Saratoga County

AMD putting its team together

Advanced Micro Devices has recently retained attorneys and engineers from the Capital Region to repr
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Advanced Micro Devices has recently retained attorneys and engineers from the Capital Region to represent it during upcoming public review of its plans for a computer chip factory in the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

The assembling of consultants in the last few weeks indicates the world’s second largest microprocessor maker is close to filing the necessary applications with town and state officials to allow it to go forward with a $3.2 billion factory.

AMD officials said the plans announced in 2006 are on schedule, despite the billions of dollars AMD lost last year in an intense market-share and price war with industry-leader Intel Corp.

“This does not equate to a final commitment, but we would not be doing this and incurring the time and expense if we were not optimistic,” said AMD spokesman Travis Bullard.

“From our standpoint, we’re excited. We’re excited to get the process started with the public review,” Bullard said.

Jones Ferradino Attorneys at Law of Saratoga Springs has been hired as the local land use application lawyers, who will represent AMD before the town of Malta. The town must grant site plan and environmental review approvals.

Another law firm, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna of Albany, will be doing the state environmental permit application work. C.T. Male Associates of Latham, one of the region’s biggest engineering firms, has been retained to do the necessary engineering studies.

Town Building and Planning Director Tony Tozzi said Malta is also putting together a team of lawyers and planners who will be working on its side of the table once AMD submits an application.

“The intention is for this to work the same as for any other developer who comes in with an application, there will just be more information,” Tozzi said.

But AMD, headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., won’t be filing just any other application.

The microchip plant it is proposing would employ 1,200 people and is widely viewed as a project that will affect the entire Capital Region.

An agreement announced by AMD and then-Gov. George Pataki in 2006 will give AMD $1.2 billion in state grants, tax breaks and infrastructure improvements if it makes a final commitment to build by July 2009.

During 2007, AMD completed internal studies of the 1.2 million-square-foot plant’s design and took an option on 200 acres in Luther Forest. The applications to the town and state agencies for any needed permits will be the next step.

The town site plan review will be handled by Jones Ferradino, whose partners are Matthew Jones and Stephanie Ferradino. Both have appeared on behalf of developers and landowners before many local regulatory boards.

C.T. Male is the engineering firm that has done essentially all of the previous technical studies for the Luther Forest Technology Campus, as a consultant to the Saratoga Economic Development Corp.

It’s likely that AMD will want some amendments to the zoning approval the technology campus received from the towns of Malta and Stillwater in 2004.

“In a general sense, the next step would be to take a look at what we want to do and match that up against the general plan for Luther Forest,” Bullard said.

A lengthy generic environmental impact statement was done in 2004 but additional environmental studies looking specifically at AMD’s plans also will be needed.

Overall, the public review will take many months.

Meanwhile, town officials are preparing for the start of road construction within the 1,350-acre technology campus.

The Town Board this week tentatively scheduled a Feb. 28 construction bid opening, pending final resolution of how much the technology campus’ nonprofit economic development corporation owner will pay the town for maintaining the 5.5-miles of internal road.

The funding is to be discussed at a Town Board workshop on Thursday at the Town Hall.

A $37 million state grant is paying for the roads’ construction, but the town is also looking for payments to cover the additional cost of maintaining those roads for 10 years.

Road construction is expected to start this spring and take until sometime in 2009.

Categories: Schenectady County

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