Concord Files Site Plan With Thompson Planners
By John Emerson
MONTICELLO May 26, 2000 -- The face of the Concord Hotel will change under plans submitted to the Town of Thompson Planning Board, but the venerable hotel will stay about the same size with the same number of rooms at least in the first stage of development.
Phase I of the project deals only with the rebuilding and remodeling of the existing hotel and convention center, said Marge Schneider, vice-president of Concord Associates. Once construction is underway on the main hotel area, planning for the other amenities proposed for the resort will begin.
The decision to initially submit the hotel and convention center for site plan approval was based on the theory that other portions of the project will require extensive environmental reviews. Because the Phase I plans call for using mostly the existing hotel area, environmental review is much more limited and will not require long investigation under the state Environmental Quality Review Act.
Schneider said the estimated cost for the first phase is about $200 million.
J. Michael Divney, a partner in the White Plains-based engineering firm of Divney, Tung and Schwalbe, explained to planning board members that new concepts in resort design meant that the long driveway that once led to the hotels main entrance would have to go. He also said that relocating the main entrance would allow the developers to create a pedestrian area within the confines of the hotel and eliminate vehicular traffic.
Divney said when construction is completed the hotel will include some 1,500 rooms and carry a footprint of about 1.5 million square feet, about the same as the existing hotel. Although the hotel will be reconfigured to meet the new design concepts of destination resorts, the goal is to maintain the size of the hotel at its former level.
The main entrance will be moved further down along Concord Road where the rear of the existing tower buildings are now located. Two of the existing buildings will be demolished during the renovation, and three more will be completely renovated and remodeled. Along the north side of County Route 109 (Kiamesha Lake Road), everything will be torn down, including the former staff bungalows as well as the small motel and bar that were at the rear of the hotel. That area will be turned into some of the 2,050 parking spaces that will be available for hotel guests.
Divney said all of the parking areas would be screened from the road with landscaping. In addition, the rear of the existing hotel, where the employees entrance was situated on Kiamesha Lake Road, will be removed, in some areas more than 100 feet, to allow a setback from the roadway and improve sight lines at the intersection of Concord Road and Kiamesha Lake Road. The rear of the building will also be landscaped to provide screening.
Planning board members set June 14 as the public hearing date for the project and declared their intention to become lead agency under SEQRA.
If there are no major problems with the site plans, planning board approvals for the project could come as early as the end of June.