Empire Zone Boundary Amendments Will Help Schenectady County Continue Smart Growth Economic Development Efforts

June 8, 2009

Schenectady, N.Y. — Schenectady County officials today announced that the Schenectady Glenville Empire Zone is applying to New York State for a boundary amendment to include new buildings and parcels in the Empire Zone.

Susan E. Savage, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature said, “Our top priority is bringing new jobs and investment to Schenectady County. By including these key buildings and sites in the Empire Zone, we provide substantial new opportunity to attract jobs and investment in Rotterdam, Glenville and the City of Schenectady.”

Mayor Brian U. Stratton said, “Working together with the County we are able to strengthen and expand the Empire Zone both in the City of Schenectady and at nearby sites and buildings. When new employers come into the County, we all benefit.”

Savage stressed that all of the sites added to the Empire Zone are part of the County’s smart growth economic development plan which is administered by Metroplex.

A public hearing on the changes will be held tonight at the Schenectady City Council meeting starting at 7 pm. The Rotterdam Town Board will hold a public hearing on July 8th. Glenville will hold its public hearing on June 17th. The goal is to have the new Empire Zone boundaries in place by early fall following approval by the State.

The proposed boundary amendments provide enhanced economic development opportunities for the Towns of Rotterdam and Glenville as well as the City of Schenectady.

The Rotterdam Corporate Park is the largest business park in the Capital Region with over 3 million square feet of space. The proposed boundary amendment would remove Building 12 from the Empire Zone where the designation is not currently being used. Instead, the proposal calls for adding parts of Building 2 and all of Building 3 and 4 to the Empire Zone. Building 3 is home to a new Small Business Center and the plan is to utilize Building 4 as the next phase of the Small Business Center. In addition, Buildings 9 and 10 would be added. The Galesi Group is seeking funds from the Restore NY program to demolish these buildings to create a large shovel ready site for a distribution or manufacturing company.

In addition, the Empire Zone would add 122 acres of land near I-88 including two buildings at 679 and 689 Mariaville Road. The first building, 679 Mariaville Road, is the vacant former VStream manufacturing building. The goal is to utilize the Empire Zone to try and attract a new company to purchase or lease the vacant plant helping to create new jobs.

The acreage to be added to the Empire Zone near I-88 will be utilized to try and attract tech companies to the site which is very marketable given the fact that two federal highways – I -88 and I-90 meet at this location.

In Glenville, the plan is to add 22 acres to the Empire Zone to include land on Freeman’s Bridge Road so that this site can also be marketed to private businesses. The State recently completed a major environmental clean up at the site investing almost $23 million in the site remediation. It is hoped that designation of the property as an Empire Zone will help the County market the site. The County has more than $500,000 in back taxes due on the site that it also hopes to recoup if the property is sold.

In the City of Schenectady, a number of commercial areas will be added to the Empire Zone including additional land in the Maxon Road area which is home to the Riverside Technology Park. Also in the City, 16-18 North Church will be added to encourage Cohoes Design Glass Associates to buy and renovate the former Holy Cross Church.

In addition, the Crane Street Business District will be added to the Empire Zone along with more acreage along Upper State Street helping to make these two commercial corridors more viable.

After all local approvals are in place, the boundary amendment which has already been submitted to the State for technical review will be forwarded to the State for final approval.

The Schenectady Glenville Empire Zone is administered by the City of Schenectady with zone staff working closely with Metroplex and the County’s Department of Economic Development and Planning in a unified economic development team.

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