Public-Private Partnership Revitalizes Historic Building in Downtown Troy Co-Working Space and Business Incubator Supports New Creative Companies Photos of the Troy Innovation Garage Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of the Troy Innovation Garage, a co-working space and business incubator in Downtown Troy. The $1.5 million project was supported by a $100,000 grant from Empire State Development as well as a $50,000 Main Street Development Grant from National Grid. The Garage is specifically aimed at incubating, accelerating, fostering and growing creative economy companies in Upstate New York.
“Our investments to revitalize downtown Troy support a thriving business community, and this new incubator will help keep this momentum going," Governor Cuomo said. “The Troy Innovation Garage will support emerging businesses, create jobs and drive economic growth and activity that will have ripple effects throughout the Capital Region.”
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul joined representatives from the Troy Innovation Garage, along with other city, state and Capital Region leaders, for a ceremonial ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening. The Garage opened with commitments from three-dozen small companies and organizations.
“This new incubator space will provide start-ups with a creative atmosphere where they can participate in a community of like-minded professionals and nurture their inspiration,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Projects like the Troy Innovation Garage are breathing new life into downtown Troy, transforming the area into a vibrant, bustling hub of innovation that will serve as an engine of economic growth for generations to come.”
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “The Troy Innovation Garage is a great example of the REDCs making strategic investments that leverage an existing asset to spur downtown revitalization and generate economic development at the local level. The Garage will lead to greater collaboration between businesses, creative discussions among entrepreneurs, and more economic opportunities - and that's a win for everyone involved, especially downtown Troy."
Troy Innovation Garage Founder and CEO Tom Nardacci said, “The Capital Region, and Troy in particular, is ripe for this type of development, flexible workspaces and a collaborative community, in support of existing and startup creative enterprises and organizations dedicated to social good. Three dozen small companies and organizations moved to Troy Innovation Garage in a few months, which says a lot about the need for flexible workspaces, and the need for entrepreneurs to locate in an environment that provides new social connections as well as business connections. Today we have over $4 million in wages in a building that sat idle for 30 years. None of this would have been possible without our strong partnerships.”
The design and branding of the 14,000-square foot Troy Innovation Garage took its inspiration from the building’s past. From 1900 to 1920, the building was home to the Troy Automobile Exchange, a dealer of Buffalo-built Pierce Arrows, and earned a reputation as one of the most successful auto dealerships in America at the time. Redeveloping the long-dormant building was achieved through a public-private partnership, which included capital from owner Pioneer Bank, the Troy Local Development Corporation and the Capital Region Economic Development Council.
Pioneer Bank President and CEO Tom Amell said, “Pioneer Bank’s partnership with the Troy Innovation Garage reflects our organization’s established commitment to supporting the Capital Region’s continued economic growth. Our organization jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this transformative project, and we look forward to continuing our work with the Innovation Garage’s team towards the common goal of establishing Downtown Troy as the area’s foremost destination for creative entrepreneurs.”
Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said, “It is no secret that the City of Troy is in the midst of a renaissance, and thanks to the investment and vision of the team behind the Troy Innovation Garage our downtown continues to enjoy growth and success. As impressive a space as the Troy Innovation Garage is, it’s the people inside who make it such a special place, and we’ve already begun to see the resulting benefits of the over 65 creative entrepreneurs who have decided to do business in Troy thanks to this unique and beneficial project.”
Director of Community and Economic Development at the University at Albany Matt Grattan said, “As the Capital Region continues to cultivate a growing entrepreneurial and creative ecosystem, the need for innovative programming and incubation facilities is critical to ensure we assist these entrepreneurs to commercialize their ideas. The Troy Innovation Garage is a perfect example of the type of committed partner that we need to continue this growth through our regional Innovation Hot Spot program, Innovate 518. As an affiliated Innovate 518 partner, they have embraced the regional ecosystem and developed programming that enhances and does not compete with existing programming in the region.”
3tarchitects Partner and Design Director Scott Townsend said, “It has been such a pleasure to watch the Troy Innovation Garage project come to fruition, and 3tarchitects is honored to have played a role in that process. Our firm is committed to supporting socially relevant projects, and we look forward to watching the Troy Innovation Garage continue to reinvigorate our city and its entrepreneurs.”
National Grid Regional Executive Laurie Poltynski said, “Economic development is a key part of our commitment to the upstate New York communities we serve. In fiscal year 2016, our programs supported upstate New York projects generating more than $535 million in new capital investment and creating 4,500 new jobs. Since 2003, our grants have leveraged $8.9 billion in private investment – and led to more than 39,000 jobs created or retained.”
Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino said, “The entrepreneurial spirit has long been a hallmark of Troy and our entire region’s history bringing with it the invention, industrial growth, and movements impacting our entire nation. As we continue our efforts to create an environment where businesses can thrive, the Troy Innovation Garage is an exciting project that will help today’s entrepreneurs grow their ideas into businesses and the jobs our residents seek. I want to commend Gramercy Communications for their continued investment into Rensselaer County and their leadership on this project.”
Hudson Valley Community College Associate Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development Rich Bennett said, “Troy Innovation Garage's Start Up Principles course reflects the organization’s commitment to both developing the next generation of creative entrepreneurs and collaborating with Hudson Valley Community College's Workforce Development Institute. This unique and proactive program allows us to work together in a synergistic effort to bring Business and Education closer together, and we are thrilled to partner with The Garage on this worthwhile endeavor.”
Senator Neil Breslin said, “New York State’s creative economy is among its most impressive and vital assets and projects like the Troy Innovation Garage are crucially important to fostering its continued growth and success. This project promises to serve as a valuable resource for creative entrepreneurs throughout the Capital Region and beyond, and I am thrilled to be here today to celebrate this momentous occasion.”
Assemblymember John McDonald said, “Projects like the Troy Innovation Garage serve as the perfect example of a public-private partnership having a profoundly positive impact on the continued growth of our state’s creative economy. As a small business owner, and former mayor, I have seen firsthand the measurable benefits of this type of investment, and I applaud the Troy Innovation Garage for its commitment to the future of Downtown Troy."
More information on the Troy Innovation Garage and its services and events, is available on its website.