Sullivan County, NY - Kiryas Joel Developer Proposes 2,000 Homes in 3 TownsSullivan County, NY - A Kiryas Joel developer plans to build nearly 2,000 homes spread over three towns in Sullivan County.
Simon Gelb is floating the idea of building 1,400 units in Thompson, about 560 in Mamakating, and still more in the Town of Fallsburg, on contiguous land.
Gelb met with Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini, and submitted a master plan with the town on behalf of Brooklyn-and-Monroe-based Read Property Group.
That company has a stake in 11 shopping centers around the country, and several commercial and residential properties in New York and Chicago, including the Sears Tower in Chicago.
Gelb has since met with the town's engineer. In Thompson, he proposes building two units on 1-acre lots.
But he getting a frosty reception. "It's never going to happen in my town," Cellini said, that this project looks too big, he said. Cellini said he's concerned about quality and density of housing, and the stress on roads.
Cellini has already spoken against the project at a Town Board meeting. "I think we should save them a lot of time and money and say, no thank you," he said.
Gelb couldn't be reached for comment because of the Passover holiday.
Earlier this winter, Gelb submitted a preliminary plan to Mamakating Supervisor Charlie Penna.
In Mamakating, the plan calls for 560 homes on 893 acres, a commercial strip on 227 acres and some open space.
Fallsburg Supervisor Steve Levine said he hasn't met with Gelb and doesn't know his plans for Fallsburg.
Gelb is a known developer in Sullivan County.
In 2004, he brokered a deal to turn a 77-acre Recreation Farm resort near Fosterdale into a synagogue with a hotel and food, on behalf of the Satmar community of Hasidic Jews.
He has also played a role in developing seasonal homes in the Town of Bethel.
Penna said that he would be open to talking with Gelb.
But Penna doubts anything will come of the plans, saying developers come, unveil big plans and disappear. Penna said he hasn't heard from Gelb in four months. "There are five more (projects) just as big as this one," Penna said. [Record]