Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State has issued Request for Proposals for the purchase and development of 27 acres of prime real estate on the east side of the Governor W. Averell Harriman State Office Campus in Albany. The RFP calls for plan that builds on the current redevelopment of the existing campus, reflects the area’s character, and increases the City of Albany's tax base through a wide range of potential options including companies in the healthcare, technology, research, education, retail, and hospitality sectors. Uses could include offices, medical and laboratory facilities, retail shops, lodging, and ancillary parking. A minimum purchase price of $5.1 million is required and any proposal that includes residential use will not be accepted.
"The Harriman Campus offers a unique opportunity for private development in the Capital Region where public-private partnerships and investments are already fueling high-tech job growth and educational opportunities," Governor Cuomo said. "As the University at Albany progresses with its E-Tech project right next door, this land is set up to play a critical role in the further growth of the region's innovative industries and expanding Albany's tax base."
Proposals will be reviewed in two phases, with the first response being due on September 15. In these initial responses, potential developers will provide a description of the proposed uses for the site and demonstrate the need for or likely success of those uses. A list of potential tenants, a site plan and architectural designs and summary of the developers' experience in completing similar projects will also be required.
The initial responses will be reviewed and evaluated by the New York State Office of General Services' Real Estate Center based on the proposed development concept's quality, design, and alignment with the State's development objectives, as well as its compatibility with the design and function of existing and proposed uses of the campus. The evaluation will also take into account a potential developer's experience in designing, engineering, constructing, financing, leasing, operating, and managing projects of similar size and complexity.
Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, "As a member of Governor Cuomo's Strategic Implementation Assessment Team for his Regional Economic Development initiative, I have seen first-hand the positive effects his efforts to revitalize the New York State economy are having. This large parcel is uniquely situated in a bustling business growth location, so we anticipate a great deal of private-sector interest in the RFP that was released today. Not only will the redevelopment of this parcel stimulate economic growth, it will also provide additional revenue for the city, its schools, and the county."
The three respondents who receive the highest Part I scores will be notified later in the fall and be given approximately 30 days to provide a detailed financial plan for project funding along with completed vendor responsibility documents and the proposed purchase price. The review team will then evaluate the additional Part II information and select one proposal from the finalists to move forward based upon a weighted scoring system with 60 percent of the score based upon Part I and 40 percent based upon Part II.
Development of the site will begin following approvals by the Office of the Attorney General and Office of the State Comptroller, a closing on the purchase, and the completion of an environmental review of the project.
The RFP, can be accessed through the OGS NYSStore.com website and www.NYSHarrimanCampusLandForSale.com. Developers who have questions about the RFP should email HarrimanRFP@ogs.ny.gov.
Senator Neil Breslin said, "This new commercial development at the Harriman Campus is great news for both Albany County and the City of Albany. I applaud Governor Cuomo and my partners in government throughout the Capital Region for their commitment to this project. This is not only further proof that our region has become a real hub of positive economic activity but it will also expand our local tax base."
Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, "Through increased private and public investment at the Harriman campus, Albany will undoubtedly reap the benefits of unlocking these acres for new and exciting development opportunities. I commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this project."
Assemblymember John McDonald said, "I am excited for the opportunity that this RFP process for the Harriman Campus provides not only for the City and County of Albany but also for the Capital Region. For decades this campus has been plagued by starts and stops but no shovel has ever broken ground. Thanks to the attention of Governor Cuomo and the hardworking efforts of the Office of General Services (OGS), the process is once again started and I am confident that we will have a successful project that is on the tax rolls and a suitable neighbor to the neighborhood and become a critical part of the community."
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "This new plan for the Harriman Campus will encourage innovation and development and add to the tax base. Given the growth and stability of the regional economy, the timing is right for a new approach at the campus."
Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan said, "This is a prime piece of real estate in an office and educational center of the City of Albany that is seeing large investments of all kinds. We thank New York State and Governor Cuomo for putting this desirable state parcel on the City's tax rolls, a welcome piece of tax news for Albany’s homeowners, landlords, and business owners."
Redevelopment of other parts of the campus is already ongoing and includes infrastructure improvements and renovation of existing office spaces. Currently, a portion of west side of the campus closest to the University at Albany is being developed by the university as its new Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurism Complex Campus. When the ETEC and New York State office projects are completed in 2020, the campus will have a daytime population of approximately 12,400 employees and students.
The campus, which was developed as a suburban office park in the 1950s and 1960s, is easily accessible from Interstates 90 and 87, as well as State Route 85, which connect the property with downtown Albany, Albany International Airport, the Amtrak station in Rensselaer, and other regions of the State, as well as other states and Canada.
The property will have access to electric and natural gas service from National Grid, city water and sewer service, and infrastructure that can be used to support fiber optic and copper cabling for information technology services. In addition, access to the new state-of-the art day care center in Building 3 will be available.
To assist in marketing the property, OGS has retained commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE, which will utilize its access to a broad network of commercial real estate buyers to promote interest in the site.
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