(Sept. 30, 2011)

The environmental cleanup of the former DeLaval site along the Hudson River in the City of Poughkeepsie is nearing completion — but plans for development there by the Bonura family may not move forward until the economy improves.

Joseph Bonura Jr., whose family wants to develop the vacant site off Rinaldi Boulevard into restaurants, a spa, retail and office space, said work could begin next year — but may have to wait until the commercial real estate market improves.

“The economy is a major factor,” Bonura said. “My best guess is next year is a question mark.”

The 13-acre site is just south of Shadows on the Hudson and The Grandview, the Bonuras’ restaurant and catering facility that opened five years ago. City leaders view redevelopment of DeLaval as a key part of ongoing efforts to revitalize the waterfront and other parts of Poughkeepsie.

“We look forward to the future growth and development along the southern waterfront,” said Mayor John Tkazyik, adding the DeLaval project should enhance the city’s tax base and create jobs for residents.

Meanwhile, the environmental cleanup of DeLaval, which has taken several years, should be completed before the end of the year.

Bonura said work to cap the site is under way. Once that is completed, construction of new buildings could begin in short order — if the economy improves.

The DeLaval project is part of a larger, estimated $69 million public-private partnership between the city and Bonuras. The DeLaval project also calls for recreational components including an outdoor concert area.

The family also has plans for what is known as the PURA 14 site, a 5.5-acre parcel near Rinaldi and Pine Street. That’s where the Bonuras have said they could open a hotel and provide residential or office space.

Last year, officials estimated the DeLaval cleanup’s cost at $16.5 million.

Work was delayed after asbestos was discovered on the site, which officials said raised the cost of the city’s share of the cleanup to $7.2 million.

Officials said the state is expected to pay for the rest of the remediation.

Updated cleanup cost estimates were not immediately available Thursday.

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that is heat-resistant, making it useful for industrial purposes. Significant exposure can increase the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and other diseases.

The DeLaval site was left contaminated by decades of industrial use. The DeLaval company manufactured stainless-steel farming equipment.