SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering acquired the landmark Kiernan Plaza in downtown Albany, New York
, as part of a $30 million project to create a hub for technology companies, research, education and workforce training.
The $3 million acquisition of the building by CNSE from real estate investment trust First State Investors 5200 LLC will enable renovations to begin immediately to accommodate multiple tenants. The 113-year-old building at 575 Broadway in Albany, which once served as the city’s Union Station for train transportation, has been vacant since 2009.
“The transformation of Kiernan Plaza into the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center will provide an innovative platform enabling groundbreaking research, education, and workforce training for emerging smart cities technologies,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Through the Regional Council initiative and in partnership with CNSE, we have not only realized a meaningful reuse of this long vacant historic building, but are also building on our state’s strength as a high-tech industry leader while providing an important economic boost to downtown Albany with the creation and retention of hundreds of new jobs. This is another example of how state government is strengthening regional economies and revitalizing communities across the state through public-private partnerships.”
CNSE Senior Vice President and CEO Alain Kaloyeros said, “This pioneering initiative is testament to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s innovation-driven blueprint for downtown revitalization, and to the success of his Regional Economic Development Council strategy, in harnessing the fast-growing smart cities technology sector to catalyze economic vibrancy in the heart of downtown Albany. We are delighted to spearhead this transformation of Kiernan Plaza, which will set this region and state apart as a proving ground for emerging technologies, breathe new life into an iconic building, and provide exciting opportunities for nanotechnology education, training, and careers for residents throughout our community.”
CNSE was awarded $4 million as a part of the Governor’s Regional Council initiative to support the purchase and fit-up of Kiernan Plaza to attract smart cities technology jobs and companies to downtown Albany. CNSE’s Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center will leverage the CREDC funding to generate an additional $26 million in private sector support, leading to the creation and retention of 250 high-tech jobs in downtown Albany, the Governor’s Office said.
In spearheading the SCiTI Center, CNSE will initially partner with CHA, which will locate its corporate headquarters and leadership team at Kiernan Plaza as a means of building on its industry-leading engineering capabilities in smart systems, clean energy and manufacturing in partnership with CNSE.
Additionally, CNSE will collaborate with Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region and Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region to develop and deliver joint nanotechnology education and workforce training programs, many of which will benefit young people from urban environments and communities whose citizens are traditionally underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.