…at the six-story condominium apartment building WITH an adjoining hotel that’s being proposed for the Pit, the hole in the downtown donut that sits behind the village hall.
No, that most assuredly wouldn’t “fundamentally transform” the downtown village core. No more than, say, building an 18,000 seat NHL arena in the park that runs along North Front and sits behind Huguenot Street would change the sense of things in the historic district.
The solution to development of the Pit is the same as the solution to the Millbrook Preserve. The village should buy it from its owner and then leave it alone.
The Pit isn’t just an empty space. It’s integral to the unique organic design of the magnificent, classical, small-town downtown of the Village of New Paltz. Think of the village core as rotating around the Pit. As I said in a previous item here, the Pit gives the downtown its three-dimensionality and its illusion of size. The Pit, like time, is what keeps everything from happening at once.
New Paltz will change. The downtown will change. But it must not be ruined. The Pit is a small piece of open space that no one thinks about, most of the time, but it does a very big and essential job.
P.S. I have no problem with a hotel, by the way. Maybe the owner of the car wash on 32 North, across from My Market, would sell that property to a developer. A condo-apartment building, however, needs to be tucked away. Maybe North or South Putt has a site.