BETHLEHEM After weeks of waiting, the Bethlehem Industrial Development Agency has approved an Enhanced Tax Abatement for the first tech-use building to be constructed within the Slingerlands Vista Technology Campus.
On Friday, May 24, the IDA approved the application for the nearly $5.5 million project to be constructed at 65 Vista Blvd., just behind the ShopRite grocery store. A portion of the 27,386-square-foot building would house Breonics, an Albany company specializing in organ regeneration research.
“I think this is the catalyst to bring more projects that are tech-related to Vista,” said IDA Chairman Frank Venezia.
The enhanced abatement includes a 100 percent tax break from property taxes in the first two years. This declines by 10 percent per year for the nine years following until the property is fully on the tax rolls. According to the IDA, development at Vista brought in about $272,700 in tax revenue to the town in 2012. That figure is up from $5,894 in 2011.
Representatives for Columbia Development said there are still no other tenants signed on to locate within the building. They are currently in the discussion stages with two potential tenants and are working on making sure leases are signed before any announcements are made.
Breonics would occupy about 6,000 square feet of the building, leaving about 78 percent of the building unspoken for. The company is moving because the lease at its home in the state’s Harriman Research Center is ending in August, so construction is on a tight schedule.
Breonics Chairman Ernie Green said the company was also looking to move because the next phase in their research calls for the use of sterilization rooms. Moving into a new building that has yet to be built will allow the company to design the space how they see fit.
Officials estimate there will be 44 new jobs in total at the new building. Breonics currently has five employees and it is not clear how many new jobs would be created at the company once the move takes place. Some residents have said they are concerned that the plan could move forward without all tenants officially signed on.