In 1947, Bill Kaplan moved his still-young Newburgh handbag business and its 20 employees to a rented floor in the six-story building owned by the Coldwell Lawn Mower Co. at the north end of Newburgh's waterfront.
Kaplan never left, taking over the building and renaming it. His Regal Bag building survived the waterfront's bust and Kaplan plans for it to be part of the next boom, one that has new player: a New York City developer that spent millions on four properties south of Billy Joe's Ribworks.
On Monday the City Council approved an option-to-purchase agreement with Kaplan covering a 2.7-acre parcel across from the Water Street side of Regal Bag, which is already home to artist studios and galleries
Kaplan sought the property as much-needed parking for a redevelopment plan in which he would retrofit the building with new residences and businesses.