By Dan Hust
NARROWSBURG Last Friday, developer Ilwon Kang was scheduled to close on his purchase of 14 acres in Narrowsburg, once used as the nearby school’s athletic fields.
Officials from Sullivan West, the school district which owns the parcel, could not be reached for comment, but Kang said on Wednesday the closing had indeed occurred and that the $70,000 for the property was being wired to the district’s account later on Wednesday.
When ownership was or will be transferred could not be confirmed, but Kang did hold a carnival and other events on the parcel over the Fourth of July weekend, in conjunction with the Narrowsburg Chamber of Commerce.
“I think it was a fun event,” he remarked.
Still, he was disappointed with the low turnout, selling only about 25 tickets to the Shirelles’ concert when he had aimed for at least 100. (A number of tickets ended up being donated, including to the Tusten Chiefs, the teenage baseball team accidentally left without a field due to the carnival.)
“The carnival had a difficult weekend,” Kang admitted, though he still felt the overall weekend was successful.
Kang plans to buy the Narrowsburg school itself for conversion into a hotel and spa, but the weekend’s outcome illustrated the hurdles he faces in attracting people.
“We certainly know it’s a huge challenge,” he acknowledged. “... I realize the revenue side is going to be a challenge.”
Kang recently got another extension from SW’s board through October to complete his due diligence on the Narrowsburg and Delaware Valley campuses, the latter of which he wants to turn into a boarding school.
He previously indicated the extension is necessary because the Town of Tusten is rewriting its zoning rules. Since the rewrite may place the Narrowsburg campus in a commercial rather than the existing residential zone, Kang wants to wait on buying the school, instead of purchasing it now and immediately having to request a variance.