The business is grounded in a market view of the Hudson Valley, and in particular the corridor on the eastern shore of the Hudson River from the Town of Rhinebeck up to the City of Hudson. This strip of land is rapidly developing as the second weekend getaway destination of choice for New Yorkers after the Hamptons.
Two hours from New York City, the spirit of the region is more akin to the Napa Valley. With a strong orientation toward food, agriculture and the arts, the area embodies a spirit that is sophisticated and cultured, but also laid-back, friendly and informal. As an inland destination, the area comprising Dutchess County, Columbia County, and parts of Ulster County has more of a year-round hometown appeal than the beach-oriented Hamptons.
But what makes the area noteworthy as a target for investment is the rapidly growing interest in the region. There is a palpable buzz in the air as new businesses are launched, stores and restaurants are opened and houses are snatched up and renovated. And there is an overarching but subtle sense of the new, the cool and the exciting—the rural analog to the excitement of the burgeoning neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
Only two hours by car or train from New York, property and home values remain reasonable—at least when compared with other destinations of comparable appeal. Large tracts of land can still be bought for $10,000 per acre and houses rarely sell for much more than $1 million—although that is largely a function of a very small stock of quality, updated homes of any sort.
In its most simple terms, the strategy is to build a development business with early-mover advantage—just as others have done in the past in places like the Hamptons, SoHo and Miami Beach.
Rhinebeck is the de facto center of gravity for the region. A small walking village with a particular charm, it is distinguished by its infrastructure: a bridge across the Hudson and an Amtrak station that makes it particularly accessible from NYC. Rhinebeck has a vibrant town center with many restaurants, quaint shops and an art film house that is a cultural anchor of particular local significance. A few miles away is the CIA, America’s leading culinary school, and Bard College, which has a rich performing arts program and is the home of the American Symphony Orchestra. Its location at the southern end of this corridor situates it within an easy two hours reach of the city. Other localities in the area include Rhinecliff, Woodstock, Millbrook, New Paltz, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Tivoli, Germantown, Millertown, Hurley, Stone Ridge, Saugerties, Barrrytown, and Hyde Park.
For people looking for a home in region, their initial interest generally starts with Rhinebeck and then emanates outward. At this point, the Art of Building will only consider renovation or building work on properties with a Rhinebeck address or, on rare occasions, properties close to Rhinebeck with water frontage or views or some other uniquely compelling architectural or design aspect.