Proposal Will Repurpose Former Correctional Facility to Create Jobs and Bring Economic Growth to Communities
Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the redevelopment of the former Beacon Correctional Facility in Dutchess County. The winning proposal, submitted by Urban Green Food, will create a campus focused on food, farming, sports, education, hospitality and recreation on the 39-acre, 22-building site, located one mile from downtown Beacon. The project will foster an estimated $62 million in investment and create 295 direct construction jobs and 150 to 250 permanent jobs, while meeting the regional demand for more hotel rooms, recreational facilities and expansion opportunities for local businesses. The project furthers New York’s commitment to sustainable real estate projects that foster economic growth and job creation throughout the state.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Throughout New York State, surplus facilities are being transformed in exciting ways that support regional economies. This project is a great example of how a former prison can be reimagined to create new jobs and foster local and regional economies and community growth.”
To make the project a reality, developer Urban Green Builders partnered with two local businesses that will provide services on the site--Common Ground Farm and All You Knead Bakery--to form the Urban Green Food team.
Key elements of the winning proposal are:
- Commercial kitchen
- 103-key hotel, restaurant and event space
- Landscape design and nursery business
- Community gardens and small-scale agriculture
- Athletic facilities
- Classrooms for youth and adult job training
- Maker space for local artisans
Urban Green Builders Principal Eric Anderson said, "Urban Green Food is thrilled to get to work on this project that uniquely combines some of our greatest passions---hospitality, agriculture, sports and recreation--in a town and in a valley we've long loved and admired.”
Empire State Development (ESD) issued an RFP on September 20, 2018 with proposals due by December 20, 2018. The goal of the RFP was to maximize economic benefit to the City of Beacon, the Town of Fishkill and the State, and to create new jobs, provide job training opportunities, stimulate the local economy and integrate the site into the Beacon and Fishkill communities. The RFP also asked respondents to present financially feasible proposals that incorporate well-considered design and planning principles, sustainable building practices and meaningful participation of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and New York State Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOBs).
ESD’s selection committee was complemented by an Advisory Committee of members from the offices of Senator Sue Serino, Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, Beacon Mayor Randy Casale, Fishkill Supervisor Bob LaColla and Beacon School District Superintendent Matt Landahl, which helped ensure that local goals were met.
The Beacon Correctional Facility was closed in 2013 after serving as a minimum-security correctional facility for women, as part of New York’s ongoing initiative to decommission and consolidate a number of underutilized correctional facilities across the state.
Senator Sue Serino said, “This project will be an incredible addition to our local community and we are thrilled to join Empire State Development in announcing an initiative that will bring such a great influx of economic activity and jobs here to our local area. This is another great example of all that can be accomplished when committed partners at every level come together to move our community forward and we look forward to seeing this impressive project get underway.”
Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson said, "I was pleased to learn that this project was awarded the opportunity to develop its innovative, mixed-use project on the grounds that formerly housed the Beacon Correctional Facility. The project includes long-established and well-regarded organizations in the area, and its unique mix of sports, hospitality, food production, and education is just the kind of creative, forward-thinking development we need. I applaud the collaborative effort between the City of Beacon, the Town of Fishkill, Dutchess County, and New York State that is making this project a reality. I look forward to seeing the jobs and economic opportunities the project promises to bring to the region."
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.