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Countdown of Top 5 Stories of 2022: Number 5

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The planned new business park at Exit 21 on the New York State Thruway was the Number 5 top story of 2022. File photo

GREENVILLE — With the new year soon upon us, the Greenville Pioneer is counting down the top 5 stories of 2022.

As the clock ticks down the final moments of the year, it’s time to take a look back at the year that just passed and take stock of where we have been as a community.

There were many milestones passed, some good and others not so good. The year saw many achievements as society made its way back from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, businesses fought their way back to prosperity, and events both good and bad captured the imagination and attention of the Greenville and surrounding communities.

The Greenville Pioneer took a look at the past year and identified the top five stories of the year, based on the number of readers on our website, TheUpstater.com, and on Facebook, with input from our editorial staff, considering stories that had the most impact on the communities we serve.

The countdown will continue all this week, ending with the top story of 2022 on Friday.

Here is Number 5, which received one of the highest numbers of views on TheUpstater.com from our readers and is expected to be an economic driver for Greene County:

NUMBER 5: Thruway exit business park gets first tenant

CATSKILL — The county’s newest business park just got its first tenant.

The Exit 21 West business park, located on 60 acres on Route 23B in Catskill, signed Bell Jar Holdings Co. to a 1.7-acre parcel where the company plans to rehabilitate an existing garage and add a 1950s-themed diner as a second building, according to the Greene County Industrial Development Agency, or IDA.

The IDA acquired eight parcels of land at the property where the business park is located in 2017.

Bell Jar Holdings, owned by Dennis Kanuk and Rhianon Jones, plans to turn the garage into a gourmet food market where locally made food will be sold, and the diner — which will sell local beers and cocktails — will be located next door.

“We look forward to creating a welcoming space for locals and visitors alike to get a taste of the best the Catskills and the Hudson Valley have to offer,” Kanuk and Jones said in a joint statement.

A second site, known as Exit 21 East, is also in the works. The county purchased the land where the former Quality Inn was once located in 2019. The hotel was demolished in January 2019 to make room for the new development.

The IDA is presently working to make the Exit 21 East site shovel ready, building a new access road and extending water and sewer lines. Plans are in the works to build an 80-room upper-midscale hotel, Hampton Inn, on the site.

Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore, said a hotel will draw more businesses to the area.

“We are quite pleased with the hotel agreement,” Linger said. “We had a goal for this property and the overall design of the business park, so we strategically positioned it for a mid-upscale hotel to be developed. In the interest of our local economy, we wanted a hotel on that property that will pay dividends for years to come. An upscale hotel will attract more development to these parcels. Great work was done by all in partnership to make this happen. Patience, and investing in our future, continues to serve us well.”

Windsor Hospitality Management and Southern Realty & Development will build a Hampton Inn by Hilton on the site, which will include a fitness center, saltwater pool, business center and conference room, according to the IDA.

“We are thrilled about working with the Greene County IDA to bring a high quality, professionally managed hotel to this outstanding location,” said Jayesh Modhwadiva from Windsor Hospitality. “We look forward to hosting visitors of all kinds and to serving as an amenity for the wide range of guests who enjoy Catskill and its surrounding events and attractions.”

Stewart’s Shops also signed a contract to purchase another parcel of land at the Exit 21 East business park where the company plans to build a new retail store. The current Greene County Tourism Center, right at the entrance to the Thruway, will be demolished to make way for the new store. The current Stewart’s Shop will be renovated and will house a new Tourism Visitor Center for the county. The IDA has funds set aside to assist with renovating the new tourism center and Stewart’s is donating the existing building.

“We’ve been working in partnership with the Greene IDA on this project over several years,” said Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden. “It’s great to see the hard work paying off. We are especially grateful for the generosity of the Stewart’s organization, and their support in relocating our Tourism Center.”

Moving the Tourism Center will provide the county with an improved space, Deputy County Administrator Warren Hart said.

“Locating the new Greene County Tourism Center on the current Stewart’s property enables us to grow, allowing us a much larger, more professionally designed space that will provide better access and parking for visitors,” Hart said. “The tourism visitor center is a heavily used building and the rework of the traffic pattern on both sides of Route 23B will make going to and from all of these locations safer and easier.”

Work on the new business park is expected to begin in 2023.

“We should see shovels in the ground early spring 2023 and lots of construction activity at both sites, “said Greene County IDA Chairman Eric Hoglund. “We are also actively looking for a restaurant for the Exit 21 East site to complete that park. Both of these parks are meeting our goals of attracting a diverse mix of business types and employment opportunities for local residents as well as needed new local property tax revenue.”

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