By Dan Hust
NARROWSBURG Yet another piece of Sullivan West land is going up for sale.
SW Supt. Ken Hilton confirmed that on Monday, the school board agreed unanimously (minus absent member Ken Cohen) to sell 14 acres of athletic fields and forests in Narrowsburg via a sealed bid process.
While multiple qualified bids would result in an auction, Hilton expects there to be just one bidder.
“We were approached by Ilwon Kang, and he would like to purchase those 14 acres,” Hilton related.
Kang is the developer who’s already successfully bid on buying SW’s Narrowsburg and Delaware Valley campuses for $3 million.
The school board recently put more than 60 acres adjacent to DV in Callicoon up for sale, too, again based on Kang’s stated interest.
But as with that semi-wooded/semi-open acreage, the district is retaining its mineral rights on these 14 acres in Narrowsburg.
While drilling cannot take place on the land itself, the oil and natural gas deposits underneath the soil can be mined by the district via off-site drilling.
Hilton said the Narrowsburg acreage is currently appraised at $140,000, but the board has set no minimum bid. Bids are due by April 11, and the board can refuse any bid for being “unreasonably low,” he added.
A closing is anticipated around July.
DV’s acreage is directly adjacent to the campus, but in Narrowsburg, the 14 acres in question are a short distance across Route 52 and downhill from the school.
A baseball field occupies about a third of the property, which stretches from Kirk Road near the railroad to Route 97.
In addition to the school’s baseball team, the town utilizes the field for various community activities (including Little League games) in exchange for keeping the grass mowed, said Hilton.
He added that Kang shared some of his plans for the Narrowsburg properties with the school board on Monday.
According to Hilton, Kang hopes to erect a new building alongside the school to serve as a hotel, while the school itself would feature guest suites, a restaurant, bar and retail offerings. The gym would house conference space (open to the town from time to time for community activities) and a small fitness center and spa.
Hilton said Kang’s intent, if successful in his bid, is to keep playing fields on the 14 acres now up for sale, while also utilizing it for overflow parking needs.
When contacted by the Democrat on Wednesday, Kang declined to provide further details, citing the sensitive nature of his due diligence efforts.
He did say he’s currently not working with Callicoon Center farmer Richard Riseling, who had submitted a late bid on the Narrowsburg campus. The two had expressed interest in a partnership, but that evidently didn’t materialize. (Riseling could not be reached for comment by press time.)
Kang has until early May to make a final decision on whether to purchase the schools, but he said he’s moving forward.
“We are continuing to pursue our plans to develop these properties,” he confirmed.