July 17, 2012
By: Brian Nearing
Source: Times Union
ALBANY — A project to transform the former Union Station into a
nanotechnology hub is seeking $5 million in state support from the
eight-county Capital Region Economic Development Council.
application filed Monday will help "attract additional partner
companies" to move into the rehabilitated station on Broadway, said
Steve Janack, vice president for marketing and communication for the
UAlbany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
day, the nanocollege announced that the engineering firm CHA, formerly
known a Clough Harbour & Associates, had agreed to lease 10,000
square feet of the 100,000-square-foot building, which has been empty
since early 2010 when Bank of America pulled out during the depths of
Janack said the CHA deal, which is being financed
by the company, is not tied to the effort to obtain state funds to
support the project. CHA will move 30 of its top executives into the
building by the end of the year.
The nanocollege holds the lease on Union Station from a New York City-based real estate investment trust.
funding would "significantly accelerate the rehabilitation" of the
former station, which is also known as Kiernan Plaza, so named for the
former chairman of Norstar Bank, whose company purchased and renovated
the decaying station in the mid-1980s.
This is the second time
state funding has been sought for the project under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's
regional economic development councils, which are meant to support
projects that can have the most impact on job creation in the state.
Earlier this year, the state Capital Region council passed on a $4 million application for the project.
Monday, the nanocollege also announced an agreement with Trinity
Alliance of the Capital Region, an Albany-based, not-for-profit social
services agency that promotes inner-city education, to create
nano-related education and job training for students involving both the
college and CHA.
The partnerships with CHA and Trinity will focus
on "smart cities" technologies, including sensors and computer chips,
integrated systems and operating software to collect and analyze data
for such applications as highway conditions, infrastructure like bridges
and utilities, and security for educational settings.