Group Looking to Revive Old Raleigh Hotel


old-raleigh-hotelLeonard Sparks reports in the┬áTimes Herald-Record: Fallsburg – The frum group that owns the historic Raleigh and Heiden Hotel properties is looking to build 236 seasonal residences on 161 acres, a project that could add nearly 1,000 summer residents and bring about $2.1 million in new tax revenue, according to the proposed developer.

RALHAL LLC and Concord Estates Condominiums LLC, both formed by Brooklyn-based Congregation Khal Bnei Zion to buy the properties in 2006, are proposing clusters of four-bedroom duplex and single-family homes.

Those homes would be built on five parcels in Fallsburg and one in Thompson and sell for about $225,000 each. They also could generate about $2.1 million in tax revenues for the county, town and the Fallsburg and Monticello school districts.

“The ultimate idea is to expand the activities at the hotel and make the place grow and take it to the next level,” said Mendel Lerner, the attorney representing the properties. “The only way the hotel can survive is if it has more amenities.”

Fallsburg’s Planning Board will take up the project’s draft environmental impact assessment and the developer’s subdivision request during a public hearing at 7 p.m. Nov. 10.

The hearing represents another turn in the history of the Borscht Belt hotels, which once drew famed entertainers like Sammy Davis Jr. and Jackie Mason. Both properties eventually came under the ownership of Mannie Halbert, the longtime owner of the Raleigh who died in 2004.

RALHAL spent $5.1 million to buy the Raleigh in 2006. Concord Estates bought the Heiden property the same year. RALHAL reopened the Raleigh, which had closed in December 2005, as a retreat for Orthodox Jews and others.

The developers began planning the housing development three years ago, and have so far spent more than $1 million in engineering costs and others fees, Lerner said.

The project still needs to finalize its environmental impact assessment, taking into account the properties’ wetlands and such things as stormwater flows and woodlands.

“We have no idea when we’re going to get final approval,” Lerner said.

A completed project would benefit the town, county and two school districts, according to the draft environmental assessement.

The town would receive an estimated $654,237 in annual property tax revenue and the county $355,636. The influx of homeowners would also send nearly $620,000 in taxes to the Fallsburg School District and about $470,000 to the Monticello School District.

“It will definitely generate local jobs,” Lerner said. “Then, eventually, taxes.”

{Record Online/ Newscenter}