2002. the Kingston Landing project, whose environmental impact statement was completed a decade ago, would have essentially created a new Kingston-Ulster neighborhood with 1682 dwelling units and about two acres of commercial space in five development phases. It was widely touted at the time as a model for “traditional neighborhood development.” The first phase would have included a waterfront promenade, 388 residential units and 21,000 square feet of commercial space.
AVR, the regional developer with a large portfolio of properties in the Northeast region, never moved forward with the project. AVR vice-president Tom Perna, active in the Kingston Landing project, was quoted late last week as being excited by Scenic Hudson’s interest in the property. Scenic Hudson said it had secured the rights to buy it.
The Tilcon property contains both elements of a scarred extractive industrial landscape and areas of great natural beauty. According to Scenic Hudson, its features include 260 acres of undisturbed woodlands, a mile of riverfront, 37 acres of wetlands and other natural features. As the project proceeds, Scenic Hudson president Ned Sullivan said, his organization would be reaching out to foundations and other potential partners for funding.
With Scenic Hudson at the helm, Kingston mayor Steve Noble said, “We have the opportunity to create an exciting destination for visitors to explore the unique recreational, cultural and natural resources, resulting in significant economic development for the city.”