Major Sportsdome Project Planned at IBM Parcel
John Jordan | August 2015
EAST FISHKILL—A two-and-a-half year process to bring what will be a $25-million air-supported sportsdome to Dutchess County ended last month with the purchase of a 30-acre parcel of land here by Hopewell Sportsdome Ventures from an affiliate of Linuo Solar Group, the owner of the IBM West campus property.
The vacant property was part of the former IBM West campus in East Fishkill.
Thomas LaPerch, office manager, Houlihan Lawrence Commercial Real Estate Group, was the exclusive broker in the transaction. Donato “Dan” Fraioli heads the group of investors for Hopewell Sportsdome Ventures. He is also CEO of Air Structures American Technologies, Inc., a Rye-Brook-based air structure manufacturer and developer that has patented, designed, engineered and built more than 5,000 air supported structures worldwide, including facilities for the New York Giants, New York Jets and Rutgers University to name just a few. The sale price for the parcel was $2.2 million. The structure to be built will be primarily suited for baseball purposes, LaPerch said, “It is probably going to be the world’s largest indoor baseball facility.” The complex will feature four full-size Little League baseball fields and four multi-purpose fields.
The deal coincides with the closing of the $1.5-billion sale of IBM’s chip-fab business and properties in East Fishkill and Vermont to Global Foundries. LaPerch said a key part of the sales transaction with Hopewell Sportsdome Ventures was securing the approval of Global Foundries to reconnect the property to the former IBM property sewer and water lines. “Without that,” LaPerch said, “we would have been dead in the water.” He recognized East Fishkill Town Supervisor John Hickman for helping secure the necessary sewer and water connections to the property.
Fraoili said the total development cost for the “Sports Kingdome” will be between $25 million-$30 million. The company had been looking at properties in Westchester, Dutchess and Rockland counties and Danbury, CT before deciding to site the project in East Fishkill.
He said that the project will break ground by September of this year and he hopes to have the facility up and running by the end of 2016.The dome itself will span eight acres and measure 468 feet wide by 740 feet long and will total about 350,000 square feet and will be 160 feet tall. The complex will feature four synthetic turf full-size Little League baseball fields and four multi-purpose fields, but all of the fields are convertible.
Because the fields are convertible, the facility could feature 12 multi-sports fields or six Little League fields or be converted to three NFL-sized football fields.
“It is extremely flexible in terms of its use, Fraioli said, In addition to the fields, the facility will include 25,000 square feet of office and concession space.