Dyson Foundation Forges Partnership with Mid-Hudson Children's Museum - December 2010

December 21, 2010
Foundation Purchases Water Street Property as Investment in ‘Waterfront Stabilization’
POUGHKEEPSIE—The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum sold its North Water Street property to the Dyson Foundation on Monday, Dec. 20 for $1.4 million and then entered into a long-term lease that enables the family-centered nonprofit to maintain its base of operations at the waterfront location.
Leaders from the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum and the Dyson Foundation described the transaction as an innovative partnership that will benefit the Children’s Museum while helping to secure the stability of the Poughkeepsie waterfront, which is facing increased development pressures following the success of the Walkway Over the Hudson and new projects slated for the area. All proceeds from the sale went to retire the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum’s entire mortgage debt on the property.
“We believe this partnership is in the best interests of the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, our many members, and the nearly 60,000 children and parents that are enlightened by our work each year,” said Tracy Cass MacKenzie, President of the Museum’s Board of Directors. “We anticipate continuing operations at the 75 North Water Street property for a long time.”
Museum Executive Director Edward Glisson added that the partnership will allow the Children’s Museum to concentrate on its core strengths. “The purchase by the Dyson Foundation is enabling us to focus on running a museum without the overarching problems of owning and maintaining the building and grounds,” he said.
The Dyson Foundation took the unique step of purchasing the property—which includes the main two-story building, a parking lot and a waterfront pavilion—in order to both assist the Children’s Museum with its long term goals and as an investment in a strategically important piece of  property along the City of Poughkeepsie’s waterfront.
The Foundation provided significant funding and professional support for the development of the Walkway Over the Hudson, which has attracted nearly 800,000 visitors since it opened in October, 2009.  A new 21-story, high-speed elevator linking the city’s waterfront to the Walkway will be constructed next year on land located just to the north of the Children’s Museum property.
“With the success of the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park and the pending construction of the new waterfront elevator, the Foundation decided to make a long-term investment in the Children’s Museum property,” said Diana Gurieva, Executive Vice President of the Dyson Foundation. “We believe this is in the best interests of the Children’s Museum as well as the City of Poughkeepsie.”
The transaction was completed on Monday following nearly a year of discussion and deliberation between the two parties. The Children’s Museum’s Board of Directors voted unanimously on June 14 to approve the sale. A long-term lease was subsequently signed allowing the Children’s Museum to maintain its base of operations at the waterfront location.