Thursday, December 6, 2018

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Sullivan looking, again, at marketing vacant sites

MONTICELLO – The once-popular discount shopping spot, Apollo Plaza at the east end of Monticello, has been dead and dormant for 15 years.

Emerald Corporate Park, in Rock Hill, has a medical facility but there appears to be room for more. Most of the Emerald site remains undeveloped woodland.

At Apollo, the focus is on developing shovel ready sites on what’s called Phase II, a large tract behind the plaza building.

Sullivan County Planning and Environmental Management Commissioner Freda Eisenberg told county legislators on Thursday that they need to get a clear picture of what they have.

“To identify really what can be done with the lot because of the topography and the constraint on where you could build, where you can’t, what the yield would be, because right now, with under 25 acres, how much square footage you can get on that.”

Five years ago, developer Butch Resnick was given the green light to redevelop the property into a commercially viable, taxpaying retail operation. Resnick did nothing.

Legislator Ira Steiingart, who chairs the legislature’s Community and Economic Development Committee and the county Industrial Development Agency, said on Thursday the county can never let that happen again.

“We go forward in the future, I think there needs to be restrictions that something needs to be build soon and a time restraint on it before we sell any land,” Steingart said. “We’re out of the marketplace because someone else owns it and they want too much money for it.”

For now, getting available vacant land, Apollo Plaza in particular, ‘shovel ready’ would require some effort by the county to provide the needed services including sewer and water. Eisenberg said engineers are looking at what that could involve.



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