Thursday, July 28, 2016

Shoe-Drop at Quad-C?

Back in 2012 we were concerned over the lack of action on the 2009-announced Quad-C project but were assured the delay was for a good reason: the scope of the project had grown.

In 2013 we were told that a consortium of 6 companies would spend $1.5 Billion on chip R&D at the Utica SUNY campus in a new facility then under construction (Quad-C).

In 2014 rumors that a key player in the 6 member consortium at Quad-C had backed out were quickly pooh-poohed by our local media.

In 2015 when we got the news that the Marcy chip-fab site had finally landed AMS as a tenant, we were also told that GE would now be the "anchor tenant" at Quad-C. There was no mention -- much less an inquiry -- in the local media of what happened to the 6 member consortium.

We have waited seven years and, yes, a gleaming new building was constructed ... but that building is still unoccupied.

In 2016? The word out of Albany today is not good.  Headline on the Albany Business Review website this afternoon: Work stopped at SUNY Poly, GE project.
The construction company building a manufacturing pilot facility at SUNY Polytechnic Institute's Albany campus has halted work after not being paid by the state since January...

Pike is building a $25 million pilot manufacturing line for new technology from General Electric (NYSE: GE) to make silicon carbide wafers. Tehan said the company started work in the fall and was paid for four months of work, until January...

The manufacturing pilot in Albany is part of the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, a $500 million public-private partnership. GE anchors the group...

The second phase of the partnership between GE and SUNY Poly is a packaging center in Utica. Chips made at the Albany manufacturing site would then be placed into modules and power blocks for use in electronics there.
Soooo ... if the Albany facility that will make the chips intended to be used in Utica at Quad-C is on hold, what does that mean for Quad-C?

Seven years and an empty building: Is there a word that combines  the meanings of "slow-motion train-wreck" with "white elephant?"  

12 comments:

Rodger Potocki said...

This effort illustrates the folly of government speculating with taxpayer dollars. Doing so in the fast changing realm of technology is even more questionable. Most private developers do not speculate to a large extent. Creditors and investors require at least some signed on the dotted line indication that a project is viable. When I headed the area's industrial development efforts, we required at least a 60%,guaranteed private investment component before committing any public or quasi public funds. The Cuomo development model is 100% taxpayer dollars invested with the hope that private investment follows. As we all know, hope sometimes materializes, sometimes does not. Hope and gambling our money on it, is a political game we as taxpayers should never allow or reward.

Chivas Dudley said...

Well if all else fails the building could make a fantastic loft apartment complex with student housing.

Anonymous said...

Yes the fanciest digs in the state if not the nation.

Anonymous said...

Has it dawned on anyone that that corporate welfare palace "classroom" looks like a giant shopping cart?

I've said from day one that was a boondoggle. Good read Strike, don't let up.

The next thing is to call out the local media for all these fake promises. NUAIR, Nano, blah blah blah. Now the loser politicians want a hospital to spread the tax wealth amongst friends and fam.

Anonymous said...

Why not make the nano the new hospital? Then make it a "medical research" center.

Anonymous said...

Didn't some high priced guy at SUNY mock skeptics saying that no one should be dumb enough to believe that the state would build a building without an occupant? Has he been fired or did he get a big raise from Cuomo?

Greens and Beans said...

To Anonymous #3: This would be a viable notion to relocate the new hospital, but the hospital legislation was politically "rigged." The hospital legislation was cleverly crafted to have the new facility located in the most populated municipality. In this case, it is mandated to be located within the Democratic stronghold of the city of Utica. Unfortunately just to bolster Democrat reelection bids, Utica taxpayers - who can ill afford to pay higher property taxes - will be forced to subsidize all of the lost tax revenue being taken off the books for the new hospital and its adjacent parking garage.

Anonymous said...

The Wall Street Journal today that criminal indictments are ready concerning corruption in the Buffalo Billion initiative which is overseen by the State of New York Polytechnic Institute and affiliated non profits. Is this not the same umbrella of the Quad-C project? If so, does the criminal inquiry have anything to do with the building here sitting empty? Where is GE? There is no follow up whatsoever by our crack local media. Why?

Strikeslip said...

I think we are running out of shoes to drop! Local media is not investigating Quad-C because it may negatively reflect on our local leaders who have bought into the "public ownership of the means of production" (Communist?) economic development model. It is not too hard to figure out that Cuomo has used his leverage over GE (state control over GE's very expensive Hudson River cleanup project) to get GE to agree come to Utica to cover for the disappearance of a previously announced six-company consortium that was supposed to occupy Quad-C.

Anonymous said...

But, then where is GE? Is the building not done? Why is there no schedule of occupancy, types of jobs and numbers of jobs? If there is not a concrete occupancy plan by now, how real is the project? Someone ought to be answering these types of questions given the huge taxpayer cost.

Anonymous said...

excellent post, strike. it looks as if there may never be a tenant. GE appears to be MIA. as is AMS. GE declined to participate in a career day to promote Quad C. No 6 member consortium, no partners, no jobs. just indictments. white elephant, train wreck, indeed. good to see at least someone is asking the right questions. keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I'm in town for the Christmas holiday with my wife. She's originally from this area and we're visiting from Boston. This is the first I've heard about this nano fab plant but it sounds like a train wreck.

From what I see it looks like politicians were too anxious and/or desperate to get some sort of deal done and put the cart before the horse. They went ahead and spent millions of taxpayer dollars hoping that someone like AMS (who has zero skin in the game) would eventually occupy the facility. I read somewhere that AMS simply decided to walk away from the $1 (as in one-dollar) lease.

I'm not from around here but I'm familiar enough with the area by virtue of my wife having grown up here. It's a beautiful area with fantastic people who have been disappointed by their politicians and leaders. This seems like a smoldering mess right now and I hope this all works out well in the end. Something like this would be a huge win for the area and I wish the people of Utica the very best.