The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls - Beacon, NY
Robert and Patti McAlpine moved in 2007 from their longtime home in Long Island to the small, Hudson Valley city of Beacon and planned to retire there. Three years later, while taking a drive with his wife, Robert became intrigued with one of the abandoned factory buildings on the east end of the city.
It was a unique find for an urban neighborhood: A waterfall ran through a portion of the property, and a creek ran through another section. McAlpine, a contractor, was able to look past the deteriorating structures and imagine an upscale hotel, restaurant and event venue.
"I was enamored. I remember saying, 'Why hasn’t someone done something with this?," McAlpine recalled. "I’ve done an enormous amount of work for the hospitality industry, and this was the perfect location for that kind of thing."
The couple paid $1.7 million cash for the nine-acre parcel. They shopped around for lenders, and Rhinebeck Bank was interested in helping finance the approximately $4 million it would cost to transform the dilapidated hat factory into their vision, The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls. Rhinebeck Bank partnered with Empire State CDC: The 504 Company to issue a $4.069 million loan to renovate the property.
"This was a fairly large project, and Rhinebeck Bank was seeking some SBA enhancement to get the deal done," said Greg Powell, NYBDC vice president. "Bob McAlpine was looking for a way to get the hotel, restaurant and event space off the ground without a large capital investment, and the 504 loan was a perfect fit."
An outdoor patio, the first piece of The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls project, opened in 2011. The 40-seat bar and 90-seat restaurant opened in the summer of 2012; the banquet hall and first 14 sleeping rooms opened that fall, followed by nine more rooms in August 2013. Plans are underway to add another 18 sleeping rooms.
McAlpine, his wife and their two children, Brendan McAlpine and Katie Guerra, and their spouses, Meghan McAlpine and Antonio Guerra, help run the property. The project has created between 50 and 100 jobs, depending on the season.
"The Roundhouse is not only a solid business venture, but an economic boost to a part of our community that benefits all of us in the long run," said Roy Shemitz, vice president of commercial lending for Rhinebeck Bank.
As a community institution, Rhinebeck Bank is able to make decisions that impact local communitities, said Shemitz, adding that Michael Quinn, the bank’s president and CEO, shared McAlpine's vision after touring the old factory.
McAlpine said that while he had the property, his plans likely would have remained “nothing more than an idea” without the loan.
"Our experience with them was great. They told us what we needed, we gave it to them and we worked through the process," he said. "Everything was seamless and smooth."
Private events at The Roundhouse have also boosted the local economy. Sixty weddings were held there in 2013, and 60 couples have booked space for weddings there already this year. Revenue, which increased 25 percent in 2013, is expected to increase by 20 to 25 percent in 2014.
"The level of sophistication of our property is not something you find around the Hudson Valley," McAlpine said. "This can be a challenging business, but it makes me proud to bring something so unique to this community. I’m very proud."