Developers seizing on Hasidic suburb’s explosive growth

1,600-unit condo complex opened in Kiryas Joel, more developments underway

A photo illustration of Veyoel Moshe Gardens in Kiryas Joel (LoopNet, iStock)
A photo illustration of Veyoel Moshe Gardens in Kiryas Joel (LoopNet, iStock)

Developers are responding to the explosive growth in Hudson Valley suburb Kiryas Joel, setting the local Hasidic community up for a slew of new housing projects.

The latest one in the Orange County municipality is Veyoel Moshe Gardens. The Times Herald-Record reported the 1,600-unit development recently opened and could ultimately house as many as 9,000 people across its 70 acres.

About 500 homes have been built at the complex so far and at least 300 have been sold. Many of the buyers have come from either Kiryas Joel or Brooklyn; several buyers have purchased more than one unit, likely indicating investors looking to rent.

The development has become its own metropolis, with the developer switching out three residential buildings in favor of a commercial portion. The building will likely include a supermarket and other stores, cutting residents’ need to cross a busy road to go shopping.

The complex is separated from the rest of the village by County Route 105, dividing the Satmar Hasidic sect from the rest of the community. The sect is known for having large families, which may only increase the need for housing as the community grows.

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The uptick in development activity comes after Kiryas Joel grew by 63 percent in the last decade to 33,000 people, marking Orange County’s most populous area.

Akiva Klein, the developer behind Veyoel Moshe Gardens, is also developing Acres Enclave, expected to house about 3,000 people across 543 condos. There are also projects underway that will include 482, 457, 250 and 191 units, respectively.

The developmental boom has been aided by neighboring Woodbury, which approved the use of a well that will boost Kiryas Joel’s water supply.

Kiryas Joel residents have not always gotten along with their neighbors. Tensions between the Satmars and other locals stem from cultural differences, the community’s use of Yiddish, its effect on local resources, and anti-Semitism, according to the Forward. After the town’s growth spurt and a 2015 proposal to annex 507 acres of new land, the Town of Monroe voted in 2017 to pull away and create the new town of Palm Tree.

[Times-Herald Record] — Holden Walter-Warner