The Motorcyclepedia Museum in Newburgh is home to over 500 motorcycles. It began when Newburgh residents Ted Doering and his father started collecting motorcycle parts over 60 years ago. During that time, they have amassed an immense and rare collection of motorcycles. They could have chosen anywhere to open the museum, but they decided to do it in a warehouse in the City of Newburgh, because that’s where Ted’s heart is. He wanted not only to preserve and showcase the treasures they had acquired, but to help put his hometown back on the map.
Sometimes finding one’s destiny is as simple as placing a compass on a map and drawing a circle. That’s how printer Luke Ives Pontifell wound up moving his company, Thornwillow Press, to Newburgh, N.Y., a city only 55 miles north of New York City.
Pontifell had been looking for a place to consolidate his limited edition custom book and stationery business, which was spread across the world in England, Florida and the Czech Republic. One day, his wife drew a one-hour radius around their home in New York City, and they set off visiting locations in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Nothing felt quite right until, guided by the New York State Economic Development Corporation, they arrived in Newburgh and came upon a massive 19th-century warehouse that used to function as a coat factory.
Most who grow up near New York City dream of trading their suburban life for the big city. Chris Basso and Paul Halayko, however, were unlike the average suburbanites: The two 31-year-old Washingtonville, N.Y., natives found their dreams not in the big city, but in their home county, Orange. More specifically, they found their dreams in a 160-year-old paper-box factory along the Hudson River in Newburgh, N.Y., 55 miles north of New York City.
Basso, who had been a brewer at the Brooklyn brewery, and Halyako, who had been working in finance, teamed up with Chris Benedetti, who also had a background in finance. The three then set their eyes on Newburgh to start their brewery, Newburgh Brewing Company.
Although Basso asserts that he always had his heart set on brewing in Newburgh, he says that the main thing that drew him upstate was the affordability. Financial realities are a crucial point for a young business. Basso says: “if you were to transplant this exact building and everything that goes with it to Brooklyn… it would’ve been so far out of reach, it would not have been feasible.” But his city-savvy dexterity should pay off, as he believes that “…if you have a little bit of vision and a little bit of money you can come in, take an existing structure and turn it into something.” After all, think of how Williamsburg and Bushwick were before they developed: filled with warehouses and factories, sure — but with lots of potential.