TOWN OF ULSTER, N.Y. — Ulster County officials expect to finally close the book on the nearly three-decade struggle to breathe new life into the former TechCity and IBM site when it officially closes Wednesday on the sale of the eastern portion of the campus to National Resources Inc.
Even as that happens, the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance is moving forward with plans to sell the remaining county-owned parcels on the west side of Enterprise Drive, known as Enterprise West, to the same Connecticut-based real-estate firm.
The Alliance board of directors on Thursday approved the purchase and sale agreement for Enterprise West. According to the agreement, National Resources Inc., will pay $6.8 million over 10 years for the two parcels.
“We’re officially turning the page on nearly three decades of failure at TechCity, and beginning an exciting new chapter that will include environmental cleanup and revitalization of the campus, and ultimately the creation of thousands of good-paying jobs for Ulster County residents,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said in a press release Thursday
“With proven partners like National Resources, I’m confident the future is bright for this site; and I’m committed to ensuring that every single resident of our county benefits as it comes back to life as the center of our county’s new economic future.”
In addition to paying an amount that is roughly equal to what is owed in back taxes on Enterprise West, National Resources will be required under the terms of the purchase and sale agreement to lease up to half of the former Bank of America building – roughly 150,000 square-feet – at what officials say must be “regional commercial terms,” and construct at least 50,000 square feet of new commercial or residential space or invest at least $5 million in building improvements on that site.
On the second, vacant property, the company must also construct at least 50,000 square feet of commercial or residential space or invest at least $5 million in renovations on that site as well as spend up to $500,000 for the development of recreational facilities that would have permanent public access.
The company would also be required to reserve at least 30,000 square feet of space either in the western or eastern portion of the campus to be rented at 50% below market value to startups, small businesses, community organizations or incubator and accelerator programs identified by the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance.
Tim Weidemann, the president and chief executive officer of the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance, said he expects the Alliance to close on the sale of Enterprise West in September.
At that point, he said, National Resources will submit a master plan outlining its plans for the site, with work beginning within seven years after the deal is finalized. All work at the site must be completed within 10 years.
Weidemann said the company will also be required to pay prevailing wage or enter into project labor agreements for most new construction and renovation projects, and, like on the eastern portion of the property, will be responsible for any environmental remediation at the site.
Under the deal that will be finalized on Wednesday, which is part of a court-ordered settlement agreement between former owner Alan Ginsberg and Ulster County, National Resources will pay the county $12 million for 160 acres on the east side of the campus, which is also an amount just about equal to the back taxes owed. The company would make cash payments totaling $5 million plus interest over a five-year period and carry out at least $7 million in environmental cleanup work required at the former IBM property. If the cost of the cleanup is less than $7 million, the company would pay the county the difference between the cost and the $7 million.
Additionally, in a side deal between Ginsberg and National Resources, the Connecticut-based real estate firm agreed to pay $4 million to Ginsberg to clear the property of all encumbrances and liens and Ginsberg agreed to drop his opposition to the foreclosure.
“National Resources is excited for the transformation of this campus that the residents of Ulster County have long-awaited,” said National Resources President Joseph Cotter. “Once the closing is complete, we expect to move quickly to address remaining environmental issues and to announce near-term tenants that will bring high-quality jobs and economic activity back to this important site.”
National Resources is also the developer of the iPark 84 business complex at the former IBM site in East Fishkill, which comprises more than 2 million square feet of commercial space and is slated to have GlobalFoundries, eMagin and a film studio as tenants. It has said that over the next 10 years it will invest more than $200 million and attract a variety of businesses that could create up to 1,000 jobs to the Kingston site, which it said will be called iPark 87.