Most of TechCity is sold to major developer under multi-million dollar tax exemption deal
Most of TechCity is sold to a company that is used to filling problematic industrial spaces with job-creating tenants. If Connecticut-based National Resources succeeds in realizing its aspirations for 160 acres of IBM’s former site in the city of Ulster – which is certainly seen as problematic – the Ulster County government will be on the way to finally put behind him the unrealized and almost constant hopes. headaches that have surrounded buildings and grounds for nearly four decades.
On Tuesday afternoon, County Judge Bryan Rounds was due to approve a settlement in foreclosure proceedings against TechCity owner Alan Ginsberg. After years of blaming Ginsberg’s intransigence and the site’s sad history of environmental problems for the failure to restore TechCity’s premises to any form of economic competitiveness, there has been an attempted breakthrough.
National Resources is a diversified real estate company whose holdings include numerous parking lots in Manhattan – the word “park” has many meanings – as well as residential developments, industrial sites and some retail businesses in the vast metropolitan area of ââNew York City. TechCity is further from New York City than most, if not all of National Resources’ major investments.
As part of the interim deal, troublesome developer Ginsberg will turn over the remaining 18 plots of IBM’s former property to the county in exchange for a full tax exemption. National Resources would pay $ 5 million over five years to a county entity and spend at least $ 7 million on environmental cleanup work. He will also be looking for commercial tenants.
How did this complex agreement come to be? Ulster County and National Resources have been in contact for over six months. The county has assembled and published an expression of interest request (REFI-UC21-096). On September 16, National Resources chairman Joseph Cotter responded by email in some detail to county purchasing department chief Michael Maphis. The response cited the developer’s considerable experience with other projects amounting to total investments of over $ 1 billion.
“Based on its extensive experience with other sites, National Resources is uniquely positioned to undertake this long-term initiative, which is expected to take place over five to ten years and require an investment of over $ 200 million,” Cotter wrote.
Cotter’s response said the developer would prepare a master plan for the property at their own expense. He saw four major categories of tenants: an agro-industrial hub for food processing and distribution, a content creation center clustered around the film industry, a place for community arts and culture with a theater in outdoor and warehouse.
This list is reminiscent of the one the county had in mind and may not be the one currently under consideration. The East Fishkill iPark campus is home to a wide variety of small businesses as well as its major tenants.
Cotter’s September 12 email predicted that half of the jobs would likely be minimum wage and the other half at $ 50,000 or more.
Other parts of the developer’s application on the Ulster property were for the possibility of 200 housing units, medical facilities, and a college satellite facility.
TechCity will be renamed iPark Kingston, just as the former IBM site in East Fishkill has become iPark84. There are also National Resources iParks in Yonkers, Norwalk, Connecticut, and Lake Success on Long Island.
County manager Pat Ryan, whose father and grandfather both worked at the IBM plant in the city of Ulster, made restoring the space economically viable and, hopefully, Ulster County’s job creation center, the centerpiece of its economic development efforts. âFor too long, TechCity has been a shell of past economic success,â Ryan said Monday. âNow we have finally reached an exciting and transformative time, a time when we can revitalize this site and turn it into a blossoming beacon of new opportunities for our county. “
The Ulster County legislature is expected to give its necessary approval for Ginsberg’s tax arrears waivers on Thursday.
But that doesn’t mean the deal is at the finish line then. It is still provisional. A public hearing is scheduled for the evening of December 21 to hear comments on Ginsberg’s tax exemptions and the general course of the property sale.