By Dominique Cantelme
From the March/April 2013 issue
New York State’s 54,556 square mile geography is divided into 10 economic regions (according to Empire State Development)—Western New York, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Mid-Hudson, Capital District, New York City and Long Island. They encompass landscapes that range from farms, forests, rivers and lakes to mountains, towns and urban cities and a transportation infrastructure with airports, highways, waterways, subways, bridges and tunnels to help move its more than 19 million residents where they need to go.
Western New York provides both city and suburban living. Coverage of its 4,974 square miles is aided by I-90, I-86 and Route 219; Buffalo-Niagara International Airport; the Port of Buffalo; and four class I railroads (CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific). The region’s economy is particularly focused on manufacturing; it is home to a number of colleges, universities and professional schools such as SUNY College at Fredonia, University of Buffalo and Cornell University School of Industrial & Labor Relations; and offers attractions such as Allegany State Park and Ralph Wilson Stadium (NFL’s Buffalo Bills).
One of the largest tourism regions in the state, the Finger Lakes is located in the west-central section of Upstate New York and encompasses a pattern of 11 parallel lakes that include Cayuga, Owasco, Hemlock and Seneca.
Its nine counties (e.g., Genesee, Livingston, Ontario) provide scenery, history, farmlands, and museums over almost 5,000 square miles. The region is within a day’s travel of 10 of the largest cities in North America and navigated by I-90, I-390, the Greater Rochester International Airport and the Norfolk Southern Finger Lakes Railway.
The Southern Tier Region is located on the Pennsylvanian border of New York. Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins counties boast natural resources, agriculture and an educated workforce with universities that include Binghamton and Cornell and market access provided by I-81, I-86, I-88, and Route 17; three regional airports; rail service; and bus service by Greyhound, Short Line and Capitol Trailways.
The North Country is a seven county rural region that spans from the eastern shores of Lake Ontario to the western shores of Lake Champlain and houses Adirondack Park and Fort Drum. With 11,913.57 square miles, it is the largest of the regions in land area and the smallest in population. Access is provided by I-87, I-81 and Highway 401 as well as passenger air, commercial and passenger rail and port service.
The Mohawk Valley is located at the geographic center of Upstate New York and links all the major metropolitan areas together. Its 5,296.57 square miles spans six counties with numerous academic and research institutions, a highly skilled workforce and concentrations in manufacturing and IT. I-90, NYS Rt. 12 N S, I-81, I-87 and I-88 provide highway access while air service is available at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park and rail, bus and port service is available through a number of carriers and facilities.
The Mid-Hudson Region is located north of New York City and south of Albany along the Hudson River, and includes seven counties (e.g., Ulster, Dutchess, Rockland and Westchester). The 4,739.36 square miles is a mix of urban areas, waterfront cities, rural villages, farmlands and forests in the epicenter of the Boston-Washington Corridor. The region’s educated workforce, proximity to marketplace and access to water help make it a good place to do business with highways I-84, I-87, NY-17 and I-86; Stewart International Airport; the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Amtrak, CSX and Norfolk Southern rail service; and bus and port service providing transportation options.
In the eastern part of mid-New York is the Capital Region which covers 5,199 square miles and is comprised of eight counties (e.g., Albany, Columbia, Saratoga and Schenectady). It is home to the Center for Excellence in Nanoelectronics at CNSE’s Albany NanoTech and the Center for Integrated Electronics at Rensselaer as well as Skidmore College and a number of other academic institutions. The region’s transportation network consists of the New York State Thruway, I-87 and I-88; the Albany International Airport; Albany Port Railroad Corp., Amtrak, CSX and CP rail systems; and the port of Albany Rensselaer and the New York State Canal System.
The 303.32 square miles of New York City is composed of five boroughs (Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island) with more than 40 percent of the State’s population. Its more than 8,336,697 residents also make it the most populous city in the U.S. A tourist attraction in itself, NYC also includes major destinations such as the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Broadway and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and it is described as the cultural capital of the world. New York City also is the largest media market in North America and a center for the television, film, advertising, music, newspaper and book publishing industries as well as a global hub of international business and commerce.
