GlobalFoundries has received town approval to start clearing land for its $4.2 billion computer chip factory at the Luther Forest Technology Campus.
Based on the soil-disturbance permit approved by the town Planning Board on Tuesday, actual cutting of trees and clearing of land should start around April 1.
“The target date we’re working toward is April 1, March 31, in that time frame,” said Matt Jones of Saratoga Springs, GlobalFoundries’ local attorney.
Tentative plans are to start construction of a 1.3 million-square-foot plant in June, with an anticipated opening date in 2012 and eventual employment of 1,465.
GlobalFoundries is the spinoff of Advanced Micro Devices formed last week with an Abu Dhabi technology investment fund to take over AMD’s manufacturing operations, including its planned Luther Forest plant. It will be an independent plant for multiple computer chip customers, although AMD will be the first and largest.
Zoning for the plans was approved last year by town boards in both Malta and Stillwater, but planning boards in both towns must approve the site plan details.
The Malta Planning Board granted a soil disturbance permit as the first part of an expected three-phase approval, with more votes anticipated in April and May on the construction plans.
“It’s the first approval for us. It’s a tremendous momentum builder,” Jones said.
GlobalFoundries will be in front of the Stillwater Planning Board at 7 p.m. Monday, March 16, to receive a similar approval from that board.
GlobalFoundries plans to buy 222 acres on the Malta-Stillwater town line, at the northern end of the 1,414-acre Luther Forest Technology Campus, and to have construction activity occurring in both towns.
Jones said there are still several things that have to happen before groundbreaking, including the formation of a landowners association that will share the common costs of maintaining the technology campus. The initial members will be GlobalFoundries, the Luther Forest Technology Campus Economic Development Corp. and the town of Malta, but more companies will join as business lots are sold in the future.
GlobalFoundries also must sign off on a $5 million host community benefit package AMD negotiated with Malta and Stillwater, and the land purchase must be completed.
“There’s a fair amount of legal work, but everybody is working toward the same end,” Jones said.
As soon as next week, noise monitoring equipment will be placed at four locations around the perimeter of the site, including the back of the Luther Forest housing development and on Cold Springs Road in Stillwater.
The equipment will establish a baseline measurement so the impact of later construction noise can be evaluated, as required by the towns’ approval. A phone number will be established to handle any noise complaints.
Town planning officials said the state Department of Environmental Conservation will probably take jurisdiction of any issues that arise because of stormwater runoff during construction.
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