POUGHKEEPSIE – After 20 years of working with an established businessman to develop Poughkeepsie’s southernmost waterfront, the common council is paying the developer to abandon the plans for the former DeLaval site. Developer Joe Bonura, Jr. is slated to receive nearly $1 million to scrap his plans for the “Poughkeepsie Landing” next to his Shadows on the Hudson facility.
“This is disappointing for the city,” Mayor Rob Rolison said. The city’s administration worked hard in the last few years to move this project forward but not everyone in city government shared that goal.” Rolison vowed to continue the administration’s efforts to bring more public-private partnerships to the city. “I hope to see an acceptable project developed on the site in the future that brings tax revenue to the city while reducing the tax burden on our residents.”
Bonura had developed The Grandview, Shadows on the Hudson, and the marina and worked with the city to develop the former DeLaval site. The three remaining parcels had been a Brownfields site and Bonura, with support from the state, performed remediation to make way for the development. Bonura incurred substantial expenses for the cleanup. After the council stymied his plans in 2020, he sued to recoup his costs. The common council also sued Bonura over the project.
At its June meeting, the council approved a settlement agreement with Bonura’s company, Poughkeepsie Waterfront Development LLC, and also established an agreement for Bonura to operate the 99 slip marina.
Bonura’s lawsuit is still in litigation and the discovery process has begun. The council’s resolution says in part, “The parties to this action desire to avoid the further expense and distraction of further discovery, motion practice, hearings or litigation and, therefore, without admission of fault or liability, desire to settle all disputes among them.” The resolution authorizes a payment of $600,000 of city money to Bonura this year, with the balance due by the end of next year. It also provides him with a 20-year licensing agreement to operate the marina.
City Administrator Marc Nelson says that the initial $600,000 payment does not affect this year’s budget. “The administration recently sold Pelton Manor to a developer for $600,000. We set those funds aside and will use them as the first payment to Bonura. The remaining $399,999 payment is due payable by December 31, 2023, and we will include those funds in next year’s budget,” Nelson said.