Long Island is located at the southern tip of New York State, just east of New York City. Its 1,202.96 square miles is surrounded by Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. The region is comprised of Nassau and Suffolk counties and is known for its high quality of life as well as its geographical and industrial diversity. The Long Island Region is a magnet for commerce and industry and a world leader in technology development. Its close proximity to New York City and its access to national and international markets also make it ideal for service and manufacturing industries.
New York is home to some of the most diverse regions in the country with various people, landscapes, attractions, population sizes, land masses, and businesses. The one consistent is its propensity for economic opportunity. Banking, finance, communication, high technology, retail, manufacturing and agriculture are just some of the many industries prevalent in the Empire State. Its pro-business, pro-growth philosophy offers companies job-creating tax cuts, R&D incentives and a number of other business and financial resources along with a diverse and skilled workforce. New York provides a high quality of life for its people and offers access to various educational institutions that include public and private universities, technology colleges and graduate and professional schools for any desired trade or profession. Whether traveling by car, train, bus, boat or plane, New York can get you there.
Read on to find locations that can help your business succeed with a little bit of New York flair.
Oswego County: Active In Economic Development
Manufacturing is a strong, healthy and growing sector in Central New York’s Oswego County. Operation Oswego County, Inc. (OOC) and their partners, the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency (COIDA), City of Oswego Community Development Office (CDO) and the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) have been very active in helping to finance manufacturing as well as commercial projects in Oswego County during 2012.
Some of these economic development projects which clearly demonstrate the diversity of business types that are being assisted in Oswego County by OOC, COIDA, CDO and ESDC include:
- Fulton Thermal Corporation, a global manufacturer of steam and hydronic boilers and thermal fluid heaters, constructed a 112,000-square-foot addition to their existing manufacturing and corporate headquarters in the Town of Richland. The new facility houses an 82,000-square-foot manufacturing building, a 10,000-square-foot research and development center and a 20,000-square-foot corporate office center. Primary funding assistance was provided by a $10 million tax-exempt bond issuance by the COIDA in cooperation with M&T Bank. The facility expansion was partly funded by an ESDC $1.5 million grant from the New York Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund. The $13.5 million project created 50 jobs.
- Stevedore Lofts, in the City of Oswego, was a waterfront renovation of a 42,000-square-foot warehousing facility into residential and commercial property. The property overlooks the Oswego River and is just a few blocks from downtown Oswego and Lake Ontario. The
$6.5 million project received funding assistance from the COIDA, the Oswego CDO and an ESDC Restore NY grant. The project created 15 jobs and added 29 market-rate apartments.
- The $6.9 million Seaway Lofts project in the City of Oswego received $1.5 million in funding from the New York State Housing Trust Fund/HOME and federal low income housing tax programs. In addition to state funds, financing from the city of Oswego Community Development Office, the County of Oswego Industrial Development Office and the Federal Home Loan Bank will be used to convert the 28,000-square-foot vacant building into affordable housing apartments. The project encompasses rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the former Seaway Supply building into affordable workforce housing and will capture the historical features of the building while focusing on the use of energy-efficient construction techniques. It is being designed to contribute to the overall community vision for the neighborhood, including affordability and access for tenants with disabilities. Seaway Lofts is located directly across from the Varick Lock and Oswego River. The building was built in 1888, served as the home of the Brosemer Brewery and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The project will create 26 affordable-housing apartments and two jobs.
- Novelis, in the Town of Scriba, is constructing a $208 million, 180,000-square-foot expansion which adds two new high performance aluminum finishing lines for automotive industry products. These two new lines are expected to produce an additional 440 pounds of aluminum sheet per year. The project has created more than 100 new jobs and retained 651 jobs. Financing was assisted through a $5 million Empire State Development Corporation grant and funding through the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency.
- Design Concepts and Enterprises, LLC, manufacturer of medical surgical sutures and suture attaching equipment, constructed a 1,634-square-foot clean room. Located in the Town of Hastings, Design Concepts sells their products in the U.S. and abroad. The $650,000 project retained six jobs and created 13 new jobs. Funding assistance was provided by the COIDA.
- After a fire destroyed their facility in the Village of Cleveland, United Wire Technologies renovated a vacant 14,000-square-foot building in the Town of Constantia. Relocating afforded them the opportunity to update and expand their facility. There is additional land adjacent to the facility onto which the company could expand further. United Wire manufactures specialty wire. The $1.4 million project retained eight jobs and will create six new jobs. Funding assistance was provided by the COIDA.
