Newsroom

4/24/2014 6:42:42 PM

Governor Cuomo Announces CHA to Locate New Headquarters in Downtown Albany and Become SCiTI Center's First Tenant


Andrew M. Cuomo
- Governor

https://www.governor.ny.gov/press/42414-cha

Albany, New York (April 24, 2014)

Engineering Firm to Co-Locate at Historic Kiernan Plaza

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that engineering firm CHA is the first to call the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s (CNSE) $30 million Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) home after 30 members of its executive team and administrators moved to the technology hub at Albany’s Kiernan Plaza. The establishment of the SCiTI Center was a priority project of the Governor’s Capital Region Economic Development Council (CREDC), and CNSE’s partners, including CHA, plan to create or retain a total of 250 jobs in downtown Albany as New York continues to attract leading companies to its rapidly growing innovation clusters.

"With a leading engineering firm, CHA, moving into the redeveloped Kiernan Plaza, the Capital District's Regional Economic Development Council has scored another success in bringing new jobs and investment to the City of Albany," Governor Cuomo said. "We designed the Regional Councils to transform the State's economic development approach from a top-down, one-size-fits-all agenda, to a community-based, locally-developed strategy for creating new jobs. We've seen great progress here in the Capital District with jobs going up and unemployment going down, and today's announcement builds on the exciting new economic momentum we are seeing in communities across Upstate New York."

Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy said, "After being vacant for several years, we announced in September 2013 that three companies would be the first new tenants of this historic and beautiful building, and CHA has taken the first step toward making that a reality. Successful examples like this, where public-private partnerships spur major investments and growth, are a great model of how Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Councils build new regionally-tailored strategies from the bottom-up. I welcome the new tenants to Kiernan Plaza, and look forward to seeing more economic development brought to downtown Albany by the Smart Cities Hub."

President and CEO of the newly merged SUNYIT/SUNY CNSE institution Dr. Alain Kaloyeros said, “The transformation of historic Kiernan Plaza is a testament to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s bold vision which is providing powerful opportunities for firms like CHA to co-locate with other leading corporations and plug into New York State’s burgeoning high-tech ecosystem. CNSE is proud to partner with CHA and spearhead the Governor’s economic development blueprint by providing a platform for the development and implementation of emerging smart cities technologies that are driving job opportunities and 21st Century progress.”

CHA Chief Executive Officer Ray Rudolph said, “Today marks an exciting milestone for CHA as we settle into the SCiTI Center and begin to leverage all that this collaboration with the NanoCollege and its corporate partners has to offer. We are thrilled to move from outside the city to become a part of downtown Albany’s growth story. Gaining further insight into the latest high-tech research taking place across New York State will allow us to continue to provide our clients with the most advanced engineering capabilities.”

Governor Cuomo announced in September 2013 that CHA would locate its corporate headquarters and leadership team, including 30 executives and administrative personnel, at CNSE’s SCiTI Center at Kiernan Plaza. This partnership with CNSE will allow the highly diversified, full-service engineering firm access to a unique environment that will enhance its smart systems, clean energy, and manufacturing-based engineering capabilities. Notably, this move represents one of the first instances of a corporate relocation to downtown Albany after years of migration from the urban core.

Additionally, SEFCU, the largest credit union in the Capital Region, plans to move 75 members of its executive team and staff members to the center and will launch a Smart Cities Banking program for smart city companies. Both the CHA and SEFCU moves are intended to open up space at the companies’ current locations where additional employees will be recruited, with a significant net jobs gain in the region.

In addition to CHA, communications provider Windstream will employ 25 technologists and support staff at its new regional office, which will be located at CNSE’s SCiTI Center. The company’s IT Services and Innovation Center of Excellence will provide advanced network communications solutions.

State Senator Neil D. Breslin said, “I congratulate Governor Cuomo on yet another positive economic announcement which showcases how collaboration between New York State, academia, private business, and local government can help to revitalize a city and continue job growth. As the Senator who represents the City of Albany, I am thrilled to see the relocation of CHA, and I encourage other businesses to take a second look at this high-tech hub and become a part of all that this great city has to offer.”

Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, “The Albany area has become synonymous with high tech innovation and development, and that success continues to create new investments, new jobs, and new opportunities throughout the region. Today’s announcement is wonderful news and a testament to Governor Cuomo’s high tech blueprint for the state. Technology hubs like CNSE’s SCiTI Center will ensure our continued economic growth.”

Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy said, "CHA's relocation to historic Kiernan Plaza right in the heart of Downtown Albany is a prime example of how Albany is crafting a dynamic environment that supports businesses and fosters job creation. I am pleased to welcome CHA downtown and their move will no doubt continue to fuel the growth of the city's core, thanks to Governor Cuomo's efforts."

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, “This is a terrific example of how Governor Cuomo’s high tech blueprint for New York State is making a difference right here in the capital. To have an employer like CHA move into CNSE’s SCiTI Center proves that business leaders are taking notice of all the incredible opportunities available to them in Albany County.”

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “What we are seeing today is the delivery on the promise to turn a piece of Albany’s history into a leader in developing its future. Kiernan Plaza will be bustling again, and we applaud Governor Cuomo, the Regional Economic Development Council, CHA and CNSE for this great investment.”

As a result of partnerships between CNSE, Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region, and Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region, the site will also act as a community resource to provide nanotechnology-based educational opportunities and workforce training programs to young people who are typically underrepresented in the scientific fields underpinning high-tech growth.

Kiernan Plaza was originally constructed as the Union Train Station in 1899 and had been vacant since 2009. In 2013 CNSE was awarded $4 million by the CREDC for the priority project, money that is being leveraged to generate an additional $26 million in private investments.

CNSE’s SCiTI Center will position New York State as the recognized leader in smart cities technologies through the research, development, and deployment of smart devices, sensors, and computer chips, along with integrated systems and operating software that collect and analyze data. These technologies can be used to improve infrastructure by making it more secure or efficient, allowing highway conditions to be monitored in real-time to improve traffic flow, or enabling the protection of bridges, data centers, and utility installations, for example.

#######################

About SUNY CNSE. The SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) is the world leader in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience, and nanoeconomics. CNSE represents the world’s most advanced university-driven research enterprise, with more than $20 billion in high-tech investments and over 300 corporate partners. The 1.3 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech megaplex is home to more than 3,100 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, and faculty. CNSE maintains a statewide footprint, operating the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester, and the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua. CNSE co-founded and manages the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) at SUNYIT and is lead developer of the Marcy Nanocenter site in Utica, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Complex, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. For information, visit www.sunycnse.com.

####

Media Contact:

Jerry Gretzinger, CNSE VP of Strategic Communications and Public Relations
(518) 956-7359 | ggretzinger@albany.edu