LATHAM — Ayco, a financial services arm of Goldman Sachs Co., announced plans Tuesday to consolidate its Capital Region operations into a new office in Colonie.
The plan is to bring approximately 900 employees from three Ayco offices — in Latham, Saratoga Springs and Albany — under one roof. Those moves would happen in several phases and would begin no earlier than late 2019, according to a company statement.
The four-story building, which is still working its way through the approval stages, would comprise approximately 150,000 square feet of office space and would be built at the former Starlite Music Theater location, off Exit 7 of the Northway, according to a company statement.
Artist rendering. (Provided)
The building is planned by the Galesi Group, which hopes to break ground next year, contingent on plan approvals by the town of Colonie. Critical to the project is a new connector road to ease congestion on surrounding roadways.
“We’re excited to progress our plan to consolidate our people in the Capital Region," Ayco President and CEO Tim O’Hara said in a prepared statement. "We believe this will allow us to better serve our clients and increase opportunities for our associates to collaborate and connect.”
The Starlite Theater site has been vacant since 1998.
Dave Buicko, of the Galesi Group, said the new office building — the project is expected to cost around $45 million — was conceived with Ayco in mind, after the financial services firm indicated in 2016 that it was looking for a place to consolidate its operations.
Buicko said the Galesi Group bought the Starlite parcel several years ago, about the same time it acquired the former Alco site, which has since been developed into the Mohawk Harbor and Rivers Casino & Resort property.
"Ayco has offices around the country, and for Ayco to select this site and location — a property that's been vacant since 1998 — it speaks highly of the state and the location," Buicko said.
In Saratoga Springs, where Ayco's current headquarters are located on Broadway, the news came as a disappointment. (Ayco said Tuesday that it does not break out the numbers of employees it has in each of its three locations — only its total regional employment of around 870.)
Mayor Joanne Yepsen said she and state Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner worked closely with Ayco's top brass in an effort to help the company with an expanded headquarters at its current spot downtown. Unfortunately, those efforts came up short, she said.
"I hope they consider leaving their office open, even on a smaller scale, so they have a presence in Saratoga Springs," she said.
"I know their employees love the quality of life, working and living in our city," Yepsen said. "Their headquarters in Latham will be a very different experience."
"This is a loss for Saratoga Springs but I am confident we will partner with other great companies in the future," the mayor added.
Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan called the plan a win, especially considering the Starlite property's recent history.
“We’ve had a vacant lot sitting unused for a long time," Mahan said in a prepared statement. "This project, once fully approved, will accrete value to that land and the surrounding area and, critically, bring an influx of jobs and revenue to support our local businesses. We’re thrilled to continue to partner with Ayco.”
Ayco said Tuesday that it also intends to add at least 160 new jobs to the area by 2021. It also said it has applied for financial assistance for its consolidation through the Colonie Industrial Development Agency.
“We’re grateful for the continued support from the city of Saratoga Springs and the town of Colonie,” O'Hara said. “Their partnerships allow us to continue to grow and thrive as part of the communities in which we live and work.”