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Engineering Firm, CHA, First To Move Into Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center In Albany, New York

Area Development Online News Desk (04/25/2014)
Engineering firm CHA is the first to call the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s $30 million Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center home, after 30 members of its executive team and administrators moved to the technology hub at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, New York.

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 Capital District's Regional Economic Development Council for the priority project, money that is being leveraged to generate an additional $26 million in private investments.

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, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office said.

"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 Andrew 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."

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.

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.”

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