The property in the Hudson Valley town of Accord, N.Y. was purchased last year by a New York City-based group that has plans for $20 million for improvements that would include a 12-room hotel, 28 cabins, a restaurant, spa, shops, walking trails and other amenities, in addition to the 18-hole golf course. In return it is seeking almost $1.3 million in tax breaks, but board members of the local Industrial Development Agency wonder if industry trends will support the project.
New York City-based developer Inness NY LLC is seeking almost $1.3 million in tax breaks for its planned $20 million project to reopen the Rondout Golf Club in Accord, N.Y. and add a 12-room hotel, 28 cabins, a restaurant, event barn, spa, shops, walking trails and other amenities, in addition to the 18-hole golf course, reported the Daily Freeman of Kingston,
The matter was before the Ulster County (N.Y.) Industrial Development Agency board on November 14th, the Daily Freeman reported, and some members asked why they should approve tax relief for a project based on a sport that’s declining in popularity.
“I’ve been [a] member of private clubs for 25 to 30 years,” board member James Malcom said. “The golf business is actually on a downturn. So you must be looking at something very impressive, because I don’t see out there in Rondout being a destination.”
Malcom said statistics show “golf courses closing at record numbers” and that the Professional Golfers’ Association expects a continued decline in the number of courses for the next three years, the Daily Freeman reported.
Inness NY, whose principals include hotel developer Charles Blaichman, is seeking $683,400 in property tax relief under a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, agreement; $480,000 in sales tax exemptions; and a $93,750 mortgage tax waiver, the Daily Freeman reported.
The property tax deal, if approved, would waive 100 percent of taxes on improvements for the first three years, then waive 75 percent for the fourth and fifth year, and 50 percent the final five years.
The former 18-hole golf course was purchased by Inness in 2017 but has not operated since, the Daily Freeman reported. The club’s website has a message that says “Rondout Golf Club is under new ownership and has closed for the 2018 season for redesign and construction. Plans are to reopen for 2019 golf season.”
Inness’ plans, the Daily Freeman reported, call for a nine-hole golf course; a 7,500-sq. ft. building that would contain a restaurant, shops and café; a 10,000-sq. ft. hotel; 14,000 square feet of the cabins; a 4,200-sq.-ft. event barn; a 2,000-sq.-ft. spa and gym; a 2,000-sq.-ft. retail store; a swimming pool; two tennis courts; 2.2 miles of walking trails; and a 3-acre orchard and garden.
The project would be built by Tennessee-based King-Collins Golf Course Design, the Daily Freeman reported.
Inness NY LLC is a partnership comprising Blaichman, Taavo Somer, Michael Barry and Scott Shnay. Blaichman also is principal developer for Hudson Valley Kingston Development, which is creating four boutique hotels in Uptown Kingston, the Daily Freeman reported.
The Industrial Development Agency board agreed to hold a public hearing on Inness’ request for tax breaks, but a date and location have not been announced yet, the Daily Freeman reported.