These projects represent a total investment of approximately $237 million and will create/retain 851 jobs in Oswego County. Numerous other projects are in the works and Operation Oswego County is actively engaged in assisting several manufacturing projects that are evaluating opportunities to expand in Oswego County and/or locate operations there. For more information visit www.oswegocounty.org.
Town Of Islip: A Community Of Opportunity
The Town of Islip has long been known as a leader of economic development in New York. Islip boasts the largest industrial corridor in the region, major infrastructure advantages over surrounding areas and an Industrial Development Agency (IDA) that has won renown for its continuous ability to attract new businesses. Though Islip faces many of the same challenges as other municipalities during these harsh economic times, the Town is uniquely suited for economic growth and expansion.
One of the prime reasons for Islip’s attractiveness to local, national and international businesses is the proximity these businesses have to Long Island MacArthur Airport (LIMA), which the Federal Aviation Administration has defined as being on-par with LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports. Having a nationally recognized airport within Islip Town helps local companies conduct their business more effectively and efficiently. Just as MacArthur Airport helps local businesses expand, the airport itself is working to grow its presence to handle the economic demands of the future. Progress has already been made to increase the flow of business through the airport and is seen in U.S. Airway’s decision to offer daily flights to-and-from Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.
Just next door to Long Island MacArthur Airport is Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) #52. FTZ #52 was created to help businesses with an international scope grow and thrive in Islip. These companies can utilize the FTZ’s singular economic status to avoid costs associated with importing and exporting goods with other countries. The FTZ sits at the intersection of a crucial transportation hub that features railways, highways and a commercial airport.
The Town of Islip has a proud tradition of business success, across a variety of industries. But special mention must be made toward three critical industries that have thrived within the town: technology, food distribution and pharmaceuticals. Many technology companies, spanning sectors from aerospace to telecommunications, have found a home in Islip. CMG Wireless, a company that produces goods for the telecommunications market, rapidly has expanded their operations to cope with the increase in demand for wireless technology. They have remained in Islip largely because the IDA was able to help them adapt and expand their facilities to ensure that business was uninterrupted. CPI Aero, a company that manufactures aircraft components, primarily for the U.S. military, was recently able to expand their operations to a new facility, and did so with the help of the Islip IDA.
Another recent success story has been the construction of a 420,000-square-foot facility to be operated by Sysco Inc., a food distribution company. Throughout the entire construction process, from planning, to building, to staffing, Sysco and the Town of Islip have worked together to address the needs of both the company and the community. The facility has been fully operational since the summer of 2012, and the demands of the facility already have created over 250 jobs with more to come. Throughout the entire recruitment process, SYSCO has placed a special focus on hiring from within the area. The distribution center boasts features such as a state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel station to power all of the forklifts in the facility. This project has been a model for how local governments, civic groups and businesses can work together and be proud of the finished product, which will keep all parties satisfied for years to come.
And most recently in 2012, Islip welcomed Ascent Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical manufacturer whose operations involve research, development and the manufacture, warehousing and distribution of generic prescription medicines in a wide range of therapeutic areas. With the assistance of the Islip IDA, the company, owned by InvaGen Pharmaceuticals, purchased and renovated an existing 250,000-square-foot facility for $20 million and they expect to invest another $19 million in additional equipment and research. In return for financial assistance, Ascent has pledged to hire 100 new employees immediately, another 150 in the following three years and projects to employ a total of 350 when fully operational within five years. The story of Ascent
Pharmaceuticals is another example of how a company can grow and thrive in Islip, a community that understands the dedication and commitment necessary for projects like this to come to fruition.
Through all of these developments, the Islip IDA has continuously demonstrated its ability to work with businesses to build partnerships between government, businesses and residents. As a result of its many accomplishments, the Islip IDA was named the 2011 Suffolk County IDA of the Year by the editorial staff of the Long Island Business News. Islip Town will always be committed to exploring new ways to bring jobs and opportunities to Islip, without losing their identity as a community.
For information on how your business can grow in Islip, please visit www.islipida.com.
