NISKAYUNA — SI Group said Tuesday that it will be vacating its longtime headquarters on Balltown Road later this year and moving to an as-yet undetermined Capital Region location.
The chemical manufacturer said it wants a new site that “better fits its employee base.”
The company has buildings totaling nearly 130,000 square feet on 81 acres at 2750 Balltown Road, which will be offered for sale. It had an employee headcount of about 200 there late last year.
“It always unfortunate losing any business, let alone a business as large as SI Group,” said Town Supervisor Yasmine Syed, noting the large number of employees who worked there and the number of business visitors the facility attracted.
“In an ideal situation we’d be able to keep the SI group here,” she added.
But the company’s desired timetable — moving out by the end of the year — would suggest that it is looking for existing space, as new construction would take longer than five months. And there isn't much office space for rent in Niskayuna.
“We’re going to do everything we possibly can to retain these jobs in Schenectady County,” said Ray Gillen, chairman of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority and head of the county’s economic development efforts.
In an emailed statement, SI Group said what it’s looking for, not where it’s looking:
“We have made the decision to move our corporate headquarters from our current facility on Balltown Road in Niskayuna to a new location in the Capital District that has yet to be determined. We have a tentative time frame to be moved into the new space by the first of the new year.
“This decision was not taken lightly given SI Group’s long legacy at our current location, and we plan to find a new location in the Capital Region that better fits our employee base today. We will invest in this new workspace so it reflects our values and culture, and we expect that our new location will afford us accessibility to other businesses, restaurants, and general liveliness during the business day, creating an opportunity for all employees to enjoy work-life balance and be active members of the community.”
It said it hadn’t settled on an asking price for the Balltown Road facility, most of which dates to 1967 and is assessed at $20 million. The 81.3 acres is zoned I-R, the town's research and development district. (Neighbors include General Electric’s Global Research Center and Knolls Atomic Power Lab.)
It is a restrictive zoning district, with limited additional uses such as antennas and solar arrays, or, with town approval, light manufacturing.
The company earlier this month announced it would sell its resin division to ASK Chemicals of Germany. SI Group said Tuesday the sale would have no impact on the chemical factory it operates in Rotterdam Junction, which employed 183 as of last autumn. It said earlier this month the sale involved material manufactured at its site in Morgantown, West Virginia.
In October 2018, private investment firm SK Capital completed its acquisition of SI Group. The new owner merged SI Group with Addivant, a smaller chemical manufacturer it had acquired in 2013. The merged entity retained the name SI Group, and the company told The Daily Gazette that its headquarters would remain on Balltown Road.
SI Group said in a news release it had more than 3,000 employees worldwide and about $2 billion in annual sales.