Saratoga County

Saratoga County IDA plans to buy 19 acres in tech park

The Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency will go forward with plans to buy 19 acres at the

The Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency will go forward with plans to buy 19 acres at the Luther Forest Technology Campus for future development, while considering buying more.

The IDA board voted Monday to go forward with a deal to buy the land for $743,000, making good on an informal understanding reached with tech park officials last summer.

The sale would pump new money into the struggling LFTC Economic Development Corp., and potentially lead to the first new development at the tech campus other than GlobalFoundries.

“This exciting part is, this could be a jump start for the Luther Forest park,” said IDA Chairman Rod Sutton.

The IDA will pay for the land from more than $1 million it has set aside in a capital reserve account.

The property is in the southeast corner of the industrial park, near where water and sewer lines already come into the park.

IDA officials said the land, if purchased, could be leased to the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, one of the county’s two economic development organizations, as a possible location for its planned “New Wave Center.”

The center, proposed late last year in the partnership’s strategic plan, would be a building that could provide GlobalFoundries’ supply chain companies with work space, create incubator space for technology start-ups, and offer educational programs and workforce training.

“The Prosperity Partnership has some interest, but none of the details has been discussed,” IDA Chief Executive Richard Ferguson said at a board meeting in Ballston Spa.

Prosperity Partnership President Marty Vanags indicated he’s close to signing an agreement with GlobalFoundries that will help the partnership determine what kind of tenants should be in the new building.

Tech park management would like to see the IDA buy an additional seven contiguous acres, located between the 19-acre property and the park’s boundary.

Much of that land, however, is in a “buffer zone” intended to protect neighboring properties from development impacts, and therefore couldn’t be developed. The tech campus is offering the seven acres to the IDA for $140,000.

Noting they don’t know about the land’s topography or other limiting features, IDA board members said they’ll study the possible purchase.

Board members said they will be hiring The LA Group of Saratoga Springs to help with the process of evaluating the 19 acres being purchased and getting subdivision approval from the town of Malta.

Once the land is purchased, IDA attorney Michael J. Toohey said the next step is probably an evaluation of how to bring needed utilities to the site.

The town of Malta as of Jan. 1 loosened zoning restrictions on the tech park, including those limiting economic development incentives, leading to increased optimism that the park will gain tenants and become financially successful.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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