From Access Road to Retail Complex, Tuxedo Farms Raises the Stakes in Sloatsburg

Posted on 17 November 2015 by Editor


Image via Tuxedo Farms website.

Between the pitch and the plan is a woody stretch of land with a rock crested hump of hill and small Village.

Detail of the area along Rt. 17 in north Sloatsburg where a proposed Tuxedo Farms retail outlet.

Detail of the area along Rt. 17 in north Sloatsburg for entrance to proposed Tuxedo Farms retail outlet. Image via Related/Welco Realty marketing materials.

Quail Road in Sloatsburg, a paper road that doesn’t even show up on maps, was for many years presented as just an entry/exit road for the proposed upscale development now known as Tuxedo Farms. The First Phase is scheduled to contain a Village Green with YMCA, Commons with community center, and a few shops to serve some 687 units of varying architectural designs, from cottages to spacious luxury homes, including Pinecrest Hamlet, which will contain a series of rental apartment complexes and townhouses (with 180 units total).

Tuxedo Farms presents a zone-change proposal to the Sloatsburg Planning Board on Tuesday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m., a plan that involves a land-use variance to build some 60,000 square feet of anchor store/retail and office space in north Sloatsburg along Rt. 17. 

Tuxedo Farms has proposed converting Jessies' Bagels in Sloatsburg into a kind of rustic general store.

Tuxedo Farms has proposed converting Jessies’ Bagels in Sloatsburg into a kind of rustic general store that also houses a separate Tuxedo Farms information center. Image via Tuxedo Farms website.

The residential approval part of Tuxedo Farms/Reserve has been mostly resolved, complete with benefits to the Tuxedo Union Free School District, an upgraded Town of Tuxedo water treatment plant, and sundry other promises in municipal investment.

Quail Road as it is today, looking toward Rt. 17.

Quail Road as it is today, looking toward Rt. 17.

From a simple access road to alternative development entry/exit to possible location of a farmers’ market, the Quail Road location in Sloatsburg has now been proposed as a site for a retail complex with 60,000+ square feet of space, adjacent to the site of a re-imagined Jessie’s Bagel’s into Jessie’s Country Store.

The proposed retail complex will have approximately 700 feet of frontage along Rt. 17 and contain a total of 320 parking spaces. Tuxedo Farms also advocates widening the narrow four-lanes of Rt. 17 at that location to accommodate traffic, which can snake bumper to bumper entering and existing Sloatsburg during morning/afternoon drive times.

Related Senior Vice President Andrew Dance, who heads up the Tuxedo Farms project for the company, said in a recent Times Herald-Record article by Hema Easley that the “the proposal is contingent on attracting a quality grocer. Related is working with a broker, Welco Realty, that is looking at various chains in the region.”

Tuxedo, New York: New Shopping Center from Townes Media.

The Idea is to Bring Vitality

Jessie’s Bagels is set off of the narrow four-lane ribbon of Rt. 17 that carries daily traffic to and from the Town of Tuxedo through Sloatsburg. The dream of many a storefront along Rt. 17 has been to capture all that traffic. Some succeed, most have died off. Many residents of Sloatsburg and Tuxedo have lately looked around at their communities and asked, “what can we do to make things better?”

Collage of Tuxedo Farms proposed Jessie's Market and surrounding area leading to the adjacent retail complex. Via Related/Welco Realty marketing materials.

Collage of Tuxedo Farms proposed Jessie’s Market and surrounding area leading to the adjacent retail complex. Image via Related/Welco Realty marketing materials.

Some see empty storefronts and rundown areas along the residential and business corridor of Rt. 17 and advocate for investment, filled storefronts, a facelift that gives the Village and community a renewed sense of life.

One downside to living in a bucolic bedroom community in the hills of south Rockland and Orange Counties is the lack of population density that can sustain restaurant and retail businesses and draw more to the area. There are small markets such as Hayward’s Deli’s and Stone Meadow Inn in Sloatsburg to buy essentials, but groceries and other goods are another issue. With the appearance of the generally underwhelming ACME market in Mahwah (which replaced the now defunct A&P), area residents must shop far afield for food and necessities.

The conundrum: population density attracts businesses such as restaurants, boutiques, stores that provide goods and services. But how does a semi-rural community attract those things and retain its character?

