Joe Snaido and Mike Moy are no strangers to Greene County. They have long admired its scenic beauty, friendly residents and nostalgic heritage. Busy with frenetic careers in the New York metropolitan area (Mike as a marketing & design executive serving clients like L’Oreal, and Joe the Chief Information Officer for financial titan Standard and Poor’s) they retreated to their second home in Windham, NY on most weekends. As they planned their retirement, they began to think long-term about creating a working-investment to serve as a creative outlet for their talents, while establishing a sustainable business that would become an asset to the community. They looked at traditional main street commercial spaces with street-level storefronts and living space above, and actually put in a purchase offer that was declined by the seller.
That’s when their friend David Ludwig of Gary DiMauro Real Estate told them about a property at 443 Main Street in Catskill. It was vacant and had been on the market for over 3 years with essentially no offers. “David seemed to know that we could make this space work”, remembers Mike, “but there was certainly a lot of work to do.”
The property that formerly housed Al’s Tire and Auto Center for decades had possibilities, but transforming the mechanic’s shop into a multi-use event venue would take vision, talent, and business acumen – so Joe and Mike got to work. The building was structurally sound, with its Main Street face set up for three overhead door service bays (two of which had been replaced with wood-framed walls). Steel I-beams supported a 40’+ roof span, with four courses of full width vertical skylights in a saw-tooth configuration. The challenge was to repair the roofing system that was prone to leaks and improve the functional aesthetic of the space to create a nostalgic, garage-themed atmosphere.
“The interior floor was sloped from the front bays to the rear door of the building”, recalls Joe. “It took nearly 70 yards of concrete to create the polished level floor. We also had over 200 hand crafted wooden beams installed in the ceiling to replace water-damaged sections and bring the overall design together.”
Mike continues: “All of the skylights were made from plexiglass that had become weathered and developed leaks. We replaced them with dual-pane sealed windows. We also created street front window units (configured 5 over 4) to fill two of the three bays, and a double entry door to replace the overhead door.”
Both Joe and Mike agree that the affordability of Main Street commercial properties in Greene County played a major role in their decision to start their business in Catskill. “A Warren Street location in Hudson can cost $2 million, making it nearly impossible to start a business that doesn’t immediately generate revenue”, notes Mike. “On this side of the river, you can take a more long-term view. We can create our destination, make it part of the community, and promote it over the long-haul in an affordable, sustainable way.”
“There’s also a real feeling of excitement around new business in Greene County”, Mike continues, “from smaller specialty shops and services to the ADI Lumberyard dance facility coming next year. Everyone we encounter is very welcoming, and we’re excited to be a part of that.”
The grand opening of Joe’s Garage Catskill welcomed community members and friends who personally experienced the hospitality of its owners and staff, as well as the announcement that it will host The Greene County Council on the Arts first Wearable Arts Fashion Show on Saturday, August 13th from 5-7pm. This event is co-curated by Michele Saunders and JoJo Americo and features the work of over New York 30 designers.
You can keep up-to-date on what’s happening at Joe’s Garage Catskill on Facebook, and take a look its design evolution on Mike’s Pinterest board. You can also contact Joe@joesgaragecatskill.com to plan your next event!
You can also find out more about the business support programs available to entrepreneurs seeking to open or expand in Greene County, NY.