The fight to free up land in Luther Forest by developer Scannell continues


MALTA – It could be years before GlobalFoundries moves forward with recently announced plans to build a second computer chip factory at the Luther Forest tech campus in the country of Saratoga.

The new factory, which could cost as much as $ 15 billion, is expected to create vacancies for 1,000 new high-paying workers, in addition to the 3,000 employees already working at GlobalFoundries’ Fab 8 complex.

But Peter Struzzi, commercial real estate broker and executive managing director of Pyramid Brokerage Co., doesn’t think GlobalFoundries’ plans to build what he will call Fab 8.2 – which depends on billions of dollars in state and federal grants – should be sustained. . of his efforts to bring other manufacturers to Luther Forest.

Struzzi was hired to market a 245-acre parcel in Luther Forest that a Midwestern development company named Scannell Properties has an option to buy.

Scannell is a national real estate development company that has completed projects for General Electric, FedEx, General Mills and Best Buy.

But they’re best known, at least locally, for the development of the 1 million square foot Amazon warehouse and distribution center in Schodack, one of the tallest buildings in Rensselaer County.

Although he paid an option to acquire land in Luther Forest, Struzzi maintains that Scannell is crippled by the special zoning laws that were put in place when the 1,400-acre Luther Forest was created to attract manufacturers of fleas.

Most of Luther Forest’s plots are specifically dedicated to nanotechnology manufacturing, which is basically semiconductor manufacturing, which includes the manufacturing of computer chips.

Scannell sought to change the zoning requirements for Luther Forest, which is controlled by the City of Malta, so that it could construct several large buildings that could be used for manufacturing, research and development or warehouses.

While many assume Scannell is focusing his efforts on setting up an Amazon warehouse in the Luther Forest, Struzzi says that’s not the case.

In fact, says Struzzi, it sparked the interest of a large pharmaceutical company and a food processor looking to build large facilities and employ hundreds of workers.

But when he explained all of the restrictions to Luther Forest, which he says include the requirement to submit to city audits, they got scared.

“It’s just crazy,” Struzzi said. “Our goal right now is to change the language of the (zoning law) so that we can create development opportunities to exploit. “

Malta’s town planning council voted to reject Scannell’s request to change zoning laws, although the town council, which has the final say, has refused to follow the town planning council and allows Scannell to come back with more data and analysis of the problem. GlobalFoundries opposes the changes, saying it would hamper its own plans to build a second factory.

“The city is working with Scannell, reviewing their submission, their studies and their data to make a decision,” said Timothy Dunn, member of the Malta City Council.

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