Tuxedo Farms (Tuxedo Reserve to the folks who’ve been following this near legendary development for these many years now) is putting that question to the test with its proposal of retail space that includes stores, big and small, along with three separate stand-along pads that might house a bank branch, coffee chain or other drive-thru type of business.

All of this infrastructure is set for the Quail Road loop. All of the Tuxedo Farms community engineering is being set into motion to get the larger housing development off the ground.

Welcome to the Unburbs


The Master Plan for Tuxedo Farms, showing the planned three phases of development. The First Phase complete with central community services such as a YMCA and retail shops is currently on the drawing board. Image via Related/Welco Realty marketing materials.

The Related Companies’ dream of re-imagining community life hinges on the very real need to “create value” and “generate selling momentum” for the larger housing development. Those houses, town homes and apartments are aimed at young professionals in the “commutable radius of Manhattan” searching for a place to sink roots and raise a family.

Tuxedo Farms is being sold to potential developers — who will actually build and sell the properties —  as “a new model for planned communities in the tri-state area.”

The race to invest in Tuxedo, and even Sloatsburg, appears to be part of Tuxedo Farms’ general effort to create that all important momentum. Related has embraced the burgeoning trail town movement in the area that seeks to partner with the surrounding parklands and work to create park- and pedestrian-friendly communities that act as gateway communities to recreation and adventure.

The Tuxedo Farms marketing materials sell that very vision — settle into your own little piece of Ramapo paradise in the hills, surrounded by Tuxedo Park history and the acres and acres of Sterling Forest and Harriman parklands.

What Happens to the End Pieces?
Environmental considerations of both size and location aside, the Tuxedo Farms retail complex proposal presents very real issues related to community planning and quality of life.

If it’s built, just who will come and lease the space? Who will shop there consistently?

What happens to the already existing retail businesses in Sloatsburg and Tuxedo, some doing a-okay and some not so well? The Sloatsburg strip mall stands semi-vacant and dated-looking. Would an enormous, new retail complex shift the commerical centers of both Sloatsburg and Tuxedo to Dater’s Crossing, and starve out the old centers.

How will the housing development, let alone a retail complex, impact traffic flow along Rt. 17, which already congests central Sloatsburg, where the four lanes narrow to nine feet in width?

Would an upscale food market and retail center be a magnet that attracts people and businesses from all over, creating that vital and energized community presented in the Tuxedo Farms marketing materials?

The Tuxedo Farms proposal goes first before the Sloatsburg Planning Board, which then may decide to hold a Public Hearing before it makes its recommendation to the Village Board about the proposed zone change. Next would be a Village Board vote and/or Public Hearing before voting on the matter.


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9 Comments For This Post

  1. Suzy Allman Says:

    Semi-rural and small towns with an outdoor-active feel have been serving the everyday needs of their residents for a long time. Maybe the key is in how these places are developed. Parking in the back (instead of fronting the street). Bring in a grocer with a community/social component — something like the food classes Mrs. Greens offers. Don’t settle for a coffee chain (eg Starbucks), because there are plenty of roasters who are local to the Hudson Valley and will invest in the region.

    Now is the time to hold the developer to a high standard, and make sure that this development is contributing to a more walkable and bike-able situation in Sloatsburg. Related (and their advertiser, Strada) is completely capable of coming up with something responsible and attractive and not cookie-cutter.

    (And I’d like to include a plug for the Related-owned Citibike: Why not in Sloatsburg, with a little Citibike stand at the train station, Reeves Meadow Visitor Center and the grocery store and YMCA? If you’re rethinking the semi-rural bedroom community and attracting not just hikers and visitors from the city but also new residents from the city, why not go all the way? Just saying. :0)

  2. Editor Says:

    Very insightful comments. This is certainly the moment to negotiate the kind of community that residents want. And why not go all the way?!

    Why not re-imagine what community life can be in Sloatsburg and Tuxedo going forward? I agree that the retail outlet can be very attractive — like many of the areas throughout the Blue Ridge in North Carolina — they conform to the landscape, are attractive and rustic, working to authentically blend in to the surrounding community — serving the area both visually and through the kinds of shops.

    — High standards & environmentally friendly
    — Community/Social component to the shops
    — Pedestrian/bike friendly
    — Become the kind of community you want to be!

