TechCity is told process can­not re­sume un­til de­bris is cleaned up

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­

TechCity will not be al­lowed to de­mol­ish Build­ing 001 on the sprawl­ing En­ter­prise Drive cam­pus un­til de­bris from the six other razed struc­tures on the prop­erty has been re­moved, town of­fi­cials say.

At a Town Board meet­ing Thurs­day, Ul­ster Su­per­vi­sor James Quigley said the de­mo­li­tion per­mits have lapsed and only the re­main­ing sec­tion of Build­ing 034 will be al­lowed to come down.

“I will al­low them to take 034 down be­cause it’s half down now,” Quigley said. “As long as they’re mak­ing sub­stan­tial progress on the cleanup of the mid­dle, they can take 034 down, sub­ject to re­ceiv­ing a per­mit.”

The town granted de­mo­li­tion per­mits in Septem­ber 2015 for seven build­ings at TechCity, a for­mer IBM plant, with­out re­quir­ing a cleanup plan for the prop­erty. Town of­fi­cials said at the time that a de­bris re­moval dead­line was not set be­cause never be­fore had there been a project of that size to use as a prece­dent.

The seven build­ings — 001, 002, 003, 004, 025, 034 and 035 — ranged in size from 8,364 to 277,571 square feet and had mar­ket val­ues rang­ing from $120,482 to $6.6 mil­lion.

Build­ing 001 — which is be­hind the build­ing that has the large, fa­mil­iar clock on its fa­cade — mea­sures 274,928 square feet.

TechCity had about 2.4 mil­lion square feet of build­ing space be­fore de­mo­li­tion be­gan.

Once the raz­ing is com­plete, the to­tal will be about 1.46 mil­lion square feet. Quigley said TechCity rep­re­sen­ta­tives have said they will have the de­bris re­moved by the end of the year. He said it’s dif­fi­cult to judge how much de­bris still is on the prop­erty be­cause the de­bris is spread out and mounds change po­si­tions as ma­te­ri­als are sorted. “I can’t gauge it,” Quigley said.

Re­fer­ring to Build­ing 025, the four-story struc­ture at the cor­ner of Boice’s Lane and En­ter­prise Drive that was torn down at the end of 2015, Quigley said: “Four months ago ... they had those hu­mon­gous piles of de­bris that had ba­si­cally the car­pet and the roof fab­ric just piled up there and it looked re­ally ugly. That’s all gone and you’ve got a clean slab ex­cept three piles of crushed con­crete.” Quigley said a con­trac­tor wants to take crushed con­crete from the site and is wait­ing for the state Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion to de­ter­mine if the ma­te­rial is ac­cept­able to be used as fill. “If you go to the cen­ter

where the man­u­fac­tur­ing build­ings were that were built in the 1950s, there’s still large piles of metal and there’s still piles of un­pro­cessed con­crete,” the su­per­vi­sor said. “They’re still in the process of load­ing out and tak­ing the met­als to the re­cy­cling yard. If you drive in there, you will see that they’re pro­cess­ing the con­crete through a screener to sep­a­rate the sizes.”

The build­ings that make up TechCity were an IBM plant from the mid-1950s un­til 1995, and site at one time em­ployed more than 7,000 peo­ple. Down­state de­vel­oper Alan Gins­berg bought the en­tire prop­erty in 1998 for about $3 mil­lion, re­named it TechCity and pledged to fill all of its va­cant space quickly. The site, though, has never been even half full in the 18 years since, and most of the tenants have been small busi­nesses.

The en­tire prop­erty up for sale again, but with­out a spe­cific ask­ing price. TechCity has said the build­ings tar­geted for de­mo­li­tion were ob­so­lete and that mar­ket­ing the prop­erty will be eas­ier with­out them. The de­mo­li­tions also ap­pear to have had an im­pact on TechCity’s over­all as­sess­ment be­ing low­ered. A state ap­peals court in April slashed the as­sess­ment from $40.7 mil­lion to $28 mil­lion, in part be­cause of con­tam­i­na­tion left at the site by IBM, but the judges also noted the de­mo­li­tions of “func­tion­ally ob­so­lete” build­ings.


De­bris from a de­mol­ished build­ing at TechCity is re­moved on Fri­day.

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