09/21/16 7:30am

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Perhaps you have noticed some major changes happening to some buildings on Washington Street over the past few months. They are located between Clark and Federal Streets and have been in various states of repair and abandonment as one reader mentioned when I posted about them three years ago in a Rescue Me post.

Renovations are wrapping up and I was able to take a peek inside. The buildings have been completely gutted and rehabbed. Brick walls and original wood floors can be seen throughout. The brand new bathrooms have floor to ceiling subway and wood grain porcelain tile. First floor apartments have access to the backyard that abuts St. George’s Cemetery with a nice tall stone wall. Laundry is on-site and accessible via the middle buildings. Much work is left to be done, like fixing the sidewalks, adding wrought iron railings and new glass front doors. Apartments vary from 1-2 bedrooms at $1,250-$1,450 and will be well lit along with security cameras.

The property is just a short walk to Liberty Street and all the latest happenings there. This newest renovation is taking revitalization efforts west on Washington Street. It will be just a matter of time before it carries over to Clark Street.

Some units have already been claimed, but there are plenty left. If you are interested contact:

Stacie R. Laskin, 845-784-4332, slaskin@hvc.rr.com

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Washington St Collage

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WS Collage

 

09/15/16 7:30am

Ann Street Rendering

Habitat for Humanity officially announced yesterday they will be breaking ground at 150, 152, 154, & 156 Ann Street. The homes, which are sponsored by faith-based organizations, are located at the corner of South Johnston Street, right next to the old Broadway Armory.

This location is ripe for new development. One block north is Broadway, and to the east is the Ann Street Gallery, new park Safe Harbors Green, the Ritz Theater, and Liberty Street – with established businesses and new ventures coming to the scene. For as long as I have known this lot, it has always been empty.

The only original home at this corner is to the left. It was once a burned out shell but has been rehabilitated for years now. The owners were in for quite a shock when they bought it at auction sight unseen, only to find out the cute-sounding house with 8 fireplaces was actually a building with no roof, no windows and missing floors in what people were calling the “hooker district“. This corner has come a long way.

There is still room to do more here. Diagonal the the Habitat site is 147 Ann Street, which also suffered a fire according the 1980 historic district inventory report. It is in horrible shape – from roof to foundation. But it has beautiful cast iron lintels and eyebrow windows which have been better highlighted next door at 145 Ann. It also has a storefront that could become an office or shop. On South Johnston Street there are abandoned carriage houses and garages that are in danger of collapsing at any moment.

According to Habitat, their Newburgh homeowners contribute nearly $390,000 per year in school and city taxes. They have helped 95 families become homeowners.

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View of Ann Street facing east, with the Ann Street Gallery up ahead at the left.

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View of 147 and 145 Ann Street, diagonal from the Habitat site.

02/24/16 2:44pm

Newburgh Trash

The City of Newburgh has sent out the following press release announcing the first convictions for illegal dumping.

Three Newburgh residents were convicted in City Court on Tuesday morning of violating the City’s new anti-dumping law, passed in September 2015. Judge Paul Trachte accepted city Assistant Corporation Counsel Timothy Kramer’s suggested $750 fine for each of the three, and gave them one month to pay up. The new ordinance calls for a minimum fine of $500 for the first offense, but the City wanted to send a message.

“We want everyone to know that littering and dumping in Newburgh is now being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said City Council member Genie Abrams, who represents the Ward in which the dumping occurred.

“This case set the precedent,” said Karen Mejia, Councilwoman for Ward 1, who worked for weeks with Police Chief Dan Cameron to find a test case. “We are serious about our new ordinance, and we want the world to know that you cannot toss trash, garbage, tires, electronics, furniture, building materials or anything else onto any public areas of our City. We will continue to prosecute every single case, and with increased video surveillance, we will be catching more and more culprits. It’s crazy now to risk a minimum fine of $500 to dump a mattress on our streets, when by calling the Department of Public Works at 565-3297 you can arrange for them to pick them up for you, for a small fee,” stated Councilwoman Mejia.

The three men did not retain a lawyer. They heard the charges against them, and their punishment in Trachte’s courtroom. They all quickly accepted their $750 fines and the one-month payment deadline. Outside the courtroom, they told Councilwoman Abrams that they had not been working for a landlord when they were seen by an anonymous tipster on Feb. 10, who saw them dumping mattresses at the corner of Renwick and Johnes streets and called the cops.

“We are very grateful to the person who witnessed this dumping and called the police,” Mejia said, “and we urge all Newburghers to be on the alert for dumpers in their neighborhoods or anywhere in the City.”

-Photo by NJP Thompson

02/11/16 7:30am

274 Washington St Newburgh

Has anyone else noticed the developments of this building located at the corner of Washington and Mill Street? This is one building I definitely thought would be demolished. The east side of the building had a crack from foundation to roof which made the building look like it was breaking in 2. Just last week though, I spotted this construction work happening.

One of the great things about Newburgh is that it is an actual city. Broadway, Liberty Street, and the waterfront are not the only commercial thoroughfares. In 1895 this building and its owner were mentioned:

THOMAS LITTLETON formerly one of the Almshouse Commissioners owns a good business location at No 274 Washington Street Newburgh and enjoys a large retail trade in staple and fancy groceries and liquors…In 1862 he went to New York and served as coachman for Mrs Lawrence on Fifth Avenue remaining there for two years after which he ran as conductor on the old horse car line for three years. Returning to Newburgh he started in business for himself and conducted a store in New Windsor for two years. In 1870 he opened an establishment in the building which he owns at the corner of Mill and Washington Streets.

We know the building, most likely dates back to circa 1870. Hopefully one day it can enjoy the large retail trade it did under Mr. Littleton.

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02/03/16 7:30am

WashxFed

If you have ever visited the old Habitat ReStore on Washington Street, you will recognize this corner of Washington and Federal. The wooden house collapsed years ago, and has remained a scary site. The Newburgh Community Land Bank recently sold this corner property and the adjacent brick building, 143 Washington Street, to a new family that will completely makeover this entire corner. Located on one of the streets that leads to Washington’s Headquarters and the waterfront, it is  a prime location for revitalization. The wood house is now completely gone and a new side yard has been formed. Next, scaffolding will go up to repair the roof. You can see the progress on the washXfed Instagram account of Aaron Lown and Elizabeth Grubaugh. The couple are both designers, and are in the process of building their businesses in Newburgh. Mr. Lown’s business is Industrial Craft, and Ms. Grubaugh’s business is Elizabeth Grubaugh Creative.

The couple was featured in the New York Times in 2006 for the restoration work they did on a house in Tuxedo, NY that Mr. Lown inherited from his great-aunt and great-uncle while living in Japan. The house was declared a hazard and had a dead tree tearing up deck, not to mention the vermin that had taken up residence. They did a lot of the work themselves, which probably provides a lot of confidence to take on this house in Newburgh. The brick building is literally a shell without a roof. It will have to be built from the ground up.

Their new home will be just walking distance from cafes, the waterfront, Washington’s HQ and their work spaces. Looking at the site initially, I’m sure many would have run away. I’d say they chose their location very wisely.

All photos below from the washXfed Instagram account and Aaron Lown.

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01/28/16 11:30am

96 Broadway Developments

It’s real folks. Work is finally happening to 96 Broadway. This is part of Phase I that includes exterior renovations which focus on masonry repair, the rebuilding and stabilization of the roof and cornice, rebuilding the original corner storefront and freize as well as window replacement. What a difference this will make! A restaurant is planned for the first floor, and apartments for upper floors.

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Rendering of what it will look like in the future: