The Return of Peekskill
Peekskill is enjoying an exciting renaissance with the help of some big-name developers and receptive city officials.
Photo by Adam Sommer
The redevelopment of Peekskill is a story we’ve all heard before. But this time, it seems, the tale has serious merit. “For a long time there was development, but it was just a house here, a store there,” says restaurateur John Sharp (Gleason’s, Birdsall House), a resident of Peekskill for more than 15 years. “Now it’s big development.”
Over the last few years, the city has seen a rash of new luxury apartments and restaurants. Sharp, along with partners Louie Lanza, owner of Hudson Hospitality Group — who has developed several properties in Peekskill and is the mind behind The Hudson Room, Taco Dive Bar, Buns-N-Bourbon, and Eagle Saloon — and Scott Vaccaro of Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, recently opened Factoria at Charles Point, a 34,000 sq. ft, events, entertainment, and dining space that contains River Outpost Brewing, Fin & Brew, Spins Hudson, and The Space.
“If we can create these riverside places, tourism will come.”
—Martin Ginsburg, Founder, Ginsburg Development Companies
Westchester County developer Martin Ginsburg’s involvement in Peekskill dates back to the early 1980s. Now, he’s redeveloping the former St. Mary’s Convent site, with the intention of generating tourism. “New York does not have enough destination-type places,” Ginsburg says, adding that he hopes this $64.5 million project will get the ball rolling.
On the convent’s property, Ginsburg is creating Fort Hill Apartments at the Abbey, a triad of luxury apartment buildings that began leasing this summer, and the Abbey Inn, a luxury spa, restaurant, and inn complex. His company is also donating 52 acres to Fort Hill Park, to expand the hiking trails of
“If we can create these riverside places,” says Ginsburg, “tourism will come — potentially that is a multi-billion-dollar industry.”
Downtown, Ginsburg created Gateway Townhomes, which opened for sale in June. Located on Main Street, 14 of the triplex townhouses will be offered at market price and the remaining two as affordable workforce housing.
Factoria at Charles Point boasts 34K square feet of events, entertainment, and dining fun.
Peekskill is also becoming a burgeoning media-art hub. Former 3D printing entrepreneur Bre Pettis is bringing Bantam Tools, whose Desktop Milling Machine creates small machinery parts for engineers and artists to implement into products, to Peekskill from Berkeley, CA. The lower rent and empty buildings provide space for manufacturing and housing for employees. Plus, Peekskill’s Artist District offers affordable lofts for live/work spaces.
“There’s an incredible downtown, and incredible infrastructure in Peekskill,” adds Effie Phillips-Staley, executive director of Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill, which was founded 15 years ago by Marc and Livia Straus. “With the new climate, we’re beginning to plan for the next 15 years.”
And Peekskill’s dynamic new mayor, 34-year-old Andre K. Rainey, is excited by his city’s potential: “Peekskill has been ‘on the rise’ for years now. Many could see the potential of Peekskill. It wasn’t ready then; however, now it is.”