Bellefield: A $500 Million Development Breaks Ground in Hyde Park
An artist rendering of just part of Bellefield at Historic Hyde Park.
The Sept. 21 groundbreaking of the Inn at Bellefield.
An aerial view of the future site of Bellefield to the left. The CIA is the complex at right.
There’s a stunningly large $500 million mixed-use development planned for Hyde Park, New York, on a swath of land across the street from the Culinary Institute of America. Earlier this fall, construction of the first phase of Bellefield at Historic Hyde Park broke ground. It's a 133-room boutique hotel developed in partnership with The Shaner Group and backed by Marriott called The Inn at Bellefield.
Development of the 304-acre parcel has been discussed for well over a decade until the property was bought six years ago by T-Rex Capital Group. T-Rex CEO Tom Mulroy talked about Bellefield at a breakneck speed that attests his enthusiasm for the project.
“This project wasn’t hard to figure out,” he said, noting that there’s a lot of housing need. “It’s really the bread basket of the valley. From a tourism perspective, we see the area as the next Napa Valley."
When complete, Bellefield is projected to include 560 new homes ranging from single family homes to artist lofts, meant to attract second homeowners and students and faculty from the CIA and Marist. The Inn is the first of two planned hotels. The 2.1 million square feet of development also includes restaurants, a market, a spa, a special events barn, an educational center and a 45-acre agricultural complex where small agricultural businesses will be able to access processing equipment, among other things.
“I’ve personally invested a lot of time into this plan,” said Mulroy, who was also recently appointed to the board of directors of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation. “I’ve taken a lot of time to talk to locals and asked them what they want to see.”
T-Rex is also an investor in the Silo Ridge luxury home development in Amenia, N.Y. When that project was in its infancy, Rural Intelligence published a pair of articles (written by me) that noted the local opposition to the project at the time, and reflected the concerns of some who felt the gated community used the language and appearance of our agrarian identity as a superficial aesthetic — and a marketing commodity to wealthy second homeowners.
Fortunately for T-Rex, Mulroy and Hyde Park, Bellefield’s plans have been so far well received. The housing will be significantly more affordable, Mulroy said, and the property will be connected to the existing Hyde Park community. There is also a huge stated commitment to maintaining half the acreage as undeveloped natural and agricultural land, including 10 miles of trails.
“This isn’t McMansions,” said Mulroy. “It’s going to be a part of the Hyde Park community and we are taking inspiration from the history and the character that’s here. The town and state have been good to us.”
Bellefield has taken site plan suggestions from Scenic Hudson, which has supported the plan for the Inn.
“Scenic Hudson believes that the proposed hotel will provide much-needed hospitality services in Hyde Park,” said Jeff Anzevino, director of land use advocacy for Scenic Hudson. “We are working with the developers to build a series of trails on the site that will connect the hotel with existing trails and historic sites.”
Of course, the CIA is Bellefield’s closest and largest neighbor and its proximity features prominently in the development’s promotional material. Additionally, just south of the worksite, Japanese sake maker Asahi Shuzo Co. Ltd. has begun its $28 million project to create the first international sake brewery on the East Coast.
Mulroy says that while markets and trends may dip and change over the course of a project that takes as long to build as Bellefield, the region has assets like the colleges, transportation and its unique economic identity that make it “recession proof,” and “Amazon proof.”
Things are certainly growing in the mid-Hudson Valley and Hyde Park continues to be situated right in the middle of it all. Watch this space.
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