Developers for the Bellefield at Historic Hyde Park project gave town officials a taste of things to come with a brief presentation of the more than $600 million worth of economic activity their $100 million proposed tourist hub is expected to generate through the building of hotels, retail, residential and restaurant spaces highlighting the region’s agricultural and culinary prestige.
“In all the studies we’ve done, there is a real need for higher-end hospitality lodging, not only in Hyde Park but in the county,” Joseph Gaudio of the development company T-Rex Capital told a joint meeting of Hyde Park town and planning board officials.
The company hopes to take advantage of what T-Rex CEO Thomas Mulroy called a heretofore lost opportunity to capitalize on the nearby Culinary Institute of America with the construction of two hotels with a total capacity of 250 guests, a 15,000-square-foot spa, 15,000-square-foot conference center and a large, free-standing signature restaurant.
Marriot and Hilton have already shown interest in being part of the Bellefield project, Mulroy said.
“People fly in from all over the world to take the CIA classes,”Mulroy said. “It is really a travesty this has gone so long without any hospitality.”
The centerpiece of the project will be a market square, including nearly 50,000 square feet of retail space with 40 residential lofts built above.
Pending final site plan approvals expected later this year, Mulroy hopes to begin transforming the 339-acre parcel into what he referred to as the first phase of a project that may one day grow to become a $500 million investment, including 500 units of varied residential housing mixed with extensive open spaces and a working farm to create a nature-oriented, livable community.
Thus far, developers have only presented plans for the first phase of the project, which is tentatively set to start construction sometime next year and will begin only with the hospitality and retail structures and residential lofts.
T-Rex hopes to turn day trips into weekend and week-long vacations for the more than 1 million people who visit the town of Hyde Park annually.
Within the first year of operation — tentatively expected to begin on Jan. 1, 2018 — the project is expected to produce $4.25 million in economic activity in Dutchess County and in 10 years combined consumer and commercial spending could total more than $634 million, according to T-Rex.
The project is also expected to contribute significantly to the area’s tax base.
Developers estimate Bellefield will generate more than $11 million annually in taxes to be divided among the town, county and state.
Over the first 10 years of operation, tax revenue could generate more than $18 million for Hyde Park, $36 million for the county and $64 million for the state, according to figures presented by developers.
The construction of Phase 1 will generate 550 jobs with 369 full-time permanent, on-site jobs to follow and 37 jobs specifically within the Hyde Park Community, according to T-Rex officials.
The project is seen as a possible game-changer by Town Supervisor Aileen Rohr, who, along with planning officials and members of the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, are encouraged by the project.
“Because Hyde Park is in many ways the center of tourism for Dutchess County, a well-designed and executed mixed-use project that focuses on the development of the tourism industry could be transformative for our town,” Rohr said.
Bellefield has been in the works for years. It was first introduced to the town of Hyde Park in 2004 but, according to Rohr, development plans fell through in 2008 with the impacts of the recession.
T-Rex purchased the property in 2012.
The chances of the project coming to fruition have increased as it has gained support from the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, which endorsed it as one of several Dutchess County projects to be considered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office as an eligible recipient for state funding.
“We are off to a great start and we are very enthusiastic about that,” Gaudio said. “It just goes to show all the great assets in the town of Hyde Park, and this truly is the center of tourism, not only for Dutchess County, but the mid-Hudson region.”