“It’s not that great of a win for Saratoga but it is a win for Colonie.”
That’s according to David Buicko, the president and CEO of the Galesi Group as he and his team introduced plans for a new 150,000-square-foot office building at the old Starlite site off Route 9.
And it is a win.
As proposed, Ayco, a Goldman Sachs Company, will lease the building and consolidate the operations of three locations – one in Saratoga and two in Colonie – at the new headquarters.
You really can’t get too much better than that.
As a bonus, Galesi will build what has been referred to as a “connector road” between Route 9 and Route 9R. How the road is ultimately financed is still an open question, but Buicko said his company will build it and then secure state financing at a later date.
The connector road is imperative for the project since the intersection of Route 9 and Route 9R – which includes an on ramp leading to the Northway and Troy Schenectady Road/Route 7 – is already as large as it can be and is already jam packed with traffic.
Once the building – and the road- are built, Ayco will bring some 800 jobs from Saratoga, British American Boulevard and Wall Street (the one running between Watervliet Shaker Road and Route 155 not the one in Manhattan) and put them in Latham. It has also said it will create 160 new jobs once the new headquarters is up and running.
That’s not to mention the construction workers needed to build the facility and the ancillary jobs needed to support nearly 1,000 well paid workers who will be looking for lunch, happy hour and/or maybe someplace to do a little shopping after work.
As an added bonus, Buicko pointed out after the presentation the company hires scores of interns a year. Good experience for the intern and good for the Capital District if a few of them opt to stay here after graduating from one of our outstanding colleges and universities.
There is always a concern when one of these larger than life companies transfer jobs from one Capital District location to another but so long as cities and counties don’t start bidding against each other by offering incentives with taxpayer dollars then it’s not for anyone to tell a company how to best manage its workforce.
Also, Buicko did say – and Ayco indicated – he will look for some sort of incentives from the town Industrial Development Agency and, we assume, any other tax or other incentives available. How that all pans out is yet to be determined and while giving any breaks to multi-million companies is always something to watch with a critical eye, the town has traditionally been conservative when it comes to offering incentives, as it and all layers of government should be.
But those are minor concerns. Buicko and his team stressed this is Phase I, with Phase II likely mirroring Phase I as far as the size of the building with an eye towards a company with the reputation of an Ayco with a company like Goldman Sachs to back it up.
Buicko and Galesi – major players in the transformation of downtown Schenectady from a dark, deserted wasteland to what it is today – Ayco and a new connector road.
It’s really a win, win, win for the Town of Colonie.