  3. Bruce Parliament Says:

    As a person born and raised in Sloatsburg i can tell you without a doubt that this project when finished will be a nightmare for the people of Sloatsburg. All involved may mean well but consider what an additional 1100 cars at a minimum will be like commuting on route 17 on a daily basis.At best commuter hour is commuter 3 hours as it is now. Then when something happens on the thruway and everyone on there jumps onto route 17 at best its a nightmare just to get home let alone go anywhere else.And thats just one aspect of the enviromental impact study.Turn lanes have been mentioned but they are not going to stop the additional traffic. Come on people think about it, use some common sense here.This developement will do nothing for Sloastburg thats why they are trying to entice us with a ymca,shopping center and other amenities. Is all that extra traffic and noise worth it?

  4. Kathy Goldman Says:

    I agree with Bruce on all points. In addition, while I love the Pine Grove community, I’d be concerned about the prospect of those residents taking a short cut through Washington Ave to get to the proposed shopping center, instead of driving up Seven Lakes Drive then turning right on Rt. 17. Also, if what Bruce states about the developer wanting to entice our village with a shopping center is true, then my response to the developer would be- ” What would entice me as a Sloatsburg resident is if you revitalize the existing Sloatsburg Village business center. This would entice me more than ripping through more acres of beautiful woodlands and wetlands. “

  5. Editor Says:

    Seven Lakes Drive to Washington Avenue is already a timeworn roadway to Rt. 17 from Pine Grove Lakes. The most direct path for sure to pop up to the Tuxedo Farmers’ Market or Jessie’s Bagels.

    Certainly the Tuxedo Farms proposed retail location raises many questions for Sloatsburg — big retail vs small store for one. Land resource management vs strip sprawl construction might be another.

    Sloatsburg is primarily a residential village with pockets of mixed use space. The Village faces comparatively high density development at both ends of Rt. 17, each much different than the other.

    Village Center anchor shops are preferable. But not of the CVS type or some such thing.

    A bit of mixed retail/residential space in the VC that solves a service, lifestyle issue for local and corridor residents would be a winner. The Tuxedo Farms plan is currently incomplete.

  6. Mike Says:

    I support the local businesses in Sloatsburg and Tuxedo. Been doing so for 20 years. If this new shopping plaza is approved and built I would not go to a CVS or Stop and Shop. Their prices are very very high. It would still be cheaper to travel to Suffern, Mahwah or Ramsey for grocery shopping.

  7. Donald Roman Says:

    I have many concerns about this project, especially being a recent resident to the Tuxedo area. In looking at the site plan I see an entrance/egress planned on South Gate Road. This area is listed as an “emergency entrance.” If you look at the plan this is a rather large roadway which would be nothing further from an emergency roadway. Knowing how most developers work, it would appear that this is meant to be an active entrance to this vast community. What is the impact on the park lands, the small roadway of South Gate and the community of Sterling Forest/ Maplebrook. Has anyone looked into this? How will this affect the traffic patterns of this quiet community, the water table and runoff from the steep topography of the site in addition to the effects on the wildlife and the designated hot spots for one of the states largest snake dens. I certainly understand progress, but with the developer selling off the sites to other developers who knows what controls will be lost and liberties may be taken for profit over the quality of life for the residents. We should all be concerned and strive to help the developer simply do the project properly to improve our town and our quality of life. I have learned that you can be profitable and do things correctly in business rather than just seeking to make a home run. If done in line with the needs of the community of Tuxedo, this can improve our town, but if overdeveloped and not in sync our residents way of life, this can become a disaster on many levels. Hoping for the best will not do here, we must all get involved and voice our concerns and give our praise if this project is done responsibly.

  8. Donald Roman Says:

    Unfortunately, my worries and concerns are coming to reality. It appears that the developer is just doing things the way he wants and not responsibly. Simply take a look at route 17 in our communities, the roadway has been so badly chopped and excavated that it now is nearly unusable. When the authorities approached the developers they did not take it seriously and it took a few days to stop the destruction of our main thoroughfare. As I previously stated my concerns this is only the beginning of the problems and changes to the development which will have a lasting negative effect on our community, our piece and the good nature of our way of life. It would appear the developer is showing the firms true colors.; do whatever they can get away with for profit and forget about the community, it’s residents and being a responsible developer. We need to take a second look at the plan, and be certain that the developing firm or any future agents follow the plan and don’t simply make changes that will have serious negative effects on our community.

  9. John Roser Says:

    Donald. The road work you are describing on 17 is courtesy of the Rockland County Sewer Authority and has nothing to do with the Tuxedo development. I generally would not comment here but you seem very distressed and should point your concern in the right direction.

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