The Academy closes downtown Poughkeepsie food hall for new expansion
Owners of a property designed to breathe new life into downtown Poughkeepsie shut down a big part of their business to make way for an expansion.
The Academy, a residential and business development located on Academy Street, closed its food hall after a year of operation to expand its event venue located upstairs into the downstairs space.
Resident Kim Wing says she’s disappointed in the closure and that it had some of the best fresh food selections.
“It wasn't always very busy, but there were some people there. The food was really good,” she says.
A spokesperson for the Academy says their events business isn't stopping as it expands and that nothing's changing for tenants of their apartments on the corner.
The spokesperson couldn't immediately say how many food hall employees were laid off, but that management is actively communicating with employees who will be eligible to apply for new opportunities at Academy events.
He says the events business should start accepting job applications when the new venue opens in about a month.
Doug Nobiletti, operator of the nonprofit Queen City Arts, hopes the city helps out new businesses by cracking down on owners of nearby eyesores that decrease foot traffic and by doing some streetscaping. He's still bullish on the Academy's new plans.
“Downtown is the core of our city...I'm glad to see they're coming back with an invigorated, new concept as to how to try and pull it back out,” Nobiletti says.
News 12 asked the Academy's spokesperson and city administrators what challenges there are to doing business downtown and how to address them. They declined to comment specifically on the business climate there.