New $13 million dining, shopping, apartment living complex coming to Poughkeepsie

A massive new mixed-use development is coming to Poughkeepsie, intended to create a live-work-play destination

A massive new mixed-use development is coming to Poughkeepsie, intended to create a live-work-play destination downtown, with an enormous food hall and event space being the first pieces to launch this spring.

The Academy will blend restaurants, retail, apartments, and coworking and event spaces across two buildings at 33 and 35 Academy Street in the city’s central business district.

“People know this property very well,” said Ron Hicks, Assistant County Executive for Economic Development. “It [was] a visible dead space in the heart of the City of Poughkeepsie … now that this property is being repurposed, it sends a significant message that things are happening in the city … you see light and investment.”

Baxter Building Corporation, the developers behind the mixed-use project, invested more than $13 million to renovate the formerly underutilized commercial spaces, which were purchased in 2018 and 2019. Since then, the project has received a $1.2 million Empire State Development grant.

“I was born and raised in Poughkeepsie,” said Eric Baxter, Vice President of Baxter Building Corporation, who works with his sister Amanda, who is company president. “I’m passionate about the city and trying to assist with its revival. Trying to come up with a concept that’s going to attract individuals to visit the city, and other amenities for the locals to enjoy, and additional apartments for people to live in, goes with that live-work-play model where people can live downtown, work in the building and enjoy themselves as well.”

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The Academy combines under one roof a food hall with a produce market, a bar, small bistro and different food concepts including barbeque and Asian cuisine. The food hall will be operated by Christian Palikuca, and Baxter says they may bring in guest chefs.

“This project will provide an opportunity for low-cost startup incubation, a market that will offer fresh foods to low-income families that would otherwise not have access, job opportunities in the agricultural and food and beverage industries and will draw tourist traffic from the Walkway Over the Hudson into downtown Poughkeepsie,” said Kristin Devoe, Senior Director of Communications, Upstate for Empire State Development in an emailed statement.

“We are excited about how The Academy will contribute to our goal of transforming our urban centers, enhancing the region as a tourist destination, and attract of businesses to locate, grow, and start their businesses in New York State.”

Upstairs will feature a brewery and an 8,700-square-foot private event space called Keepsake at The Academy featuring a reception room, courtyard and bar.

Both the food hall and event space will open first in the spring, becoming the region’s second food hall after Beacon’s Hudson Valley Food Hall, which opened in 2019.

An adjacent 28-unit apartment building will feature affordable studio, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments, with the rents for each unit varying depending on income levels. The residential and coworking spaces are slated to open in July, after the food hall and event space.

The project’s architect is MASS Design Group.

Baxter Building Corporation is also behind other Hudson Valley developments, including 289 Main Street, a residential and business collective, and Maple Street Apartments — both in Poughkeepsie. The developer has also constructed and/or developed other local restaurants and hospitality projects including Heritage Food + Drink and Ready Coffee in Wappingers Falls, Mill House Brewing and Hudson & Packard in Poughkeepsie, and Scribner’s Catskill Lodge in Hunter.

“This is something I love to do and enjoy doing,” said Baxter. “I want to raise money and jobs into the City of Poughkeepsie, bring these two buildings back to life, and help increase the tax base and produce economic development in the area.”

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