IDA OKs tax breaks for Hideaway Bay Resort

OBSERVER file photo Pictured is the former Hideaway Bay Restaurant & Lounge. Chautauqua County Land Bank Corp. officials have been working for five years to redevelop the former restaurant site.

SILVER CREEK — Chautauqua County is doing its part to make sure the proposed Hideaway Bay Resort succeeds.

On Tuesday, the county IDA unanimously adopted a number of resolutions authorizing the necessary taxbreaks for the project. The new resort will be situated on the 3.6-acre former Hideaway Bay Restaurant site on Lake Erie and Walnut Creek in the Village of Silver Creek. The developers are using an active and healthy living design that showcases the natural beauty along with world-class recreation, fishing, and birdwatching opportunities.

It will feature 10 waterfront cottages, a restaurant-bar and event space, and four seasons of diverse world-class active and passive recreation opportunities.

The cottages, sometimes called “glamping units,” will have high-end decor, private patio space, and stunning waterfront views. A new 2-story event space will be designed to host events such as weddings and retreats, with upper and lower patios, and an indoor/outdoor full-service bar.

Active and passive recreation opportunities will also be available on site. The owners have been operating Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) for over 5 years, and will provide watersports such as paddle boarding and kite boarding along with an active recreation center with a natural kayak launch, in-house fishing guides, and educational birding events. Hideaway Bay Resort will also book other off-site activities such as horseback riding, snowmobiling, skiing, kiteboarding, and more.

According to Kristine Morabito, business development manager with the county IDA, the development is expected to create 30 construction jobs and 30 full time jobs.

Mark Geise, chief executive officer of the county IDA, noted the land and buildings were originally set for foreclosure. Instead, the county decided to take it over in 2018 to get the “right use” there. “We didn’t want to see someone come in there and tearing it down and building a home or not putting in the right amount of investment,” he said.

Instead, the county Landbank took over the property and they were able to work together to find a developer. “This is really exeactly what we were hoping for,” he said.

Kevin Cullen, a Western New York native and adventure sport enthusiast, and his wife Christian are two of the project owners and developers, residing in the Silver Creek area with their family.

They were not in attendence at the meeting, but issued a statement thanking the county IDA for their assistance. “We are excited to showcase the area’s natural beauty and leverage its recreational attributes to draw visitors and sports enthusiasts to the area. There really is something for everyone to do in this region and we are going to celebrate the variety of activities that are available here,” said Kevin Cullen.

In technical terms, the county IDA approved providing up front tax abatements for the $1.4 million development, including sales tax, mortgage recording tax, and Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) real property tax exemptions to incentivize the project. The IDA also provided extensive project coordination and technical expertise. Chautauqua County, the Village of Silver Creek, Town of Hanover, and Silver Creek Central School District will now each receive new additional real property tax revenue payments via the CCIDA PILOT. Thirty construction jobs are projected plus thirty new jobs at the resort.

Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel said, “I commend Mark Geise and the CCIDA team for their laser focus on Chautauqua County’s upward trajectory despite the recent pandemic. Our comeback thus far has proven to be greater than our setback, and this new development is a notable step forward for our local economy.”

“Chautauqua County, the Village of Silver Creek, Land Bank, CCIDA, and the JCC Small Business Development Center all provided expertise, working collaboratively and diligently for several years to attract this exciting new tourism and event venue to Silver Creek,” said Geise.

Jeffrey Hornburg, Village of Silver Creek Mayor, is also looking forward to the site redevelopment and has been actively working with the project team for many months toward that end. “The Village of Silver Creek is excited to support the redevelopment of the Hideaway Bay property. It has been a pleasure meeting with Kevin Cullen, discussing his plans for the renovation of the property, and we feel this development will fit nicely within the lakefront area. As Mayor, I stand ready and willing to assist Mr. Cullen and his organization in any way I can,” he said in a statement.

The Chautauqua County Lank Bank facilitated the property redevelopment plans and sale after it went into foreclosure, and additionally worked through the unexpected arson and demolition.

Gina Paradis, Chautauqua County Land Bank Executive Director, said, “This is a terrific new development that connects the community and the Local Waterfront Redevelopment Plan very well. We were happy to facilitate the process of identifying the best new development for the site.”

Subject to remaining project approvals, construction is expected to begin this fall with the resort becoming operational in the spring of 2022. The development team is proceeding as 42 Lake Erie LLC and Hideaway Bay Resort comprised primarily of partners Adventure Sports Development LLC, led by Cullen and Christian Edie, and Tundo Construction of Blasdell, owned by brothers Gene and Matt Tundo.


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