We waited a long time for Bethel Woods, the first jewel in Sullivan County’s new crown to become reality. Now the next jewel — the long awaited redevelopment of the shuttered Concord Hotel — took a major step forward last week. The Town of Thompson (where the Concord is located, in Kiamesha Lake) approved a Planned Resort Development Zone, a major hurdle for the huge project. The plan for the $1.5 billion development by Concord Associates, helmed by Westerchester developer Louis Capelli, calls for as many as 3,000 homes, two hotels, a new clubhouse for the Concord’s famed golf courses and retail outlets on the 1,735 acres of the former Concord Resort. (Read the story here in the Sullivan County Democrat.)
The initial phase calls for the construction of a $100 million 125 room hotel and spa (that could grow to as many as 200 rooms) and a new, 63,000 sq. ft. townhouse. The second phase includes 565 homes. Later phases include multi-family condos and rental units. A senior executive of Concord Associates, Bruce Berg, has been quoted as saying that they are in "heavy negotiations" to bring in Ritz Carlton to operate the initial hotel. (Capelli is the developer of the new Ritz Carlton in White Plains.) A second, 1,500 room hotel would be built during a later phase.
This project is very exciting. Yes, we need the hotel rooms and jobs. But besides putting Sullivan County on the resort map again, it will anchor the redevelopment of the eastern part of the county, and set a standard for higher density resort-oriented second home development to complement the lower density, rural focused popularity as a second home destination of the western and northern areas of the county. One ‘product’ glaringly missing from what we offer is low-maintenance, ‘lock and go’ homes for part-time residents. If the Concord is successful, it could position the southeastern part of Sullivan County as a major development location for reverse snowbirds. The Concord is, after all, less than 90 miles from midtown Manhattan.