ROTTERDAM — Plans for a $66 million bio-pharmaceutical factory in Rotterdam are among the projects being recommended for state grant assistance by the Capital Region Economic Development Council.
The council said in a report released Tuesday that it is requesting a $5 million Empire State Development grant toward the potential PiSA Biopharm manufacturing pilot plant in the Rotterdam Corporate Park. It is the most-expensive recommended project in the eight-county region, and the remaining $61 million would come from private equity. If the plans were to go forward, 100 new jobs could be created.
The 10 Regional Economic Development Councils across the state on Tuesday released midyear reports that discussed their progress in previous projects and highlighted some of the most significant projects they hope to get funding for this year. The state will be awarded $750 million through a competitive process that will conclude in December.
In the Capital Region, the 22 proposed priority projects included two each in Schenectady and Saratoga counties. The Mohawk Valley REDC is seeking grants for 23 priority projects, including several in Montgomery, Fulton and Schoharie counties.
The PiSA Biopharm proposal was publicly revealed for the first time in the report. PiSa BioPharm is a U.S.-based subsidiary of PiSA Farmaceutica of Mexico, which may seek to enter a long-term lease for 137,000 square feet of space in the Corporate Park. The facility would be equipped with specialized manufacturing lines for state-of-the-art equipment to produce and package sterile injectables and specialized biomedical supplies.
The company's U.S. headquarters are in Albany. It has made no final commitment to the project.
"We are very pleased that the Capital Region Economic Development Council has carefully reviewed and recommended for funding the PiSA BioPharm project," said Ray Gillen, chairman of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority. "Our economic development team worked closely with the company to submit this project for consideration. We look forward to the state’s review of this project, which has the potential to bring a new manufacturing facility and new jobs to Schenectady County and add to the Capital Region’s fast growing pharmaceutical sector."
Gillen said that with Regeneron growing in Rensselaer County and Merck Pharmaceuticals in Albany, the region is developing a biotech cluster that can attract additional companies like PiSA.
"It's further validation that Schenectady County is working very, very hard on economic development," said Rotterdam Town Supervisor Steven A. Tommasone. "We're fortunate to have the Rotterdam Corporate Park, and [owners] the Galesi Group is always out their looking for new quality tenants."
The council said the PiSA project fits in with the region's goal of focusing part of its economic development efforts on advanced manufacturing and biotechnology.
Also in Schenectady County, the council is seeking $381,000 in state funding toward the Erie Boulevard/Trustco revitalization, which seeks to redevelop the long-vacant seven-story former Trustco bank headquarters in downtown Schenectady. Plans call for it to be converted into 26,000 square feet of high-quality office space and 36 market-rate apartments.
In Saratoga County, the REDC is recommending a $1.1 million state grant be awarded toward a $2.9 million plan to replace and modernize the lawn area restrooms and concession area at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs. It also seeks a $691,250 grant toward a $3.4 million restoration of the historic mansion at Yaddo, the Saratoga Springs artists' colony. Terrace repairs, roof restoration and disabled access and fire safety improvements are all part of the project.
The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, meanwhile, is giving a priority recommendation to two projects in Fulton County, one in Montgomery County, and four projects in Schoharie County.
In Fulton County, a $2.2 million state grant is being sought to help Pioneer Windows Manufacturing of Johnstown expand, adding 75 additional jobs to the 165 it already has. The council said the company has considered relocating to New Jersey, given the number of window sales it makes in the New York City area. The council is also seeking $100,000 toward electric system upgrades at the Tryon Technology Park in Perth, where the Vireo medical marijuana-growing facility needs a more-reliable level of power.
The lone request from Montgomery County is for $160,000 to aid the launching of the Nelliston Brewery, a new microbrewery to be established in Palatine Bridge.
In Schoharie County, the largest request is for $1 million in support for Empire State Greenhouses, an $80 million plan for growing mass-produced fruits and vegetables in three massive greenhouses in the village of Cobleskill, creating 90 new jobs.
Elsewhere in the county, $328,000 is requested to help expand Beekman 1802, the lifestyle brand that has a retail location and a farm in Sharon Springs; $220,000 toward roof repair at the Klinkhart Hall Arts Center in Sharon Springs; $63,000 to aid plans for Century Tree Brewing in Schoharie; and $20,000 toward restoration of the Smith-Empie-Smith building in Sharon Springs to be a cafe and bakery production facility for a company called Brimstone LLC.
None of the projects are guaranteed state funding. The proposals will be reviewed by Empire State Development and other state agencies, and awards will be made in December.