RICHFIELD SPRINGS, N.Y. — Nearly two decades after acquiring the property, the County of Otsego Industrial Development Agency (the IDA) is moving forward with plans to create a business park on 58 acres just outside the village of Richfield Springs.
The IDA is accepting bids until March 31 on roadwork and work to extend water, sewer, natural gas, and electric service to the site — located off Route 28, just south of County Highway 25A, says Jody Zakrevsky, CEO of the IDA, including its umbrella brand Otsego Now.
“We’ve owned this property for almost 20 years, and nothing was ever done with it,” he says of the site. That’s mainly because a Native American artifact area takes up about half of the site, meaning the full 58 acres can’t be developed.
It wasn’t until two local sister companies — Andela Products and Ruby Lake Glass — reached out to the IDA about three years ago to ask about a possible site to expand with a new building that interest in the parcel was reinvigorated, Zakrevsky says.
That interest — combined with a $1.2 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant, a $325,000 Empire State Development grant, and a $500,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant — was enough to get the project rolling, he says. The IDA will put up the balance of funding for the $2.4 million project.
The agency worked with Keystone Associates Architects, Engineers and Surveyors, LLC of Binghamton on the project design. The firm designed the entire park — from roads and other infrastructure to the lot layouts, Zakrevsky says.
So far, four companies have expressed interest in bidding on the project. If the bids align with the project’s construction budget of $1.9 million, “we’re hoping to award them in April and go to construction in April or May,” according to Zakrevsky.
He expects Andela Products and Ruby Lake Glass could begin work on their shared building as soon as this summer. Andela Products, owned by Cynthia Andela, manufactures glass crushing and recycling machinery. Ruby Lake Glass, founded by Andela and Jonathan Gross, sells color-coated glass aggregate used for road markings and other applications.
The two businesses share about 30,000 square feet currently. “Right now, both companies are in a growth mode,” Zakrevsky says. Combined, the two companies employ about 34 people. “I know they’re looking to add on probably another 12 to 14,” he adds. With help from a $985,000 Empire State Development Grant, the two firms plan to build an 85,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the new business park.
With 22 developable acres, there will be room for others as well, Zakrevsky notes. “Most of our industrial parks are in the Oneonta area,” he says, so the addition of this park is a great benefit to the northern part of Otsego County.
The parcel can support two or three lots, depending on project size, and between 200,000 and 300,000 square feet of additional construction. “I think we’re open to almost any type of business,” he says, but the preference is for manufacturing companies actively seeking to expand employment.
Businesses that move to the park once it is complete will benefit from the improvements done by the IDA, as well as property tax, sales tax, and mortgage-recording tax exemptions for expansion projects. The agency can also help companies apply for various financial assistance for their expansion projects, Zakrevsky says.
The County of Otsego Industrial Development Agency is a nonprofit public benefit agency formed under the New York State Industrial Development Agency Act by establishing legislation in 1973. The IDA is governed by the actions of its board of directors, who are appointed by the chair of the Otsego County Legislature. The umbrella brand Otsego Now includes both the IDA and the Otsego County Capital Resource Corporation (OCCRC), a local development corporation.