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therecord

Concord Will be Rebuilt on an Elaborate Scale

KIAMESHA LAKE: The Concord's developers want the new hotel to have 'a presence.'

Barbara Gref
The Times Herald-Record
bgref@th-record.com

They'll take the grander plan.

Cappelli Enterprises and Concord Associates yesterday said they'll rebuild the main hotel in a series of connected wings ranging from 10 to 15 stories. The developers bought the Concord in a bankruptcy sale and are rebuilding it in a $500 million project. Their choice was between the more elaborate, and higher-profile, new Concord and one that was slightly plainer and only eight to 10 stories high.

"We want a presence," Westchester developer Louis Cappelli said at a meeting of The Times Herald-Record editorial board.

That news came less than two hours after the Sullivan County Legislature finalized part of a controversial land transfer with Concord Associates. The Legislature has now transferred 15 of 17 properties to Concord Associates for back taxes, interest and penalties. These were seized from the old resort when it went bankrupt and owed millions in back taxes.

Some residents and legislators objected because the properties--some of them on the shores of Kiamesha Lake--were not sold in a competitive process. Two other properties will be sold publicly and competitively.

In an atmosphere where people think the $500 million Concord project will reap a batch of tax breaks and economic development perks, some have viewed the transfers as a sweetheart deal.

"I don't want people to think we're getting things we're not entitled to," Cappelli said. "(But) I'm going to get every benefit I'm entitled to."

Over the next 30 days, Concord Associates said, they'll bring their plans for the main hotel's 1,000 rooms to the Town of Thompson Planning Board.

They expect to get a negative declaration on the project because it is on the site of the old resort and retains the shells of two buildings. That phase of construction would take about 18 months, Cappelli said.