It's been four years since Harbalwant Singh shared his vision for Route 66. Back in February 2011, he told the Columbia County Industrial Development Agency that Greenport Crossing would cause a "ripple effect" and "Route 66 will be totally Route 9 in Poughkeepsie."
In the past four years, this vision has not been realized. The project was only partially completed; a fire, which was determined to be arson, closed the convenience store and the gas station; Columbia Economic Development Corporation sued Singh for the money it had lent to the project, forcing him to file for bankruptcy; Singh demolished what remained of the V&O Press building, which he had intended to rehab as a family entertainment center. Still, the Register-Star reports today that the plan for Greenport Crossing isn't going away: "Greenport Crossing project may be salvaged."
In what seems to be a triumph of hope over experience, Ken Flood, Columbia County's economic development commissioner, seems still to be promoting the project to CEDC, although the pitch is a little different now than it was four years ago. In 2011, a franchise hotel was seen as necessary because corporate travel offices didn't make reservations with independent hostelries. Now, according to the article, Flood is telling CEDC that a franchise hotel is needed because the county's lack of one is "forcing visitors in need of a low-cost hotel to stay in Dutchess or Greene counties."
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