As Sullivan County is experiencing a resurgence of tourism development, the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association...
With 185 lots sold, 126 homes built and – in just the last year alone – nearly $12 million in sales, the Chapin Estate counts as an unqualified success. But founder and managing partner Steve Dubrovsky aims even higher, ready to see the remaining 250 lots purchased. That’s why last month he sold a majority interest in Chapin to Bighorn Capital, a Las Vegas financing firm, and Suncal, based in Irvine, California and one of the largest real estate developers in the country.
“These are people who bring something to the table,” Dubrovsky said. “They’re going to help us get to the goal line.”
The mid-eight-figure deal involves both the established Chapin Estate and its newer Swinging Bridge development in the Town of Lumberland, the Lake Club, the Crestwood project near Bethel Woods, and the Corner in White Lake (where a clock tower now graces the lot).
Dubrovsky remains the managing partner, but Bighorn and Suncal will take Sullivan County’s most luxurious development to a new level.
“They’re a much better marketer than I am,” he explained.
In addition to adding amenities to the Lake Club (which already offers an inground swimming pool, dining area, kitchen and fitness facilities), plans are to create a five-star boutique hotel, restaurant, spa and equestrian center – for use by members but also open to the public by advance reservation.
“We anticipate starting [construction] within a year,” said Dubrovsky.
The idea is to generate even greater interest in a property that spans some of Sullivan County’s most beautiful forests, lakes and streams – through both targeted marketing and word-of-mouth. “Forty to fifty percent of our sales are because somebody’s talked to somebody who lives in the community,” Dubrovsky explained. This is a community that’s home to people who are at the top of their professions, but it’s also a place where they can get away, relax and spend time with family, just like anyone else.
The best nature and man can offer is a combination Dubrovsky has deftly mixed since his days crafting homes for the Rockefeller family and friends in Lew Beach.
In 1999, he founded the Chapin Estate, named after a NYC industrialist who found peace and solace at the turn of the 20th century within these very woods. Though the recession hit hard, Chapin remained attractive to those looking for a dream home in the country. Even Dubrovsky himself moved in.
“I enjoy it,” he acknowledged of the challenges (and rewards) a developer faces. “And I have always believed what would be good for me should be good for the town and county.”
Indeed, Chapin has contributed millions to the local tax base and has a continuing positive impact on the economy.
“We bring people in who spend in the area,” said Dubrovsky. “We’ve set the bar higher in Sullivan County.”
With renewed interest in the area thanks to a coming casino – and the fact that Suncal and Bighorn have found Chapin worthy of a major investment – he sees much good ahead for both the development and the surrounding region.
“I really think we’re on the verge of becoming something very special.”