Legoland Confirms Plans for Orange County Amusement Park

John Jordan | May 2016

GOSHEN—Legoland has confirmed that it intends to submit plans for a major amusement park in the Town of Goshen in Orange County, Real Estate In-Depth has learned exclusively.

A spokesperson for Merlin Entertainments plc, the owner and operator of Legoland amusement parks, confirmed what sources have been telling Real Estate In-Depth and other media outlets that Legoland has indeed ended its multi-state search and selected Goshen as its location for its third North American amusement park.

Julie Estrada, senior media relations manager, in response to a media request from Real Estate In-Depth, states, “Merlin Entertainments plc has an interest in land within the Town of Goshen in Orange County, New York. We would hope to bring an application to the Town Board for the re-zoning of the land in due course, as part of our aspiration to open a third LEGOLAND Park in North America.”

Legoland currently operates amusement parks in Carlsbad, CA and in Winter Haven, FL.

The Middletown Times-Herald Record and MidHudsonNews reported today (Thursday, May 26) that a deal is imminent and that representatives of Legoland will soon be appearing before the Town of Goshen Planning Board to present the amusement park proposal for approval. Reports say the property consists of a number of land parcels off Exit 125 of Route 17. Estrada did not provide further details on its plans for the Goshen properties.

A source knowledgeable of the negotiations between Legoland, New York State and county government officials old Real Estate In-Depth that Legoland had indeed selected the Goshen site for the project. The source, who asked not to be identified, said that official word of the project proposal in Goshen is expected to come from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

If the proposal secures all necessary approvals, it would add another major tourist location to Orange County, that already has such major draws as: West Point and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. The project has been estimated at approximately $250 million. A report on the MidHudsonNews website put the value of the project significantly higher at more than $800 million.

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus released a statement regarding the Legoland proposal. He stated, “I’ve been working with Legoland for months to try to bring them to Orange County. If they choose to come here, it would be good for them and great for us. We hope to have some exciting news to report soon.”

The deal would be a bitter pill to swallow for some Rockland County officials, who had supported Legoland’s bid to build the amusement park, waterpark and a hotel at the 175-acre Letchworth Village site in Haverstraw and Stony Point. However, last October local opposition prompted Haverstraw Town Supervisor Howard Phillips to say the village would no longer consider the project. The project had not been officially submitted for municipal review when Haverstraw pulled the plug on the venture.

In late 2014 New York State announced that the project was awarded $3.1 million in state grants in connection with Gov. Cuomo’s Consolidated Funding Application competition. The project was designated as the Mid-Hudson region’s number one priority project during the 2014 CFA competition. Last year, New York State announced it had awarded another $1 million in funding for the Legoland proposal.

Photo Caption: The project in Goshen, if built, would likely include a Legoland hotel.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth