Tuesday, March 1, 2016 / by Vanessa Saunders
If you guessed right in the middle of the Hudson Valley, you'd be correct.
According to the Times Herald Record, in the past year, six major projects have landed in this near-upstate region, spending nearly $33 million in just land acquisitions. The final project costs figure to be many times that much.
The newspaper reports, "The purchases identified by the newspaper include the New York Military Academy in Cornwall and the Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson, both of which developers want to revive. Other plans call for TV studios at a farm which developers bought in Deerpark, and construction of a new country inn for Woodbury Common shoppers at a former prison in Warwick.
More are coming. For instance, the City of Middletown is taking bids for the sale and development of an old office building on King Street and the old Tompkins Department Store on North Street. Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano confirmed that a Chinese company, Vision Properties and Facilities, has the inside track. The company plans to turn the buildings into a boutique hotel and retail space.
'As the costs of manufacturing, labor and energy go up in China, they're looking to see if there's more opportunities in the U.S.,' said Maureen Halahan, president and CEO of the Orange County Partnership.
New York City lawyer Edward Mermelstein specializes in international real estate deals. His view: The Chinese have taken over the foreign market that was dominated by Canadians and Eastern Europeans only a few years ago.
"Their greater concern is wealth preservation," said Mermelstein. "Where else can they get this kind of return but in the American market?"
The regional Chinese-backed investments are a "win-win," according to Davina Vora, an international business professor at SUNY New Paltz.
'They're saving businesses that were failing. People would have been losing jobs,' said Vora. 'The communities where the businesses grow benefit from additional tax revenue and more tourism,' she said."
That's good news for the region's economy, jobs and its real estate market.