Sagamore plans 3 bldgs.: Employee housing, resort, apartments & retail

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Glens Falls

The Sagamore Resort plans three new projects in Bolton Landing on property already owned by the Sagamore.

• On-site seasonal employee housing, 53 units with two beds each in a three-story dormitory-style building at the center of the main Sagamore’s Green Island property. Kitchens and lounges on each floor.

On-site employee housing — Three-story dormitory building with 53 units with two beds each, at the center of the Sagamore Green Island property. Kitchens and lounges on each floor.
• A two-story mixed use building on Lake Shore Drive, in downtown Bolton, in the vacant lot between Frederick’s and The Indian Tepee Gift Shop. Street-facing first floor retail space and six year-round residential rental apartments behind the retail and on the second floor.
Planned mixed-use retail and six year-round rental apartments on Lake Shore Drive — in downtown Bolton in-between Indian Tepee Gift Shop and Frederick’s Restaurant — on a vacant lot the Sagamore Resort already owns. Street level retail space to be leased to a third party. Apartments rented by the Sagamore to the general public at market value — not short term rentals. Images by Phinney Design Group.
• Resort rental accommodations at Nirvana, the former Nirvana Farm on Sagamore Road across the bridge from the main resort. Three buildings, each with six three-bedroom rental units for a total of 18, plus beachfront, and a new pool with poolhouse.
Accommodations at Nirvana — new resort rental offering, three buildings, each with six three-bedroom suites, plus access to the nearby beach and a new pool, all on the former Nirvana Farm across the bridge at the entrance to the new resort. Images by Phinney Design Group
All three are designed by Phinney Design Group, in variations of the Sagamore’s signature green and dark brown color schemes.

Priority: Staff housing

Asked the cost of the combined projects, Mr. Guay said, “It’s certainly significant.” Why make such a move now? “Things are going well,” he said.

Mr. Guay said employee housing is the priority. “Our goal is to get approvals and start in the fall of this year for spring 2025 occupancy. It’s an aggressive goal.”

The other projects will follow, he said.

He said the Sagamore typically rents 40 to 50 beds at motels in the community to house employees, in addition to its own dorm-style facility, mostly for international workers on temporary J1 and H2B visas.

He said employee rent is $130 a week.

The six apartments in the downtown mixed use building will be open to the general public at market rate. Mr. Guay also envisions them as options for the resort’s year-round employees, potentially mid- or higher level managers who he said also have trouble finding housing.

“We do not have a tenant yet” for the storefront,” Mr. Guay said.

He said that “absolutely” the resort can use more guest accommodations at Nirvana. “That was a parcel that was under-utilized,” he said. The former house and barn will be removed.

Ron Conover: We need the housing

Town Supervisor Ron Conover said the Sagamore plan contains “a lot of important elements that we would be looking for. Part of it is an infill project, a new structure and building and business apartments on Main Street. A part of it is worker housing. And part of it is year-round rental housing.”

He said, “Bolton has added a considerable amount of housing each and every year, but they’ve been largely single family construction on the higher end. We never had a lot of rental housing to begin with.”

“Year round,” he said, “out of almost 2,600 housing units maybe 100 are rental housing. The last census showed maybe 70-79 renter-occupied out of 2,500 housing units. That’s not a lot.”

He said the Sagamore’s building worker housing “hopefully takes some pressure off the town as well,” freeing space for additional rentals.

Approval process underway

The employee dormitory housing will need approval by the Town Board, as it is part of a Planned Unit Development or PUD district on the Sagamore property.

The district was created “years ago,” Bolton Planning Director Chris Belden said, “to support the resort’s efforts. So, in addition to the Planning and Zoning Boards, the Town Board will have to sign off on the project.

He said the other two projects only require Zoning and Planning approval.

So far in preliminary meetings, Mr. Belden said, “Generally, conceptually, the boards were supportive of what was being presented,” especially “as employee housing is ever more stretched.”

He said the mixed use building on Lake Shore Drive has room for retail parking on site. Rental residents will share a portion of the Nirvana resort parking lot, which abuts it, via a private walkway between the two properties.

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