|Poughkeepsie, NY, October 23, 2020—Baxter Building Corporation has set in motion the construction of the $13 million development of 33 and 35 Academy. The building has been a historic part of Poughkeepsie’s landscape since the early nineteen hundreds where it stood as a Motor Factory and dealership, followed by a dance club. After on and off vacancy, Baxter along with other community members partnered with NYS Homes and Community Renewal, the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) and Empire State Development to bring back the zestful energy once surrounding the building by transforming it into a live, work, and play space.
The Academy Market and Food Hall is expected to be open for operation in the summer of 2021 with the purpose to serve as a community hub, bringing together people near and far to gather and share new experiences. It’s location in Poughkeepsie’s central business district will lead visitors to further explore the wonderful city. The Academy will house a variety of offerings. In terms of cuisine, there will be a fresh market and food hall which will include four culturally infused vendors. Customers will also be able to enjoy a cocktail or house-made beer at the brewery and bar, dine at the restaurant, or visit the dessert bar. The building will include a community focused venue, co-working space, and 28 affordable apartment rentals.
The groundbreaking event was held on October 22nd where Baxter introduced the hardworking individuals behind this visionary project. Seeking out the best in their fields, Baxter brought on a diverse team of developers, investors, chefs and operators with an extensive, proven track record. Through an outdoor, socially distanced ceremony in the back lot of 35 Academy, the Baxter team was able to commemorate this milestone with like-minded individuals who share their passion of rejuvenating their beloved city.
At the event, Eric Baxter, Founder of The Academy, introduced his partner and operator, Christian Palikuca. When discussing the project, Palikuca stated, ”conceived, developed, designed, and built by locals with a love for their hometown and a passion for revitalizing Poughkeepsie, The Academy Market and Food Hall will activate two adjacent industrial buildings with all-day service and regular programming. Ample seating indoors and out will ensure that everyone in the community has a place at our table.”
Amanda Baxter, President of Baxter Building Corporation and Co-Founder of The Academy stated, “The Academy goes far beyond just the food. The co-working space will pave the way for collaboration and growth for the region’s local and emerging businesses. Its affordable apartments will provide feasible rental options for our community, while the event space will host a plethora of community focused activities for the neighbors to partake in. “The Academy” will be a welcoming establishment, cultivating a place to create, to relish, and to gather.”
Eric Baxter, Vice President of Baxter Building Corporation and Co-Founder of The Academy explained, “the mixed-use development is uniquely positioned to be a vibrant hub of activity for the downtown neighborhood and the community. Featuring 28 affordable apartment units, a market, food hall, restaurant, brewery, co-working and event space all under one roof, The Academy will serve as a cultural catalyst where the best of Hudson Valley products and produce will be newly accessible and always enjoyable.
“As a nonprofit housing finance company, CPC is proud to invest in projects like The Academy that help to meet the unique housing and development goals of the Poughkeepsie community,” said Mary S. Paden, SVP & Senior Mortgage Officer at the Community Preservation Corporation. “We are proud to be part of a project that will be a catalyst for bringing people together and serve as a hub of economic opportunity and stability. My thanks to Eric and Amanda Baxter and all their investment partners for their vision and commitment to this project, to Commissioner Visnauskas and her team at HCR, and to all of our other partners.”
ESD Acting Commissioner, and President and CEO-delegate Eric Gertler said, "New York State is committed to moving forward on projects that strengthen communities and support local economic development. The Academy, with its modern mixed-use space and amenities for home owners and entrepreneurs alike, is a great example of how we are investing in the vibrancy of our state’s regions and city centers to build back better, smarter and more strategically.”
A first of its kind, The Academy Market and Food Hall will be both a desired destination for travelers and a valued communal space for its local population. Whether it be picking up a fresh, home-cooked meal from the market, celebrating a birthday at the restaurant, or meeting friends at the food hall for lunch, the options are limitless.
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