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This deserted Hudson Valley zoo might give method to 200 acres of residential improvement


A virtually 200-acre swath of land in Greene County, New York, that was as soon as house to America’s oldest—and largest—non-public zoo has hit the market for $3.6 million with the potential to be reworked into housing, a shortage throughout the Hudson Valley.

“The actual worth for this property is due to the shortage of residential housing [in the region], and all of the folks shifting up right here,” Jason Karadus of Corcoran Nation Residing not too long ago defined to the Occasions-Union. “I might be shocked if the purchaser isn’t going to develop it as residential housing.”

Positioned at 400 Recreation Farm Street in Catskill, the outdated zoo was established by New York banker Roland Lindemann in 1933 because the Catskill Recreation Farm; Lindemann finally opened his menagerie to the general public and commenced charging admission to what was then only a easy barnyard petting zoo with donkeys, sheep, and the like. However by the height of the swinging Fifties and ’60s within the Borscht Belt, the Catskill Recreation Farm had advanced into a serious regional vacationer vacation spot attracting roughly a half-million guests per yr. Starting in 1958, Lindemann’s assortment grew solely bigger and extra unique when the US Division of Agriculture formally acknowledged the sport farm as a zoo. It was house to hundreds of animals over its 70-years in existence, together with one YouTube-famous giraffe. In 2006, the nonetheless family-owned Catskill Recreation Farm was shuttered for good amid declining customer numbers.

Six years later, the property—its authentic constructions nonetheless very a lot standing and infrastructure intact—was bought by Ben and Cathy Ballone for $100,000 and reworked into what stays in all probability probably the most singular lodging institution on any aspect of the Hudson: an upscale glamping compound situated at an deserted zoo. Renamed The Previous Recreation Farm, the Ballones cleared away 3.5 miles of paved strolling trails and retained many of the roughly 100 zoo constructions together with, most notably, the outdated giraffe home, which they transformed into the property’s nostalgia-inducing pièce de résistance: a 9,000-square-foot boutique resort dubbed the Lengthy Neck Inn.

The total transformation of the Catskill Recreation Farm from an deserted zoo into an deserted zoo that you may spend the night time in with out getting arrested for trespassing took the Ballones seven years to totally full because of funding struggles, with the Lengthy Neck Inn solely opening in 2019. (Self-guided excursions of the deserted zoo and tenting had been out there starting in 2014). Pairing creepy deserted place exploration (in a area well-known for it) and amenity-driven winterized tenting, The Previous Recreation Farm is the right (and probably solely) place to “witness nature take again an American landmark” by day and soak in a scorching tub beneath the celebrities by night time.

As detailed by the New York Publish, the Ballones didn’t maintain onto the property for lengthy, nonetheless, and bought it to an actual property funding group led by Sid Blauner for $1.9 million in November 2020. The next February, native media unveiled the brand new possession group’s plans to construct upon the Ballones’ authentic imaginative and prescient by changing different outdated animal shelters into extra lodging choices, increasing the variety of on-site facilities, and even bringing again some animals. As of this writing, your complete six-bedroom inn (it sleeps as much as 20) and particular person campsites could be rented through Airbnb or Tentrr, respectively, though that would quickly change now that the property is again available on the market.

Blauner, who’s promoting because of “ongoing uncertainty across the pandemic,” relayed to the Publish that he hopes that the subsequent proprietor retains the property open to the general public. However because the Occasions-Union famous, most curiosity up to now has been from events eyeing residential improvement, which implies a novel slice of Catskills historical past could possibly be razed.

“It’s uncommon, significantly on the west aspect of the Hudson River and the Catskills space, to seek out giant parcels of land that both aren’t protected as wetlands or part of the watershed, which are conducive for residential improvement, and this one type of is,” mentioned Karadus with Corcoran.

You’ll be able to view the complete itemizing right here.



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