New York State: Building On Success

Empire State momentum is steady with site-ready programs and healthy growth across industries.

By Anne Cosgrove
From the September / October 2023 Issue

Shovel-ready sites will be on the rise across New York State with Governor Kathy Hochul’s recent announcement of $39.6 million awarded for seven locations under the Focused Attraction of Shovel-Ready Tracts New York (FAST NY) grant program. First announced in February 2022, the FAST NY program is designed to prepare and develop shovel-ready sites—to accommodate the needs of large employers and high-tech manufacturing companies. The program, administered by Empire State Development (ESD), aims to diversify New York State’s economy while propelling new investments for businesses, communities, and job creation.

FAST NY, New York State
Governor Kathy Hochul presents first round of FAST NY program funding awards in August. (Photo: Flickr/Governor Kathy Hochul)


“With our highly skilled workforce and commitment to emerging industries, New York is ready to welcome companies to our state while supporting those who have already invested in our communities,” Gov. Hochul said. “This funding from the FAST NY program will prepare seven shovel-ready sites around the state that will one day house the industries of the future—from renewable energy to high-tech manufacturing. Through investments like this, New York State is attracting elite companies that will create good jobs and power our local economies for generations to come.”

“This funding from the FAST NY program will prepare seven shovel-ready sites around the state that will one day house the industries of the future—from renewable energy to high-tech manufacturing. Through investments like this, New York State is attracting elite companies that will create good jobs and power our local economies for generations to come.”

— Governor Kathy Hochul

ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “We know that having a prepared and ready-to-build location was one of the many reasons why companies like Wolfspeed, Micron, and fairlife chose to build and grow in New York State. Fast NY is creating more locations for industries to choose from and making New York State a top destination for relocation and expansion.”

First Round FAST NY Awardees

Oneida County Industrial Development Agency (Mohawk Valley EDGE) – $14 million: The Marcy Nanocenter provides a fully permitted, shovel-ready greenfield site on an already established campus. An area has been reserved to build a semiconductor supply-chain campus, which is in high demand due to the established Wolfspeed fab and the recently announced Micron facility, and will serve regional and on-site high-tech companies. FAST NY funding will continue to develop the site and support preparation, excavation and utility infrastructure work. Total project cost is $18 million.

County of Monroe IDA (COMIDA) – $20 million: The site at 1900 Tebor Road in Webster is being developed to attract agribusiness and industrial machinery manufacturing. Funding will be used to upgrade the existing electrical infrastructure. Total project cost is $27 million.

Buffalo and Erie County Industrial Land Development Corporation (ILDC) – $4.75 million: This project will expand the Renaissance Commerce Park by supporting construction activities to relocate and expand a 100-year-old freight rail yard, located at the former Bethlehem Steel site. This will help to drive economic growth from currently underutilized land through private investment and job creation. The unique assets this site offers makes it attractive for industrial expansion. Total project cost is $6.8 million.

Broome County IDA/LDC (The Agency) – $500,000: This project will create a new 300-acre sustainability-focused corporate park designed to attract advanced electronics and semiconductor manufacturers, test packaging and related supply chain companies, life sciences, and agricultural processing. There is the potential for an additional 300 acres to be acquired at this site, resulting in a new 600-acre corporate park. Market studies have determined potential opportunities for the park, which include several industry clusters eligible for FAST NY grant funding. Total project cost is $1 million.

Onondaga County IDA – $325,000: This award is for the 104-acre Caughdenoy Industrial Park (White Pine South). With Micron Technology’s selection of White Pine Commerce Park for a chip manufacturing site, this site provides a prime location to attract Tier I supply chain companies. The goal is to facilitate the creation of a supply chain campus—including warehouses, manufacturing plants and research and development centers—to support Micron. Total project cost is $650,000.

Town of Lockport IDA – $63,750: This award for IDA Park South expands the existing 120-acre Industrial Park by an additional 91 acres, meeting the regional demand for targeted industries that currently does not exist. Additionally, this site neighbors a proposed 60-acre industrial park, creating an attractive industrial corridor for the area. Total project cost is $127,500.

Village of Painted Post – $36,000: The West Water Street site provides regional significance with 45 acres of developable land and close proximity to major highways, allowing for integration into the regional advanced manufacturing cluster and the potential to be a key semiconductor industry supply chain location. The project will help to prepare the site for a future developer by allowing for predevelopment work to determine the site’s best use. A site survey, traffic study, site plan and design, zoning revision and environmental concerns will be addressed, supporting streamlined approval process. Total project cost is $120,000.

FAST NY funding through ESD awards grants for pre-development activities and infrastructure investments to develop sites that will attract many eligible industries—including high-tech manufacturing, clean-tech renewable energy, life sciences, agribusiness, optics, transportation equipment, materials processing, industrial machinery manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing. The sites can also be used for interstate distribution and logistics.

