CHESTER – Years after Orange County purchased the former New York City-owned homeless shelter for men from the City of New York, it has not found a suitable permanent use for the hundreds of acres in the towns of Chester and Blooming Grove.
Over the years, industrial, commercial, and residential uses have been kicked around.
Now, with one response to a request for proposals and other informal proposals, one county legislator has recommended the entire property be developed for parkland. Legislature Chairman Stephen Brescia has rejected that idea from fellow lawmaker James O’Donnell, but County Executive Steven Neuhaus said you could see a portion of the land being set aside for parkland.
“The Heritage Trail runs right alongside the property so it would not be wise to put an industrial complex right next to a running trail. But, I do think that a third of property, if not more, would be open space and parkland,” Neuhaus said.
The county executive said, though, that they are not in any rush to make a decision on future uses as they want to be sure whatever they are will be a good fit for the local municipalities.