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Albany firm buys site from Kodak

Rochester Business Journal
March 22, 2013

Eastman Kodak Co. sold one of its buildings in Greece this week to the non-profit corporation that oversees the facilities of the Albany-based College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. The college merged a few years ago with the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center in Canandaigua.
 
A Kodak spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the company had sold 115 Canal Landing Blvd. to Fuller Road Management Corp. He did not disclose the purchase price.
 
The property was listed by CB Richard Ellis for $3.4 million. The building was constructed in 2001 and renovated in 2005. The 57,000-square-foot building comprises office, clean room, lab and manufacturing space, the listing states. The property is assessed at $4.6 million, Monroe County property records show.
 
Officials at the college and STC-previously known as the Infotonics Technology Center-did not respond to requests for comment on what they plan to do with the building, including whether it will house STC operations. CB Richard Ellis also declined to comment.
 
The deal initially was discussed Tuesday during a County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency meeting. COMIDA attorney Michael Townsend said there were deed issues that needed to be resolved because Kodak was in the process of selling the property.
 
Last year Kodak announced in May that it would lay off 29 employees working at the facility and in October that it would lay off 48 more, filings with the state Labor Department show.
 
The sale of the property did not require Bankruptcy Court approval, the spokesman said.
 
Fuller Road Management is a non-profit that manages the facility at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. The corporation was formed to provide a vehicle for the construction of comprehensive research facilities that support a high-tech business incubator, workforce development, research and development and technology acceleration.
 
A proposal in Albany would spin off the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering from SUNY Albany, the Associated Press reported this week. The report quoted the proposal document as saying that a spinoff would "re-emphasize the mission of CNSE as a statewide innovation and economic development resource," with regional campuses and field stations, as well as additional partnerships with other SUNY campuses.
 
In 2010, STC merged with the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany, the goal being to focus on innovation and manufacturing of smart systems and devices.
 
The STC was started in 2001 as the Infotonics Technology Center. The local site was one of New York's five Centers of Excellence created to encourage rapid commercialization of scientific breakthroughs.
 
More than $1.4 billion has been committed by the state and its industrial partners to establish five Centers of Excellence in nanoelectronics, photonics, bioinformatics, information technology and environmental systems.
 
Despite public funding and additional support from corporate partners, the Infotonics Technology Center struggled over the years, undergoing leadership changes and operating in the red. A 2005 audit by the state Budget Division showed an operating loss of $7.5 million.
 
Since then, the center has improved its financial standing, STC director Paul Tolley told the Rochester Business Journal last fall.
 
In 2010, the center invested $8 million on capital expenses related to fabrication equipment, which included pieces that would enhance its capabilities and increase its product offerings.
 
The Empire State Development Corp. and the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation have committed to investing up to $10 million in the STC.
 
Roughly 80 percent of STC's revenue comes from private development work, Tolley said. The center works on product development with companies that range from startups to multibillion-dollar firms.
 
In addition to STC, its 140,000-square-foot building houses three firms. They are Care-stream Health Inc., Group4 Labs LLC and Moser Baer Technologies Inc., an arm of Moser Baer India Ltd., the world's second-largest manufacturer of optical storage media.
 
Earlier this month, Dynamax Imaging LLC announced it would move its facility there from Homer, Cortland County, which would add more than 100 local jobs over the next three to five years.
 
Dynamax Imaging develops high-performance image sensors used in products such as HDTV camcorders and flat-panel displays in the consumer market, imaging and biometrics technologies in the scientific sector, and security and surveillance systems for the military.
 
The company's move brings the STC to full capacity.
 
Last week, Tolley told the RBJ that while the building will be full, its 57-acre campus can accommodate additional growth.
 
"We are aggressively pursuing business relocation and expansion projects for the region and have several significant opportunities in the mix today that we expect to bear fruit," Tolley said.
 
In partnership with Ontario County, STC recently completed a site master plan that creates a shovel-ready campus, opening up hundreds of thousands of square feet for additional development, he said.

3/22/13 (c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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