- Rich Klein
EXCLUSIVE: 4 'E-Commerce' Warehouses Anchor Huge Development Planned For Rock Hill
(This is a developing story)
ROCK HILL - A "significant" development project across some 522 acres here that consists of four "e-commerce" warehouses, 48 to 50 residential parcels of five acres each, 30 guest lodges - plus a restaurant, spa and fitness center - was on the agenda last night before the Town of Thompson Planning Board, which met via Zoom for a work session/meeting.
The project applicant is former Empire Resorts CEO Robert Berman, who more than a decade ago promoted a similar project in the area known as Rock Hill Town Center.
In 2009, Berman threatened to sue the Town of Thompson if it changed its zoning that would adversely impact his plans at the time. Berman, who is currently CEO of Rekor Recognition Systems, was also previously involved in litigation with his former partners in the project.
Although limited information is yet publicly available, the engineer for Berman's "Glen Wild Land Development, LLC" displayed a drawing of the proposed project to the Board via Zoom. (Please see graphic at top of story).
Planning Board attorney Paula Kaye instructed engineer Glenn Smith to limit his remarks to "a brief introduction" to the project. Yet, it was unclear why more information was not solicited from applicant by the Board at this time. A future work session was suggested but no date set.
Attorney George Duke, partner at Brown Duke & Fogel - where Town of Fallsburg Supervisor Steve Vegliante is of-counsel - told the Board that Berman wants the Board to treat the project as a whole, rather than divide it into two parts: the warehouse component and residential housing. Duke noted that the housing market is "hot" right now in Sullivan County when asked why he didn't want to delay that part of the project.
As of now, the four planned warehouses will have square footage of 1 million, 245,000, 150,000 and 80,000. The warehouse section entrance, near the firehouse on Glen Wild Road, may also be tied into the Town of Thompson's sewer district.
Berman's team added that since the original project had already involved extensive environmental reviews in 2005 and 2009, that he hoped to build off the prior SEQRA (New York's State Environmental Quality Review Act) approvals.
Kaye and board member Jim Barnicle, along with Helen Budrock of Delaware Engineering (the Town of Thompson's Planner) noted concerns over traffic, including trucks going in and out of the warehouse site, and proximity to residential housing.
Below is a a declaration by Berman from his 2015 case that ultimately settled but gives some history of the property.