Food & Beverage Thrives In New York State

New York State has a robust, thriving agricultural industry, and is home to almost 3,500 dairy farms and 620,000 cows. The dairy industry is also the state’s largest agricultural sector. The majority of farms are family-run, supporting the framework of the agricultural economy.

In August, dairy product manufacturer HP Hood announced it will grow its operations in Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. Located in Batavia, NY, the project will include the addition of new processing systems, along with other upgrades which will allow the company to increase capacity for the production of additional extended-shelf-life (ESL) beverages at the facility.

FAST NY, New York State
HP Hood is expanding operations in Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in the Buffalo-Rochester Tech Corridor. (Photo: courtesy Greater Rochester Enterprise)


As a result, the company plans to create nearly 50 jobs at the manufacturing facility. To date, the company has created more than 400 jobs at the site and currently employs close to 1,200 across New York State. Hood purchased the on-site, 363,000-square-foot plant in 2018 from the Dairy Farmers of America for $60 million and soon after expanded the facility by another 100,000 square feet.

“This continued commitment from one of the nation’s most prominent dairy companies will create top-quality jobs and spur new investment in the Finger Lakes,” said Knight of Empire State Development. “Agriculture and food processing are key pillars of the region’s economic development efforts, and HP Hood’s latest investment shows that our multi-pronged growth strategy is working.”

ESD is assisting the project with up to $1 million through the performance-based Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program in exchange for the job creation commitments. The total project cost has been placed at $120 million. Genesee County is also considering providing incentives for the project. And, Greater Rochester Enterprise provided its expertise to assist with the expansion effort. Construction on the planned updates is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2025.

Based in Lynnfield, MA, HP Hood has five New York State production facilities in Batavia, Vernon, Oneida, Arkport, and Lafargeville. The company’s portfolio of national and super-regional brands and franchise products includes Hood, Crowley Foods, Planet Oat, Heluva Good!, LACTAID®, and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze®.

Gary Kaneb, the company’s President and CEO, said, “Our investment in the Batavia facility is being driven by the continued growth of ESLdairy and non-dairy beverage categories. We are grateful for the support of Empire State Development as Batavia continues to be a strategic site for the expansion of our ESL manufacturing capabilities.”

The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park is located at the heart of the Buffalo-Rochester Tech Corridor—an area that is home to top universities, vibrant cities, and a mega site for advanced manufacturing.

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Steve Hyde, Genesee County Economic Development Center President & CEO, said, “HP Hood’s growth has already exceeded expectations at the Ag Park and this project adds to the success of the agricultural and food and beverage manufacturing sectors which continues to be leading employment sectors of our economy. This expansion is another endorsement of Batavia and the Ag Park’s role as the leading dairy hub of the Northeastern United States, and our local workforce’s talent and readiness for food and beverage manufacturing.”

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Co-Chair Bob Duffy, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce said, “This expansion not only strengthens our region’s position as a hub for food and beverage manufacturing, but also bolsters job creation and investment. We’re proud to see this growth in Genesee County, demonstrating that our efforts to revitalize communities and drive economic prosperity are yielding tangible results.”

Matt Hurlbutt, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise, said, “HP Hood conducted a nationwide assessment and chose to expand here to leverage the Greater Rochester, NY region’s extensive food and beverage manufacturing ecosystem and workforce expertise. As demand for HP Hood products continues, we look forward to helping them accelerate their growth plans in the region.”

Semiconductor Growth

With Micron Technology’s mammoth investment announcement in 2022, New York State garnered worldwide attention. That planned fab facility in Clay, NY in the Syracuse region is expected to transform the regional economy.

About two hours east of the Micron site is GlobalFoundries, which in April 2023 announced its expanded investment into Saratoga County, New York in the town of Malta. GlobalFoundries purchased approximately 800 acres land adjacent to its existing manufacturing facility there. With the purchase, the semiconductor maker now owns 1,110 acres, formerly known as the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

The rate and pace of GlobalFoundries’ expansion in Malta will be aligned with market conditions, customer commitments, and U.S. federal funding from the CHIPS and Science Act, according to the company.

“Semiconductors are essential to daily life, and are at the heart of the U.S. economy, domestic supply chains, and national defense. GF stands ready to play a key role in the implementation of the CHIPS Act, which will boost U.S. semiconductor manufacturing by creating a globally competitive framework,” said Steven Grasso, Managing Director of global government relations at GF. “This land purchase gives us the space and flexibility we need in the near-term to service the growing market demand for secure, reliable U.S.-made chips. This purchase also represents GF’s long-term commitment to New York and growing the semiconductor ecosystem that supports both GF’s world-class manufacturing facility in Malta and the regional semiconductor cluster envisioned by the CHIPS Act.”

The company employs approximately 2,500 people in the Saratoga County location, and to date has invested more than $15 billion in the facility.

Check out all the latest news related to New York economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection.


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