Buffalo Niagara: Four Billion Reasons To Relocate
Between yesterday, today and what will come tomorrow, there will be $4 billion in recent, current and planned development in Buffalo, New York. These investments reflect a new spirit of collaboration through public and private partnerships that focus on creativity, flexibility and a shared vision with strategic and attainable goals for business and community development.
In the last decade the city of Buffalo experienced more than $1.5 billion in new investment. The vision of a new Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) focused on bioinformatics, life sciences, emerging technologies, clinical care, entrepreneurship and research has spurred critical growth. As a result, state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary facilities like the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute; the one of a kind shared facility that boasts Kaleida Health Gates Vascular Institute, the University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Research Center and the independent Jacobs Institute; and Roswell Park Cancer Institute are having a tremendous impact on the city’s economy, with more than 5,000 jobs created or relocated to this innovation hub since 2003, and another 5,000 expected in the next five years.
Today, another $1.5 billion in projects are underway on the BNMC, the central business district and Buffalo’s waterfront. These include critical components like the University at Buffalo relocating its highly ranked medical school to the BNMC. Also on the site, the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital has just broken ground. To support these facilities, new medical offices and other operations are growing around the campus footprint, providing essential services and business infill.
And the region’s rebirth isn’t limited to the life sciences industry. New projects also include the evolution of the region’s manufacturing base from its steel roots to clean technologies and advanced manufacturing.
Along with the remarkable investment in industry has been the tangential redevelopment of dozens of historically significant and architecturally outstanding buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan and Louise Blanchard Bethune, to name a few. Long overlooked and underused, today these gems are being revitalized as high-end luxury condominiums, affordable and attractive student housing, Class A office space, hotels, legal and financial services offices, high-tech incubators and shared workspace setups, restaurants, retail and more. A redevelopment strategy supporting public-private investment is being led by the Buffalo Building Reuse Plan and implemented by the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation.
Businesses opening in or relocating to Buffalo are consistently impressed by the trained and educated workforce they find. The region also offers reasonable business development costs and easy access to major markets like New York, Chicago, Boston and Toronto without the hassles or high costs of locating in major metropolitan areas. And once in Buffalo, people are amazed to discover Buffalo’s affordable housing, temperate climate and outstanding quality of life.
In the last decade, brownfield redevelopment and innovative reuse projects have resulted in renewed access to the waterfront, including Canalside—a waterfront park and public space at the original terminus of the Erie Canal. Here, hundreds of thousands of people gather throughout the year to enjoy concerts, festivals, boating, museums, shops and restaurants—and all within the first five years of Canalside’s groundbreaking.
Inspired by the activity at Canalside and the passion of Western New York sports fans, the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres are building a $172 million, best-in-class facility to showcase both minor league and amateur hockey events right next to the Sabres’ home at First Niagara Center.
And there are meaningful investments in Buffalo’s arts, cultural and educational institutions, too. Within the last five to seven years, residents and visitors have been able to enjoy the revitalization of the Buffalo Zoological Gardens and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks system, the opening of the Burchfield Penney Art Center (the first new museum in the city in more than 100 years), and the reconstruction of the entire Buffalo Public Schools system. In addition, several other cultural venues, including the world-renowned Albright Knox Art Gallery and Explore and More Children’s Museum, are building, expanding or renovating.
In 2012, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo pledged $1 billion in state funding to support investment in key industries in Buffalo Niagara to leverage an additional $5 billion in private investment. To achieve this goal, Buffalo’s business executives, government officials and community leaders are working together to implement a strategic and focused plan to invest in life sciences and health care, education, culture and tourism, and high-tech manufacturing. This state-level investment means that new and relocating businesses will get the support they need for their companies to take root and grow. And, thanks to Buffalo Niagara’s geography—within the largest freshwater basin in the world and surrounded by two Great Lakes and the mighty Niagara River—the region is uniquely positioned to support forward-looking energy production, like wind and solar energy, and to supply inexpensive hydroelectric power to new and expanding manufacturers in Buffalo Niagara.
Buffalo is a decidedly different place than it has been for the last 50 years—and there are more than four billion reasons why. For more information visit Buffalo Niagara Enterprise at www.buffaloniagara.org or call 800-916-9073.