First tenant may soon commit to STAMP

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 January 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Steve Hyde, chief executive officer for the Genesee County Economic Development Center, addresses the Albion Rotary Club today at The Village Inn.

ALBION – Securing the first tenant is always a big hurdle in developing a business park, especially one that’s 1,250 acres. But the waiting game may soon be over with a firm commitment from a company to set up in the STAMP site in the Town of Alabama.

Steve Hyde, chief executive officer for the Genesee County Economic Development Center, addressed the Albion Rotary Club today and said the area could soon see the fruits of more than a decade of effort in laying the groundwork for the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park, just south of Orleans County.

“This is a project we’ve been dealing with for months now,” Hyde told the Rotary Club about the prospective first tenant. “We’re in the 11th hour. It will be a significant project.”

The state has committed $33 million to develop infrastructure at STAMP. If the company commits to the site, Hyde said he expects to see the infrastructure go in while the company is building a factory, a process that could take about 18 months, he said.

“It’s a high stakes game at the moment until you get the first one in,” Hyde said.

The STAMP site is ideally located between metro areas in Rochester and Buffalo. That gives companies access to skilled employees, supply companies and colleges, Hyde said.

The STAMP site is also near the Pembroke Thruway interchange, Medina sewer plant, major electric and natural gas lines, and also falls within the 30-mile hydropower zone for low-cost electricity.

Hyde said the STAMP site has the potential for 10,000 employees on site and a spinoff impact of about 50,000 jobs in the region. With Orleans County so close to the project, the community can expect more demand for housing and services. Local governments should also see a rise in tax revenues as the site matures and more businesses set up at STAMP.

Hyde said a full build-out could take 15 years or more. But the benefits will be long-lasting into the future.

“Economic development is a marathon, not a sprint,” Hyde said.

He saw the development of a similar site in Saratoga County about a decade ago. The site at the Luther Forest Technology Campus (click here) has attracted several companies in the semiconductor, nanotechnology and emerging technology industries.

Hyde sees STAMP as an attractive choice for companies that make flat panel displays, semiconductor 450mm chip fab, solar manufacturing, and advanced manufacturing.

“There will be a huge infusion of money and wealth,” he said about the jobs that will likely pay on average about $90,000.

He praised the leaders at Genesee Community College and Erie Community College for partnering on a proposed nanotechnology degree that is awaiting state approval. That degree will prepare local students for the new career options locally at STAMP.

Hyde also praised Charlie Nesbitt, a member of the Rotary Club and the state assemblyman when Hyde first started working on STAMP a decade ago. Nesbitt supported the project back then and so did former State Sen. Mary Lou Rath. They secured some seed money in the project’s beginning stages.

The GCEDC, 10 years later, has acquired 872 of the acres for STAMP and has completed the environmental studies, while lining up local support and state resources.

While working on STAMP, the GCEDC also has developed the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia that is home to two yogurt plants, and advanced about 400 other projects in the community, leveraging about a $1 billion in economic development, Hyde said.

But the STAMP site has the most promise for a regional impact.

“A rising tide lifts all ships,” Hyde said.

For more information on the GCEDC, click here.