Syracuse, NY - County worked up building plans in hopes of attracting new business, but existing business is the only taker so far.
The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency developed plans for an industrial building in Cicero that it hoped would attract a company from out-side the county.
But the building might instead be built for a company that already is in Onondaga County but is looking for a new location.
Donald Western, the county’s economic development director, told the agency’s directors this week that the company has proposed building a facility on a six-acre site in Hancock Airpark where the agency has planned its 'virtual' building.
He said the company employs more than 100 people. He did not identify the company, saying discussions were still in the preliminary stages.
The development agency recently completed plans for a 44,000-square-foor building with 9,300 square feet of attached office space on the parcel south of East Taft Road. The land is part of a former Air Force base that the county has been turning into an industrial park.
The 'virtual' building exists on paper only, and it would be up to a private developer to build it. But the development agency obtained all the necessary town site plan, drainage and zoning approvals needed to build the structure, saving any developer months of planning.
A company that acquired the property could simply adopt the agency’s plans and start building very quickly. It would also have the option of making minor changes to the plans - including marking the building a little bigger or smaller - without having to go through the entire town approval process again, agency officials said.
The agency was hoping the 'virtual' building would attract a company from outside the county.
Leedom Kettell, a member of agency’s board of directors, questioned whether allowing an existing firm in the county to relocate to the site went against that goal.
The company in question is leasing a building that is too large for its needs, he said. It was recently purchased by a company from outside the state, and the new owner has given it orders to find a new facility in the county or face being moved to the location of the corporate parent in another state, he said.
"They want to build this year," said Western
Though it developed the building plans, the development agency has no direct say in who builds on the property because it does not control the land.
The county acquired the 425-acre base from the Air Force in 1987 and leases is to Hancock Field Development Corp., a not-for-profit corporation created by the Metropolitan Development Association.
Lori Dietz, assistant to the president of the MDA, said no decision has been made on whether to lease or sell land to the company that has expressed an interest in the 'virtual' building site.
"It’s in a discussion point right now," she said. "It’s early in the whole process.
The Post-Standard by Rick Moriarty - April 10, 2004
VIP Structures was hired by OCIDA to provide the 'virtual' building to be located within Hancock Air Park. These services included the design of the facility and all necessary approvals. The plans were collected into an electronic interface, which VIP provided, where potential clients could view details on the location, the site and the proposed building. Also included in the interactive presentation were links to more details on Onondaga County. The interface was published into a CDROM format by ODICA and also uploaded to the Syracuse Central website, www.syracusecentral.com.