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Cappelli Liberty project complements Muss/Foxwoods

Kevin McManus explains the scaled-back development proposed by Louis Capelli for the former Grossinger’s site.
TRR photo by Carol Montana

By Carol Montana
May 7, 2014

LIBERTY, NY — Back in August, the Cappelli Organization, represented by Kevin McManus and Henry Zabata, presented a conceptual master plan for a new resort for the former Grossinger’s Catskill Resort in the Town of Liberty.

The plan included a convention center with a 300-room luxury hotel, townhouses, a spa and the possibility of an assisted living facility. The property, currently zoned R1 (single and two-family homes) would need to have an overlay of planned unit development (PUD) zoning, and the town would have to allow for the inclusion of a hotel and a casino, which are not allowed under the PUD zoning.

At the Town of Liberty meeting on May 5, McManus and Zabata were present once again. But this time, McManus reported that Muss Development, which owns the adjoining property and is in partnership with casino developer Foxwoods to develop the former Grossinger’s site, has approached the Cappelli organization seeking cooperation.

“Now instead of competing with them, we are complementing what they’re trying to do and help everything work better,” said McManus.

He reported that the Cappelli plan and Muss project now share an entrance. “Originally we proposed the possibility of a hotel casino and a hotel spa. We’ve modified this plan to show a hotel with 200 rooms and a spa hotel, which would be 200 rooms, some of which are these eco-units that are kind of outdoor units; they’d be accessed by a trail. We’re still working out the architecture and the engineering on that. It would be a total of 400 rooms.”

McManus said that the new plan still has the original 300 townhouses up on the hill, but “we threw out the condominiums. We modified things mainly to complement the Muss application… I think the townhouses are a very viable product.”

Liberty supervisor Charlie Barbuti expressed support. “I think it’s a great idea that you guys are working together to develop this property,” he said.

In related casino news, Liberty Councilman Dean Farrand mentioned a survey put out by the Times Herald-Record, which asked “What do you think about casinos?” The survey, which ended on May 6, asked questions such as age, hometown, county of residence, whether the respondent had ever visited a casino, and whether or not they are in favor of casino gaming in New York State. One question asked respondents to select two casino locations, listing 12 different sites: four in Sullivan County, five in Orange County, one in Ulster County and two undetermined.

The results are expected to be published on Sunday, May 11.