Call it a Ramapo Mountain renaissance. Call it the appeal of Parklandia. These highland hills are alive with developers’ dreams, those visions of apartments and cottage homes nestled next to parkland and easy rail access direct to Manhattan.
No matter all that. Michael Bruno’s Tuxedo Hudson Company unveiled a bold blueprint for Tuxedo and that rustic stretch of Route 17 that runs through Sloatsburg.
A splashy spread in Wednesday’s New York Post Alexa print edition displays Bruno’s plan – an exciting and smart rustic oasis of foodie, antique and arts culture, surrounded by parkland that will invest locals as well as draw urban entrepreneurs.
Bruno made a fortune using his sharp eye and keen knack for seeing something and then making it happen — call it a super sense of how to scale and sale his vision.
The Post story by Heidi Mitchell with photos by Brett Beyer is electric with rich detail (typical for Mitchell’s cultural snapshots of well-heeled America) and is the kind of article that makes one want to carry the paper around and proffer to people about a big event that’s about to happen, asking, hey, did you see the Post?
Tuxedo doesn’t need a casino with a new generation like Bruno, willing to invest with vision in the surrounding community, much like its founders did, many far-ranging titans of early Wall Street or their eclectic friends of fortune — Bruno’s tech hub is housed at Loomis Lab itself.
The draw, Bruno said in the article is “beautiful houses, low prices, access to the city, endless nature. We came up to buy a house, and I guess I just couldn’t help myself.”
Bruno exudes a friendly enthusiasm for the area, where he has spent millions buying barns to farms, from 120 prime Tuxedo Park acres complete with lakeside home to the Tuxedo Junction property and adjacent convenience store building, both on main street. He recently landed the old greenhouse property with old stonework along Route 17 in Sloatsburg next to Sunnysides. Bruno will tear down the property’s burnt-out old yellow house.
The Tuxedo Hudson Company also has a hand in the Chester Agriculture Center, a for-profit collective that is buying swathes of Orange County farmland to lease to innovative, organic farmers.
— My Harriman (@MyHarriman) January 27, 2016
The whole vibe Bruno and company envision is only 40 miles from Midtown Manhattan.
Bruno appears to have the resources and will to spark something to life in and around Tuxedo — the creation of a complete foodie and arts culture that connects interesting people with an authentic rustic landscape. The whole effort is a much-needed “New Urbanist vision” for a blighted area. Bruno has put a lot of chips down on this location and seems sure of his bet.
And he may be in just the right place at the right time with an authentic approach.
In Mitchell’s article, Bruno set the scene:
“Imagine you’re driving up Route 17 and all of sudden you see sloping grass, horse-fencing, a few rustic barns with the doors swung open and some tables, a farmers market and a restaurant? It will change the psychology of how people feel about Tuxedo. And hopefully that will spur a movement.”