The owner of a former upstate industrial complex recently released a green master plan for the redevelopment of TechCity – once an IBM manufacturing and business campus.

Photo: courtesy of Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, Inc.
The TechCity Master Plan will transform the 260-acre, 2.5 million-sq-ft former IBM manufacturing and business campus made up of 27 low-rise buildings into a 21st Century sustainable development.

The 260-acre, 2.5 million-sq-ft TechCity, located about 100 miles north of New York City in the town of Ulster, is made up of 27 low-rise buildings that will be transformed into a 21st Century sustainable development through the re-use of former industrial buildings, the installation of clean energy systems including solar panels and green roofs on the property’s existing large-area, flat roof buildings.

“We want to make TechCity into a national model for large-scale green development,” said Alan Ginsberg, Owner and Chairman of TechCity, upon announcing the plan. “Our plans include the extensive use of solar and other alternative forms of energy, and the attraction of companies that produce advanced green products and green collar jobs.”

The master plan is built around a “Town Center” design that recycles and modernizes the property’s former single-tenant/single-use buildings format, while preserving open space and natural areas and includes a system of sidewalks, landscaped spaces, covered parking and the use of new urbanism principles in the layout of a mixed use neighborhood retail and residential component of the plan.

The plan also calls for the selective demolition of obsolete buildings and the creation of a new set of internal roads designed to provide each remaining building with a new image, access to convenient parking and a “front door” address reducing the building gross floor area to just under 2 million sq ft.

The town of Ulster is currently the lead agency for TechCity’s State Environmental Quality Review process and has also agreed to an expedited approval process for better build-outs making TechCity a The new 76,000 sq ft Gilmartin Elementary School is scheduled to be completed by July 2010. Rendering by Gaffney Bennett Public Relations

So far, TechCity has shut down the site’s outmoded, oil-burning central utility plant which had annually emitted 100 tons of airborne pollutants when Mr. Ginsberg purchased the campus from IBM in 1998. The central plant is being replaced by individual, very low emission, gas-fi red rooftop units in occupied buildings. TechCity has also taken steps to reduce its consumption of electricity from the region’s power grid by cutting back from 9.1 million kilowatt hours (kWh) to 5.8 million kWh in 2008- a 36 percent reduction made possible by energy efficiencies, producing enough solar power on site to be completely self-sufficient.

Demolition on the site of approximately 500,000 sq ft began in March and the construction will take place in phases. The first phase timetable will depend on whether the developer receives $8.5 million in “shovel ready” stimulus funding in which it is being considered for by New York State.

The plan is expected to create – with a focus on creating 2,200 construction jobs and 3,860 permanent new industrial, manufacturing, educational, and retail positions.