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What you need to know for 12/14/2017

Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership announces 'flex space' project

Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership announces 'flex space' project

It would be dedicated to firms working with GlobalFoundries
Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership announces 'flex space' project
Marty Vanags, president of Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, at the summit Thursday.
Photographer: ERICA MILLER

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership announced plans on Thursday to open the Next Wave Center — featuring "flex space" — in an existing structure at the Saratoga Technology and Energy Park in Malta.

The 10,500-square-foot building will house short-term “flex space” for companies working with Malta-based GlobalFoundries, a semiconductor foundry.

The announcement came during the Saratoga County Prosperity Summit at the Saratoga Springs City Center.

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Marty Vanags, president of Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, said the economic development organization is looking to create opportunities with the launch of the center.

"Most landlords want companies to sign three- to five-year leases, but if a company has a short-term contract, that wouldn't make sense for them," he said. "The [Next Wave Center] allows companies to lease space on a short-term basis and do business with GlobalFoundries." There is no set amount of time a company must lease space at the center, as that can be negotiated.

Vanags said the organization initially wanted to build a new building in order to provide short-term leases before securing the building at 107 Hermes Road from real estate developer, The United Group of Companies.

"Building a new building takes time and effort," he said. "I thought, if something exists, let's try to use it, so we looked for landlords who had extra space, were having trouble renting or their property has sat vacant for a while."

The Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership is overseeing marketing efforts such as traveling and printing brochures to attract companies to the Next Wave Center, which Vanags said is factored into their 2018 budget.

"It's low cost and uses existing resources," he said. "We're just trying to connect companies to these opportunities and meet a niche market."

Vanags said any company that is interested in doing business with GlobalFoundries would likely occupy the Next Wave Center, which could house up to 10 businesses.

The Next Wave Center is part of the partnership's Next Wave Network, which seeks to open several short-term lease spaces across the county.

"If a specific building doesn't meet a company's needs, hopefully we'll have other opportunities for them to rent and there will be plenty of options in the marketplace," Vanags said. "We want to spread the opportunities around."

Bill Edwards, SCORE regional coordinator for Northeast New York, a nonprofit association that offers education and mentorship to small businesses, said the Next Wave Center is unique as most commercial space requires leases that exceed three to five years.

"It's a really positive thing to offer offices for people who are exploring business opportunities in the area," he said. "I would hope that it creates an opportunity for the area to attract more commercial businesses and that it continues to build the economy and jobs in the area."

Vanags said the long-term goal of the Next Wave Center is to let companies explore opportunities in Saratoga County before choosing to invest in the area.

"This network is our opportunity to have companies come here and test the waters," Vanags said. "We hope companies ultimately decide to bring capital investment in an effort to build and grow other companies."

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