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Dan Hust | Democrat

THREE KEY MEMBERS of the Concord's redevelopment team look over the flat-screen tv that will show guests the look and location of their potential homes within the 487-unit Concord Woods development. From the left, are Superintendent Chris Hummel, General Manager Henry Zabatta and Director Bernie Ruf.

First demolition, and now rebuilding starts

By Dan Hust
KIAMESHA LAKE — April 29, 2008 — What remains of the Concord Resort Hotel will start coming down this week to make room for a $1 billion “Entertainment City.”
But spring is already in the air at this sprawling Kiamesha Lake complex, and the first of hundreds of new buildings is up and ready.
Hidden at the top of the Concord’s former ski hill, the old chalet underwent a $1 million-plus renovation last year to turn it into the Concord Woods Sales Office.
Incorporating the original structure and materials, the rustic building has been designed to offer a comfortable setting for choosing the style of home a future Concord Woods resident might want.
The first phase of the development, which would be tied to a nearby five-star hotel/spa, would feature 487 single-family townhouses along the eastern edge of the Concord’s acreage, bordering the golf courses and Sullivan County Route 109. Prices would start around $500,000.
Eventually, said General Manager Henry Zabatta and Director of Construction Bernie Ruf, 3,000 homes would surround the golf courses.
Inside the 5,300-square-foot sales office, guests will be treated to refreshments at the coffee bar, photos of famous golfers like Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin on the original stone hearth, and a series of stone- and wood-floor rooms where home designs will be chosen, contracts drawn up and sales concluded.
The office has already won a national design award and is nearly fully furnished, including a 50-inch flat-screen TV sunk into a table. Potential homeowners will be able to touch the screen to zoom in on a particular area of the development that piques their interest. They’ll also be able to view information about attractions beyond the Concord, said Ruf.
“We want to sell the region as well as the Concord,” he explained.
A staff of 2-3 design professionals, plus receptionists, will greet the public when the facility opens later this year. It will likely also be used as a training center for Concord staff as the main complex nears completion.
Work has been ongoing at the Monster and International golf courses, the latter of which is open for this season. The old 48,000-square-foot, three-story clubhouse has been demolished to make way for a 60,000-square-foot, two-story replacement.
Up on the adjoining hill, the main hotel and conference center – planned to have as many as 1,500 rooms and a racino – will be built upon the original Concord Resort Hotel site, likely including the two tallest towers.
The rest of the original hotel, however, is being torn down starting this week. What will replace it is tentatively being called the New Concord Hotel.
Across the street, the old gas station and parking lot will be turned into a 5/8-of-a-mile horseracing track. Though it will absorb the operations of Empire Resorts’ Monticello Gaming and Raceway, it will be called Concord Downs and accommodate 250 spectators.
Though the fate of the current raceway is uncertain (it could be a shopping mall or even a casino, if Indian gaming is ultimately allowed), developer Louis Cappelli has promised to make up the lost tax revenue for the Village of Monticello through a million-dollar-a-year facade program along Broadway.
In all, 1.5 million square feet of new building is planned to start construction at the Concord this summer – the largest project in the Hudson Valley, and one that will continue for at least two years.
“It’s going to be very exciting around here,” said Zabatta.

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