Mike Dubb and his Beechwood Organization spent 35 years building 7,500 downstate homes.
For the first time in his career, Dubb is starting to build homes in Saratoga Springs, less than three miles from Saratoga Race Course, the thoroughbred race track he has been visiting since he was 17 years old.
Dubb and Beechwood last week outlined details of the 53 homes they are building at the Oak Ridge development between the track and Saratoga Lake. Homes will range in size between 2,200 square feet and more than 6,000 square feet. They will be priced in the $850,000 to $2 million-plus range.
Now, Dubb is looking at other properties around the city for future projects.
He is convinced the Covid-19 pandemic will only increase the number of downstate New York and New Jersey residents who are interested in moving to or building a second home in Saratoga.
“I know people prior to Covid who were saying, ‘I want a better life or I want a town and something not so dense as New York City and the surrounding suburbs,'” Dubb said. “Home has taken on a new importance with people because of Covid.”
The founder of Beechwood Organization secured the remaining 53 lots at Oak Ridge from Jeffrey Snyder and Oak Ridge Development in April after looking at the 135-plus acre site on a whim in October.
“I really wasn’t looking to develop in Saratoga,” Dubb said.
The pastoral setting off Meadowbrook and Dyer Switch roads and the ability to construct four-, five- and six-bedroom homes with large porches, high-end finishes and garages tucked behind the houses caught his attention. Dubb sees the Oak Ridge by Beechwood project as a way to recreate what he describes as the “old Saratoga” architecture that exists along North Broadway and Union Avenue.
He expects the 53 homes will sell over the next three to four years, and he is not worried that the coronavirus pandemic and economic slowdown will jeopardize the project.
“Covid and the economic effects cannot take away the beauty and desirability of Saratoga,” Dubb said. “We may lose some restaurants and hotels. A few individuals may struggle. Long term, Saratoga is too strong … One or two economic rough years does not a town make.”
Dubb, 64, started visiting Saratoga Springs as a teenager and became heavily involved in thoroughbred racing over the years. He is a seven-time leading owner at Saratoga Race Course and serves on the board of the New York Racing Association, the nonprofit that manages the track.
Dubb and Beechwood also are currently building a daycare center in Saratoga Springs that will be donated for use by children of the backstretch workers at Saratoga Race Course. They constructed and donated a similar facility at the Belmont Park thoroughbred track nearly 20 years ago.
Dubb, who has owned a home in Saratoga Springs for 10 years, remains bullish in the track and Saratoga Springs despite the fact that the pandemic is preventing Saratoga Race Course to operate without fans for the first time this year.
Last week marked the first opening day in 30 years that Dubb has not attended the races.
“The main thing is that the show must go on,” he said. “We need the economy to keep going and we need to keep all of the people working.”