Reborn Marketplace moving ahead

By James Walsh
Times Herald-Record
Posted Oct. 16, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

TOWN OF NEWBURGH - A resurrection of the Marketplace, a long-planned but never-built regional shopping center opposite the ailing Newburgh Mall, appears on the cusp of reality with a freshly reminted packet of tax incentives and workers excavating the site’s drainage system.

Now branded as The Loop-Hudson Valley, the $100 million project has been trimmed to 650,000 square feet. That’s about 184,000 square feet less than the approved footprint.

The reduced footage reflects a "redesigned plan to fit The Loop concept of more open space, more greenery, more outdoor cafes," said Thomas Wilder of The Wilder Cos. in Boston, partners in the project with the original developers, Wilder (no relation) Balter Partners Inc., of Elmsford.

Last week, the Orange County Industrial Development Agency re-ratified a 2012 resolution granting the development exemptions from sales taxes and the state portion of mortgage taxes. That amounts to $5 million and $500,000 respectively. The resolution, unlike the initial one, details the amount of the sales-tax exemption.

Workers are already at the site constructing a drainage system, said Wilder, who expects the project to open in mid-2016.

It will be Wilder’s fourth Loop, a concept mixing national retailers with regional and local ones, along with opportunities for casual dining and entertainment. There are two "Loops" in Florida and one in Massachusetts. The latter’s large retailers are The Home Depot, Marshalls and Super Stop & Shop. More regional businesses include a Zoots Dry Cleaners, Dress Barn and Yankee Candle. There are also a movie theater and a half dozen restaurants.

As for what shopping opportunities consumers can expect at The Loop-Hudson Valley, Wilder said he’ll be prepared to discuss specifics at the end of the year. He sees the site off the Thruway and Route 84 as a major draw, and says nothing on the Route 300 corridor compares to The Loop project’s amenities.

To compete with online shopping, Wilder said, retail developers need to "provide a high-level, quality experience that our customers demand."

The Town of Newburgh had opposed the Marketplace’s request for property tax exemptions. That’s not a part of the tax-incentive package re-approved last week. The additional tax revenue, though not yet calculated, will be welcomed, said acting Supervisor Gil Piaquadio.

"The project has been scaled back and is more appropriate for our town," Piaquadio said Wednesday. "It’s supposed to be a place where a family can go and walk and enjoy an evening … I think it’s a good thing."

jwalsh@th-record.com