Stop the Hotel! Ask the Governor and the Mayor To Do the Right Thing

by Lynne Jackson

ALBANY: Are you sick and tired of reading about the proposed hotel in the Pine Bush? Are you tired of sprawl in the Pine Bush? Are you disgusted that the largest hotel corporation in the US wants to pave occupied Karner Blue habitat for parking lots and a building?

Time to do something! Contact Governor Eliot Spitzer and Mayor Gerald Jennings and propose a win-win solution.

How can the site be saved? The State of New York should trade land at the Harriman Office Campus for the 3.6 acre site of the proposed hotel. Everyone wins. A hotel is wanted and needed at the Harriman Office Campus. Theraldson wants to build a hotel. Save the Pine Bush wants to preserve Karner Blue habitat.

Trading land at the Harriman Office Campus for the 3.6 acre Theraldson site in the Pine Bush would benefit everyone. First, occupied Karner Blue habitat would be forever protected in the Preserve. Second, building a hotel at the Harriman Office Campus would jump-start the stalled Harriman redevelopment project. Third, instead of building in a location only accessible by car, constructing the hotel on the Harriman Office Campus would allow visitors to use other forms of transit during their visit, including walking, bicycling, and public transit. Forth, the City of Albany would receive property taxes. And last, but certainly not least, the developer would benefit. The developer could build a larger hotel on the same size parcel because there are fewer restrictions on the height of buildings at Harriman than in the Pine Bush, the developer would be able to build much more quickly because Save the Pine Bush would not need to sue them, and the developer would get very good press because they decided to protect an endangered species.

We need to ask for a land trade!

Send a Letter or Email Today!

Write to:

The Honorable Eliot Spitzer
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224
or email the Governor at

Write to:
The Honorable Gerald D. Jennings, Mayor
City Hall
Albany, NY 12207

Also, write to Judith Enck, deputy secretary for the environment to Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been appointed to Governor Spitzer’s “Smart Growth Cabinet”

Judith Enck, Deputy Secretary for the Environment
Office of Governor Eliot Spitzer
State Capitol,
Albany, NY 12224

Sample Letter:


I am writing to ask that the State of New York and the City of Albany protect occupied habitat of the endangered Karner Blue butterfly in Albany, New York by trading land at the Harriman Office Campus for land in the Pine Bush owned by Tharaldson Development Company.

Tharaldson Development Company is proposing to construct a hotel on occupied habitat of the Karner Blue butterfly in the Pine Bush. The site of the proposed hotel is 3.6 acres in size. This site is just three short miles (about 6 minutes by car) west of the Harriman Office Campus. The Harriman Office Campus needs a hotel. Acquisition of this proposed hotel site by a land trade would be a win-win situation for everyone. The occupied Karner Blue habitat of the hotel site would be dedicated to the Pine Bush Preserve, thus improving the chances of the Karner Blue surviving. The Harriman Office Campus would get a much needed development, which could be constructed fairly quickly giving a boost to the privatization project. Located at the Harriman Campus, the hotel would be built in an appropriate walkable, bikable location near transit instead of contributing to sprawl in the Pine Bush.

And, the developer, Theraldson Development Company, would be able to construct a larger hotel, and thus make more money, because they would no longer be constrained by the height limits imposed by the commercial Pine Bush zoning rules.

New York State taxpayers benefit because more of the endangered Pine Bush ecosystem is added to the Pine Bush Preserve, at no cost.

The State of New York has twice before traded state-owned land just north of the campus for privately owned land in the Pine Bush in order to preserve this endangered ecosystem. The two prior land trades were 44 acres of Pine Bush (called “Drumlin Fields” by the developer) for 18 acres of land just north of the Harriman Office Campus. CDPHP was built on that site. The other land trade was the SEFCU building and surrounding land for land north of the State Office Campus where they have built a new facility. Now, the SEFCU building has been transformed into the new Pine Bush Discovery Center.

I hope that you will consider acquiring this 3.6 acre proposed hotel site through a land trade.