Orange County Partnership - News

  • The Milk Factory in Walden, NY Rendering - Photo Credit: The Milk Factory
  • The Milk Factory Co-Work Space & Gallery Rendering - Photo Credit: The Milk Factory

Milk Factory Redevelopment Project in Walden Secures $1.5-Million ESD Grant

New York State officials announced recently that the imaginative Milk Factory redevelopment project in the Village of Walden has secured a $1.5-million Empire State Development grant.


The funding is part of the Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The Milk Factory is an adaptive reuse of the iconic Borden Milk Condensery. Constructed in 1884, the 20-acre property that will become the Milk Factory features 12 contiguous brick structures with elegant brick masonry, now in ruins after a fire and neglect.


While breathing life into the ruins of the factory, the adaptive reuse will create a modern self-sustaining small village for the community as well as travelers to live, work and play. The Milk Factory is to be developed as a winery/distillery and boutique hotel that will feature hotel rooms, extended stay suites, restaurant, a gym, spa, and retail shops.


The Milk Factory property dates back 142 years. In 1881, John Gail Borden built the family empire atop a hill in the Hudson Valley, set in the rolling fields that hug the Wallkill River, among the Shawangunk Mountains and Hudson River. This was the home of his family farm, pastures, and living estates. In 1884, Borden’s New York Condensed Milk Company built its largest condensery along Route 208. It was designed to process the milk of 5,000 cows from nearby farms in Ulster and Orange counties.


The Milk Factory adaptive reuse project is being spearheaded by Michael Dorf, the founder and owner of City Winery, which operates a highly successful location in the Town of Montgomery.


Dorf told the Albany Times-Union that the Milk Factory would be different than City Winery and would help fill a need for more hotel rooms in Orange County.


“We’re embracing exactly what the building was,” Dorf told the newspaper. “The Borden family has great history as a business in America. It’s something the community is proud of and we’re embracing that.”