By Christine Graf
Long Island developer, thoroughbred owner, and NYRA board member Michael Dubb has partnered with The Adelphi Hotel owner Larry Roth to return the 128,000-square-foot Rip Van Dam Hotel in the heart of downtown to its original grandeur.
Built in 1840, the Rip Van Dam, is located at 365 Broadway next to The Adelphi Hotel at 353 Broadway in Saratoga Springs. The $50 million renovation and expansion project has received site plan and design review approval and is awaiting an architectural review.
“I never really had intended to get involved in real estate development in Saratoga, but two projects found me. I didn’t find them,” said Dubb.
In addition to the Rip Van Dam project, Dubb is also in the process of developing 53 lots in Oak Ridge, a luxury housing development located just five minutes from the track.
“I thought the land was so beautiful that I just couldn’t pass it up,” he said.
Dubb, the winner of seven NYRA owner titles during the summer racing meet, also recently completed construction of Faith’s House, a day care and early education center located on the Oklahoma side of the Saratoga Race Course. It serves the children of backstretch workers, trainers, and front-side NYRA employees. It was financed by Dubb and his wife, Lee. In 2003, the couple built and funded their first day care center at Belmont Park.
Dubb’s involvement with the Rip Van Dam and Adelphi began after Roth, a close friend, approached him about the project. Roth is the owner of The Adelphi and purchased the Rip Van Dam in 2019 after it went into foreclosure. A former principal in a multi-million dollar designer eyewear company, Roth also owns thoroughbreds with his wife and daughter. They are co-owners of Country House, the 65-1 long shot that won the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
“He purchased the Rip Van Dam with the idea that he wanted to control the destiny of what went next to The Adelphi,” said Dubb. “We started talking about concepts for it and what would be the best use for it. We talked about adding additional hotel rooms to the Adelphi vis-à-vis the Rip Van Dam and creating some apartments that would be part of the hotel.”
The two hotels will be joined and will operate as The Adelphi. The former Rip Van Dam will be renovated, and an addition will be built in the rear.
Once completed, its 200,000 square feet will include 31 hotel rooms, 84 apartments, underground parking, a spa, a state-of-the art gym, meeting rooms, and a business center.
“The Adelphi’s capability will go from 32 rooms to 63 room,” said Dubb. “We hope to have some rooms online for next summer, perhaps another 14 or 15, and the balance in the summer of 2023.”
Residents of the new Adelphi apartments will have access to all of the hotel’s amenities, including maid, room and concierge services. Studio apartments, as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments, will be available, and rents will likely range between $3,000 and $6,000.
The exterior façade of the Rip Van Dam has already been refurbished, and the interior of the existing on-site restaurant, Salt & Char, has been renovated. The interior will be completely gutted.
Landscape architect Mike Ingersoll of the LA Group, architect Dominick Ranieri and Bonacio Construction have been hired for the project.
Dubb has experience with similar projects including The Vanderbilt in Westbury on Long Island. The $120 million Vanderbilt includes 178 high-end rental residences and 17 hotel suites. The building is fully leased and Dubb is currently developing a similar project downstate. It will include a mix of apartments and hotel rooms.