Three development teams will start drafting proposals for the long-delayed plan to transform the W. Averell Harriman State Office Campus into a 24-hour live-and-work community.
Almost a year after Harriman Research and Technology Development Corp. directors threw out a skimpy list of developers interested in redeveloping the 330-acre campus, a second request for qualified builders yielded better results today. Directors selected three teams: Columbia Development Co. and the Howard Group, both of Albany, and the Galesi Group of Rotterdam.
The teams have 90 days to submit detailed proposals for three sections of the campus off Washington Avenue. In all, the teams include 17 development, architectural, real estate turnaround and property management firms.
The outpouring of interest in the Harriman campus marks a significant turnaround from the 2006 request for qualified developers. That first call netted three full responses, all of which were rejected in May.
Former Gov. George Pataki first announced plans in 2002 to turn the campus into a cultural hub with commercial and residential uses. Pataki wanted to relocate the campus’ 7,400 state workers and demolish and reconstruct several of its buildings.
But former Gov. Eliot Spitzer revised Pataki’s proposal in December and issued a new request for qualifications. Under Spitzer’s plan, more state workers will remain on campus and more of its existing buildings will be used. Those changes will reduce the timetable and costs associated with the public-private enterprise.
The second call for qualifications netted 12 inquiries and five full responses.
“We think we’re moving a little farther. We want real development proposals — not speculation,” said development group President Michael Phillips.