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Coming home to Malta

It seems everyone is talking about change these days.

And in the Town of Malta, there is a definite point at which it will begin: when ground is broken on an Advanced Micro Devices subsidiary fabrication facility, a $4.6 billion project that AMD hopes to have running in 2011. It's been called the most important economic development in the state's history, and with it a huge influx of jobs is expected to come to the area.

There are estimates on the table, including figures from AMD that say the project will bring the immediate area about 6,500 sustained, long-term jobs, as well as up to 4,300 temporary jobs during the construction of the facility.

It is hard to say exactly how many of these supposed jobs will be filled by current residents of Malta and the surrounding area, and how many will be snagged by those relocating. AMD officials have said it is likely that Fab 4X will be initially staffed by a work force largely made up of the company's current employees, and locals will be phased in over time as education and training programs across the region come online and expand.

If that is to be the case, many temporary workers will no doubt want temporary housing.

"Right now, we're experiencing a lot more rental requests than we did in the past," said Bruce McClellan, broker/owner of Pinnacle Realty, which has offices in Malta and Saratoga Springs. "From the real estate perspective, it's one of the most exciting things going on in the market."

According to September statistics released by the Greater Capital Association of Realtors, the number of home sales closed across the Capital District dropped 13 percent from a year prior. In Saratoga County, the figure was 17 percent.

Those numbers don't worry Nelson VanUllen, branch manager at RealtyUSA's Clifton Park office.

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