Besides attracting visitors to Tarrytown and helping establish the Hudson River as an important feature for recreation and commerce, Tarrytown Boat & Yacht Club is noted as the place where Laurance Rockefeller, grandson of John Sr., kept his high-speed commuter yacht, The Dauntless. Rockefeller used the 65-foot yacht — custom-made for him and launched in May 1948 — to commute between Tarrytown and the West 79th Street Boat Basin in Manhattan on weekdays. (The yacht also made trips to Maine, Florida and the Caribbean.)
You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to sail into the Tarrytown facility, but there’s a plan afloat that may make mariners and landlubbers alike feel like one.
The $2.15 million plan from Tarrytown Marina LLC — a subtenant of the boat club and an affiliate of National Resources LLC, a Greenwich-based real estate and development firm — calls for the building of a “Wharf Boatel,” improvements to the marina, space for a new restaurant and upgraded parking.
“A boatel is a hotel where guests and visitors will come by car and bus or even the nearby Tarrytown train station, but they will primarily be coming through by boat,” says National Resources’ Lauren Calabria. “These boatels really do become waterfront attractions that help to promote tourism and to serve and benefit surrounding communities … specifically restaurants, shops and local businesses.”
The proposal, now before the Tarrytown Planning Board, would allow the continued operation of Tarrytown Boat & Yacht Club well into the future, she adds.
The four-story boatel would have 103 rooms, a 2,000-square-foot waterfront restaurant with outdoor dining and a 1,407-square-foot store selling supplies used by boaters, including items such as snacks, sunglasses and sunscreen. A two-level garage would have 112 spaces with 20 set aside for valet parking. There would also be 1,314 square feet for use by the boat club as its meeting and club room.
The rezoning petition asks that village zoning be amended to permit a hotel as a principal use on properties in the Waterfront Zoning District. The petition states that such an amendment would also provide that any such hotel must be operated in conjunction with an adjoining marina and that restaurants and other customary accessory uses such as marine-support services and retail would have to be permitted.
Lynne Ward, executive vice president of National Resources, says that the concept calls for a boutique marina with limited boat servicing facilities.
“The intention is to keep it as the operating Tarrytown Boat Club, the 100-(plus)-year-old club,” Ward says. “The whole openness of the design with a cut-through and a walkway is to bring the public to the water and to the restaurant.”
The club has reserved the right to continue using up to 30 boat slips in the marina for existing members. The remainder of the 150 slips would be available for use by new members, visitors to the boatel and restaurant and members of the public. The petition anticipates that the boatel would use up to 30 slips and the restaurant up to 12 slips, primarily on weekends.
Ward says that occupancy of the boatel by people arriving by boat would be seasonal and heavier on weekends during the boating season, with weekday room occupancy estimated to be around 50%.
“We’ve been very concerned about the loss of marina facilities on the Hudson River … and this is kind of a unique opportunity to put this back into operation,” she adds. “It’s been very neglected since Hurricane Sandy, but so have many other marinas. So, there is a bigger cause here. One can see that this is a wasted asset, actually.”
According to the rezoning petition, Tarrytown Marina LLC would have to perform all obligations of the club under the village lease, ensuring that the marina is supported economically and that it would be “vastly improved through significant dredging and other long-awaited repairs.”
“In developing the Wharf Boatel concept, the newest iteration, we spent considerable time with our architects reviewing the historic character, architectural vernacular and the charm of the village of Tarrytown, and we wanted to develop something that was complementary to the village and also attractive from both the water and street sides,” Calabria says. “We also took into consideration other waterfront towns such as Newport (Rhode Island).”
She adds that the height of the boatel would conform to the 45-foot maximum allowed under waterfront zoning.
When the plan was revealed in 2020, attorney Brad Schwartz of the White Plains-based law firm Zarin & Steinmetz, which represents the marina, told a work session of the Tarrytown Board of Trustees, “We believe this concept addresses the feedback that we received from the board on prior iterations and there are four key elements …First, there would be no residential use. Second, no village land would be used. Third, the proposed height would comply with the current waterfront district zoning. Fourth is that the proposal would facilitate access to the riverwalk.”
Riverwalk is a public space that National Resources helped develop as a segment of a planned 51-mile park along the Hudson.
National Resources has also been developing Hudson Harbor, a project approved for 238 condominiums and townhouses along a stretch of Tarrytown’s Hudson River waterfront just north of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The marina is just south of the residential buildings in the Hudson Harbor project. (A sign at the marina’s entrance carries both the names and logos of Tarrytown Boat & Yacht Club and The Marina at Hudson Harbor.)
Created in 1888, the Tarrytown Boat Club, as it was then known, was the 59th to open in North America, according to the Lake Champlain Yacht Club in Shelburne, Vermont, which keeps track of many miscellaneous things. It was beaten to the punch in Westchester County by Larchmont Yacht Club (1880), American Yacht Club in Rye (1883), Ossining’s Shattemuc Yacht Club (1885) and Rye’s Shelter Island Yacht Club (1886).
(First on the list is Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in Halifax, dating from 1837.)
Now Tarrytown Boat & Yacht Club is ready to set sail on a first of its own.
For more, visit tarrytownboatclub.com.