POUGHKEEPSIE – Just days after the Poughkeepsie Common Council voted to stall a proposed development project at Wheaton Park by Pelton Partners, the lawmakers voted Monday night to force another developer to take action within 45 days on his project.
Bonura Hospitality Group, developers of Shadows on the Hudson, Shadows Marina, and the Grandview, as well as the owner of the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, was seeking to develop the last open parcel on the Poughkeepsie waterfront, immediately south of Shadows. Bonura had a plan to build retail shops on the 13-acre property, considered by Councilman Evan Menist to be “the most important parcel” in the City of Poughkeepsie.
“Here we are still waiting two years later now after multiple communications for the developer to move on his negotiations with the IDA to actually obtain the lease,” he said.
When the housing market became more profitable, Bonura changed his plans for the Poughkeepsie Landing proposal in March of 2018 to include retail space, apartments, an amphitheater, and a public pool. That plan was met with resistance by members of the council.
Since then, Joe Bonura Jr. met once with Council Chair Sarah Salem and once with Menist. According to Bonura, he was under the impression that a follow-up meeting would be held. Instead, Salem placed a resolution on the agenda that calls for Bonura to take action on the property within 45 days or the parcel, from which Bonura paid to remediate hazardous materials, reverts back in control of the city.
The 45-day timeframe was questioned by Councilwoman Yvonne Flowers who was not sure that the requirements being set forth could be accomplished in a short period. The resolution also calls for Bonura to negotiate a PILOT agreement with the city’s IDA in that timeframe. Councilman Matt McNamara noted that the IDA has vacancies with only four current members.
Bonura, speaking during the video meeting said, “Give me the lease and I’ll sign it tomorrow,” noting that he wants to work with the city “in a way that makes the most sense.”