By Christine Graf
When longtime friends and business partners Michael Dubb and Larry Roth began redevelopment of the historic Rip Van Dam in downtown Saratoga Springs, they planned for the 200,000-square-foot building to include 84 apartments.
They are now considering marketing the units as condominiums.
“Nothing about the building is changing,” said Michael Dubb who is also the owner of Beechwood Homes on Long Island. “The only question is whether it will be rental or sale on the apartment side of it.”
As part of the redevelopment project, The Adelphi and the former Rip Van Dam will be connected and operate as one entity. The building that housed the Rip Van Dam is being expanded and renovated, and the exterior façade has already been updated. In addition to the 84 apartment or condominiums, the building will feature 31 hotel rooms, underground parking, a spa, a state-of-the art gym, meeting rooms, and a business center.
The Adelphi had its busiest season ever this past summer, and once the renovations are complete, the number of rooms available at the hotel will increase from 32 to 63. Dubb credits his partner for The Adelphi’s continued success.
“Quality sells, and I attribute it to my partner Larry Roth’s vision—his vision to make The Adelphi the nicest hotel in upstate New York. He had the foresight to acquire the adjoining Rip Van Dam property to further expand the hotel.”
Dubb and Roth are currently conducting market testing in order to determine whether or not the 84 apartments should be sold as condominiums. Condominium ownership in the State of New York is governed by the Attorney General’s office, and the partners received the required approval from the Attorney General before market testing commenced.
“The analysis that we’ve done shows that Saratoga seems to have a shortage of ‘for sale’ condominiums. While conversely, there appear to be rental projects in the pipeline in the Saratoga area,” said Dubb.
As part of their market testing, an informational table was set up at The Adelphi during the summer. Visitors to the table were able to receive information about the condominium proposal.
“There has been a great deal of interest from people who have visited the Adelphi,” said Roth.
Other forms of market testing are currently underway, and Dubb and Roth have yet to make a final determination on whether to proceed with apartments or condominiums. The decision should be made by early 2023.
Regardless of the outcome, the 84 units will be finished to the same high level as the hotel rooms at The Adelphi. Residents will have access to all of the hotel’s amenities and will be able to enjoy the five-star service that The Adelphi is known for.
“You will be able to get room service, maid service, and even turn down service,” said Dubb. “You will be able to arrange that through the hotel.”
If the units are sold as condominiums, prices will range from approximately $500,000 to $1.5 million. Available units vary in size from studios to 3-bedrooms. Seasonal condominium residents will have the opportunity to earn an income stream from their property.
“If they want to get income from the apartment when they aren’t using it, we will be able to rent it out through the hotel. They never have to be involved with whoever is renting it,” said Dubb. “A lot of people who spend their summers in Saratoga don’t understand that Saratoga is a year-round city. They don’t realize how busy Saratoga is at other times of the year besides track season.”
Skyrocketing material costs have impacted the redevelopment project’s bottom line considerably. The cost has increased by between 30 and 35 percent and is now predicted to reach $75 million.
Although supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and rising prices have been challenging, Dubb remains excited by the project. He fell in love with Saratoga when he visited the city for the first time at the age of 17, and he is proud of the role he is playing in preserving the historic Rip Van Dam. Built in 1840, the hotel hosted visitors to the city at a time when Saratoga Springs was one of the most popular resort destinations in the country.
“The last remaining link to those days of Saratoga is really The Adelphi and Rip Van Dam,” he said. “Larry and I are really focused on doing this right and making sure that it is around for a long, long time. It’s a part of Saratoga history that we can all be proud of.”
Dubb expects the hotel addition to be completed by summer 2023. The apartments/condominiums will be completed in 2024. When that happens, he plans to enjoy a celebratory drink.
“I hope to sit in the lobby or the front porch of The Adelphi and drink a little whiskey and just enjoy the contribution that Larry and I have made to Saratoga,” he said. “I really just want to take some time to smell the roses.”