JOHNSTOWN - Fulton County officials say they hope construction associated with transforming the 515-acre former Tryon Detention Center into a new Tryon Technology Park can occur this year.
County Planning Director James Mraz on Tuesday briefed the county Planning Board on the project, noting county government hired C.T. Male Associates of Latham. That company's preliminary site plan was detailed by Mraz at the meeting Tuesday.
The state agreed in February 2012 to turn the property over to local officials, but the state hasn't yet deeded the title to the property to the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency.
Fulton County Planning Director James Mraz shows the Tryon project plans to the county Planning Board on Tuesday. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)
"We are still working through the transaction between the IDA and the state of New York," said Mraz, also IDA executive director. "We're hoping to get that consummated soon."
The county has a $2 million state Empire Development Grant to be used to pay for the road and water and sewer upgrades.
The plan is for nine large sites totaling 240 acres to offer 2.6 million square feet to attract large companies, but other smaller Tryon lots also would be available for development. Mraz said that amount of space is larger than Gloversville's Crossroads Industrial Park and the Johnstown Industrial Park, combined.
"We will certainly be marketing this site to key site selectors," he said.
Mraz said an "internal loop" road will be created at the heart of the Tryon site, which is mostly in the town of Perth but also encompasses the town of Johnstown. He said the plan is to keep some of the "core buildings" from the old Tryon days intact. They include a full-size gym, Olympic-size pool and 250-seat auditorium. In the future, he said, there might be a need for meeting space as well as recreational space for businesses.
The 240-acre area would be located in the town of Perth's new Business and Technology Zone, which allows several uses such as high-tech, research, retail and commercial uses. He said the site won't be marketed for heavy truck traffic.
Board member Timothy Munn asked how local officials plan to market the new park.
Mraz said that involves a process by which the IDA will be working with the regional CEO Roundtable and the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth. He said the hope is to sponsor a "developer's tour" in which regional companies will be brought in to "make them better aware" of what the county has to offer, including the Tryon site.
The hope is to also offer a "corporate site selector" session to include attendance of real-estate agents, he said.
"We'd like to bring them here," Mraz said. "We'd like to highlight [the Tryon] site."
Munn talked about the possible spinoff businesses from computer chip fabrication plant GlobalFoundries in Malta, Saratoga County, that might use Fulton County's new park.
"It could really bring a different type of work force to Fulton County," Munn said.
Michael Anich can be reached at email@example.com.