Union Place unveiled
Putnam County Courier
February 21, 2008
MAHOPAC-Move over Donald Trump! Developer Paul Camarda
has announced plans to turn southern Mahopac into
a shopper's paradise.
Camarda met with members of the Carmel Town Board
last week where he unveiled Union Place-a 300 acre
parcel of land at the Putnam-Westchester border where
the entrepreneur wants to create a new gateway to
Camarda sat down with the Courier last Friday to
detail his latest initiative. The builder plans to
break ground on Putnam's first hotel at the Southeast-
Carmel line in April while planning to construct
Patterson Crossing and a small business development
on Route 6 in Southeast in the years to come.
Camarda's latest initiative is too large to be used
exclusively for retail business or even office space. "A
mixture of uses called smart growth is the best solution
for the property. I have decided to create an old
village concept as the centerpiece with a main thoroughfare
of no longer than 1200 to 1500 feet with quality
shops along the street-businesses both privately
owned and publicly traded," he said.
Camarda also hopes to construct two large anchor
stores at either end of the village as well as corporate
headquarters for several companies.
The two and three story buildings will house offices
and apartments on the upper floors.
While the Hudson Valley has nothing like it, Camarda
hopes to model Union Place after Santana Row in San
Jose, California; Disneyland in Florida; and the
Corn Fields outside of Kansas City. "Mixed use
is the key since by sticking to the criteria of smart
growth, buildings will be green and environmentally
friendly. Rooftops won't produce storm water since
they will contain grass; recycled materials will
be employed along with geo-thermal heating techniques," he
Camarda studied the trade area that indicated a
population of 180,000: "People from Kent, Katonah,
Pleasant Valley and Yorktown will use our village
since they can travel along the Taconic State Parkway.
The average income of our customers is in the $100,000
range and with a void in the market for upscale shops,
Union Place will attract scores of customers from
Putnam and northern Westchester to these upscale
facilities. The Putnam Paradox will finally come
to an end!" The paradox coined by economists
results from the fact that Putnam residents spend
the large amounts of their incomes outside of the
county due to a lack of shopping facilities found
from Cold Spring to Carmel and from Putnam Lake to
Camarda has plans for several junior anchor stores
to locate at the new center as well as full sized
anchor stores and Class A office space, a small hotel,
even a movie theater or an ice skating rink. "We
need a place where adults can go and have lunch,
do some shopping, enjoy live music and partake in
a variety of activities," said Camarda.
Camarda wants to hear from residents of Carmel and
Mahopac and next week will be sending a survey to
each household in Putnam's largest community asking
for input. "What do people want? Union Place
will be a union-a place where Westchester will meet
Putnam. Putnam always meets Westchester. It would
be nice for Westchester to meet Putnam for a change.
Union Place will be a joining together of a dozen
different uses. Once completed Union Place will make
Putnam County a very special place," he said.
Carmel Supervisor Ken Schmitt agreed: "I am
ecstatic at Mr. Camarda's plan because Union Place
at the Baldwin Place-Mahopac border will generate
tremendous revenues for our town and county. The
commercial, corporate and retail components will
lift some of the tax burden from our heavily taxed
homeowners. Jobs will be created. Shoppers will spend
their money in Mahopac instead of Jefferson Valley
or Danbury. The entire Route 6 corridor will be revitalized
by this project. Union Place is a win-win!"
Another interesting component of Camarda's plan
is the creation of a bypass from Baldwin Place Road
in the vicinity of Mahopac High School all the way
to Route 6.