Marist Reacts to the “Hampton-ification of the Hudson Valley”
Spanning over 7,000 square miles, the Hudson Valley region hosts quaint towns, historical landmarks, natural beauty and unmatched Hudson River views. Here, Poughkeepsie – “The Queen City of the Hudson” – sits nestled along the river banks, boasting three college campuses and providing for many residents the ideal balance between suburban life and proximity to New York City. But far from the hidden gem it once may have been, the Hudson Valley’s real estate is on the up and up – and a recent New York Times article queries if the area is “turning into the Hamptons?”
The Times found that real estate in Ulster County – one of the eleven counties included in the Valley – has steadily increased in the past five years. This pattern is reflected in other counties as well. Though Rhinebeck and Hudson have been popular spots for second homes for years, previously unassuming areas are reeling from newfound demand.
Sabrina Rehfeld ‘21 hails from nearby Hopewell Junction and noticed this development.
“I’ve worked at a summer camp every summer and there are so many new families that move up here from urban areas with young kids,” she said, adding that this change isn’t surprising as the area represents the “best of both worlds.”
“There are so many job oportunities due to so many towns, cities such as Poughkeepsie, but it’s also the happy medium because it has so much beauty. There are so many cute quaint towns, hiking, and it’s overall a nice, quiet place to live and raise a family.”
Quaint charm despite a number large-scale developments on the horizon may be the golden ticket for house-hunting families and tourists looking for a trendy yet tranquil getaway. Just minutes from the Marist campus, a number of multi-million dollar ventures are underway.
Across from the Culinary Institute of America, construction started for the $500 million Bellefield at Historic Hyde Park project, which will eventually include “two hotels, culinary shops, farm-to-table restaurants, a special event barn and educational center,” according to the Daily Freeman. Leasing is now available for apartments at One Dutchess, the new luxury apartment complex on the riverfront.
Nicole Radasso, assistant director in the Office of Admission and Marist Class of 2012, said Poughkeepsie in particular possesses a negative reputation from people who grew up in the area in the 40s and 50s, but the area is reclaiming its vibrant culture.
“There’s definitely a draw for young artists, for that bohemian feel. And that, I think, is what harkens the revitalization of a city. There’s people coming in who are artists, who are really committed to making cool things happen in the area. That stuff is coming to Poughkeepsie and is definitely happening, maybe not always visible to Marist students,” Radasso said.
New businesses and community engagement also demonstrate the area’s growth and revitalization. The City of Poughkeepsie launched the First Friday festivals in 2016 with themes from Cinco de Mayo to Queen City Roots. Now in its third year, each First Friday event racked up more than 3,000 attendees, according to the event’s website.
New businesses have found their home in Poughkeepsie area, as well. 1915 Wine Cellar, a husband-and-wife-owned upscale wine bar, moved into 40 Cannon, a swanky apartment in Poughkeepsie’s downtown. Two Poughkeepsie natives opened up the Obscure Oscillation Brewing Company just eight months ago, contributing to the city’s increasingly youthful and entrepreneurial energy.
But despite the area’s recently trending popularity, the “Hampton-ification of the Hudson Valley,” per the New York Times, may not make the area financially available, particularly to young professionals and couples. Gina Jadelis, admission counselor and Marist Class of 2018, said that she struggled to find a reasonably priced living arrangement once she accepted her job at Marist.
“I don’t think people realize how expensive it is to live in the Hudson Valley. When I was looking for apartments I was very stressed...It was very expensive to live here on my own. Not as expensive as it is in the city, but definitely for someone who’s starting off that was definitely something I had to consider.”
A growing price tag and future developments could dramatically shape the region in the coming months and years. Rehfeld may not live in the Hudson Valley forever, but she understands and appreciates its growing appeal.
“I personally would like to leave the Hudson Valley because I want to experience working and living in Manhattan and developing myself career wise. That being said I 100% want to move back here when I raise my own family because I loved growing up here and having the nice hometown feel, so I would love to give that to my future family.”