Master Eco-Plan to Transform NY
A new master plan for TechCity, a 260-acre site located mid-way between New York City and Albany, New York, envisions a mixed use eco-village that is a model for green development where people can live, work and play – a true showcase for the future economic development of the Hudson Valley region.
The plan would transform this former 2.5 million square foot manufacturing property, loaded with infrastructure for water and energy, and which is currently the home to Bank of America and several other tenants in the renewable energy, technology and telecommunications fields, around a design that modernizes the property while preserving open space and natural areas. The new design includes a system of sidewalks, landscaped spaces, covered parking and the use of new urbanism principles in the layout of a mixed use neighborhood, with a combination of office, industrial, retail, residential and recreational components – along with work force education in areas of green collar and renewable energy,
The master plan anticipates the creation of 2,200 construction jobs in the build out and fit up along with 3,860 permanent new green collar industrial, office, educational and retail jobs. TechCity will be transformed into a 21st century sustainable development through the re-use of former industrial buildings, the installation of clean energy systems including solar panels and green roofs on the property’s existing large-area, flat roofs.
Alan Ginsberg, Owner and Chairman of TechCity, said, “We want to make TechCity into a national model for large-scale mixed use green development. Our plans include the extensive use of solar and other alternative forms of renewable energy, and the attraction of companies that produce advanced green products and green collar jobs.”
TechCity, located in Ulster County, New York, is in a rural community surrounded by higher educational institutions with an abundant, qualified work force in the Hudson Valley at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. At the same time, this community is at the heart of a densely populated highway and rail corridor that spans from Montreal to Philadelphia and Baltimore, north to south; and from Cleveland to Boston, east to west.
At present, the Town of Ulster is the lead agency for TechCity’s State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process, a key initial step in the redevelopment process. Mr. Ginsberg said, “With the Town government as our lead agency, we look forward to a full generic environmental review. The Town has also agreed to an expedited approval process for future build-outs, which makes TechCity a prime, shovel-ready site.”
Today, TechCity comprises 27 low-rise buildings, many of which have no street frontage. The master plan calls for the selective demolition of obsolete buildings and the creation of a new set of internal roads designed to provide each remaining building with a new image, access to convenient centralized parking and a “front door” address to enhance a tenant’s image and marketability. Overall, the building gross floor area will be approximately 2 million square feet of mixed-use development.
One major step is already complete. TechCity has shut down the site’s outmoded, oil-burning central utility plant. The closed plant, which had annually emitted 100 tons of airborne pollutants when Mr. Ginsberg purchased TechCity, has been replaced by individual, very low emission, gas-fired rooftop units in occupied buildings.
In addition, TechCity has taken steps to reduce its consumption of electricity from the region’s power grid, cutting its usage back from 9.1 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2006 to 5.8 million kWh in 2008 – a 36 percent reduction made possible by energy efficiencies.