Griffiss Park continues to grow despite Covid-19 Pandemic
Griffiss Business and Technology Park remains a bright spot in the upstate NY economy as several large-scale construction projects take shape – from housing, to information technology and cybersecurity, to distribution, the work at Griffiss continues.
“Since Griffiss Park was created over 25 years ago, over $700.6 million of public and private investment has occurred, which has created a diverse environment for over 72 businesses, and 5800 employees to thrive,” said Steven J. DiMeo, President of Mohawk Valley EDGE and Authorized Representative of Griffiss Local Development Corporation.” In 2019 alone, over $74.8 million was invested, with a projected investment of over $94.7 million in 2020. While the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed some of the progress at the Park, it has not stopped many major projects from moving forward (albeit while adhering to all social distancing, ESD and CDC guidelines).”
MA Polce Consulting Inc. a managed IT/cloud and cybersecurity company recently broke ground on their new 6,750 square-foot expansion, which will more than double their existing space. The company who is seeing business growth with the rise in alternate work locations, has been planning the addition since 2017 and was awarded $260,000 towards the $1.5 million project through last year’s NYS Empire State Development Consolidated Funding Awards. The company’s existing space will also be retrofitted to enhance the collaborative nature of their work, currently the company has 40 employees and is expecting to hire 10 additional employees as a result of this project. Construction is expected to be completed this fall.
“Over the past three years, we have grown our Managed IT/Cloud and Cyber Security Practices substantially,” said Michael Polce, President of MA Polce Consulting. “MA Polce is a regional leader in these industries and carries a global industry ranking. With the continued and increasing demand for these services, we are committed to growing our company, and the steady creation of jobs, particularly in the Rome New York area. Our new space will accommodate an additional 22 employees at this location and reflects who we are – an innovative company who embraces dynamic change, and an interior layout that fosters collaboration among our employees, partners and clients. I am very pleased and excited at the opportunity to invest in the growth of our company right here in this great community and my home town.”
Bonacio Construction continues to build their brand new, multi-phased mixed use apartment community – Air City Lofts. The $20 million Phase 1 consists of two 4-story buildings, each with first floor office/amenity-oriented space and a total of 84 market rate apartments spanning three floors above, ready for occupancy starting Fall 2020! This development is the first of its kind at Griffiss Park bringing to fruition Griffiss Local Development Corporation’s long-term development vision to create a live, work, play environment for employees and prospective employees of the Park. Empire State Development assisted with the project with $1.25 million Consolidated Funding Award to Griffiss Local Development Corporation to support this project. Apartments and 1st floor commercial space are still available but filling quickly. Visit https://aircity-lofts.com/ to reserve yours!
Sonny Bonacio, President of Bonacio Construction said, “Air City is the epitome of live, work, play – whether you are working in a class-A 1st floor commercial space, or telecommuting from one of the high speed internet-over-fiber enabled apartments above, or enjoying a bite to eat at one of the on-site restaurants, this amenity-rich community has it all. Bonacio Construction is proud to be a part of redevelopment efforts here, led by the City and GLDC. We are excited to bring their vision to reality for the Park, bolstering recruitment efforts, increasing overall employee quality of life and keeping critical dollars in the local Rome economy.”
Orgill, Inc. recently broke ground on their new $71 million, 790,000 square foot distribution center at Griffiss to service their retail customers in the northeast United States. The distribution center (DC) is their first in New York State and is being built on approximately 65 acres on the former Skyline Housing Site across from Rome Free Academy. This state-of-the-art DC will employ approximately 225 people and showcase new technologies including a “voice pick” system and will serve seven states in the Northeast. Construction is expected to be completed by early 2022. To encourage Orgill’s investment in the Mohawk Valley, Empire State Development has offered up to $3.5 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits, which are tied directly to the creation of 225 jobs.
Orgill serves more than 6,000 retail hardware stores, home centers, professional lumber dealers and farm stores throughout the United States and Canada, and more than 50 countries around the world. Orgill will begin hiring key personnel in Summer 2020 and will continue staffing of the facility closer to opening.
“We are excited to expand our distribution network and look forward to the enhanced efficiencies this will create for our customers as we move forward,” says Boyden Moore, Orgill’s CEO & president.
“We are eager to get the facility up and running and will begin to ramp up staffing at the facility as we move through this process,” says Randy Williams, Orgill’s EVP, Distribution. “Upon completion, the facility will provide quality jobs to local residents who will play a pivotal role in helping us fulfill our corporate mission and make our customers more successful.”
The Open Innovation Campus, a $12 million research center at Griffiss International Airport was announced this past fall and construction nears completion. This partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, Oneida County, the Griffiss Institute and SUNY Polytechnic Institute will connect global technology leaders from the likes of Google, IBM and QCWare to collaborate and solve intricate Air Force computing challenges.
The campus will be housed in Building 100 at the Griffiss International Airport. The 40,000 square-foot, three-floor facility is being renovated to include two quantum labs and two neuromorphic/electronic labs, event space and training and classrooms. Oneida County contributed $5.6 million toward the project, and Empire State Development and the New York State Department of Transportation Aviation Bureau are provided $1.4 million and $1.5 million respectively. Additional funding also came from Griffiss Institute. Construction is ongoing and is expected to be completed by this summer.
“As we begin to work our way through a safe, phased reopening of our lives and the economy of Oneida County, the health and safety of the public will always be paramount,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “But healing from this crisis will require vital economic development projects like the ones taking place at the Griffiss Business & Technology Park. They will be essential to the recovery of this community and secure the bright future that laid before Oneida County prior to this devastating pandemic.”
“The Griffiss Business and Technology Park is a growing, thriving hub of economic activity. We are very fortunate, despite the limitations placed on business during the coronavirus pandemic, to have so much new construction underway at the park. MA Polce represents a locally grown network security company expanding its footprint, the Orgill Distribution facility brings an additional 225 jobs and our second warehouse distribution center, the Open Innovation Campus will allow our very talented researchers at Rome Lab to collaborate with their peers from around the world in the areas of quantum computing and artificial intelligence, and Air City Lofts is the first commercial/residential project which will transform the Park into a living, breathing, residential workspace,” said Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo.
“We applaud our Business Park tenants have been able to adapt their construction projects to continue working while also maintaining a healthy and safe environment during this pandemic,” said GLDC Chairman Elis DeLia. “We know that this current situation has not been easy, but we will get through this together and come out stronger because of our resilient nature. In 1995, no one thought we could do anything with an abandoned Air Force Base, but we proved the skeptics wrong, and we will overcome once more.”
Griffiss Park has become a vibrant center for private and public enterprise in Rome, New York. Over 72 businesses employing over 5,880 of people make Griffiss one of the most successful business and technology parks in the United States. Covering 3,500 acres, Griffiss has development districts with specific focuses in technology, manufacturing, aviation, office, education and recreation.
Griffiss Park has become the location of choice for organizations that are recognized globally, and have global impact through innovative research, products and services.