A few more bits about the potential sale of a chunk of the Harriman State Office Campus

Harriman campus site for sale overview

A site map from the state's request for proposals (RFP).

As you might have heard, the state has put a large chunk of the Harriman State Office Campus up for sale. It could be a big deal for the city of Albany because it holds the potential of adding taxable land (which the city's budget could use) and transforming a large site.

The state held a webcast about the sale Wednesday. It's online if you'd like to watch it, and only about 15 minutes. But we watched it so you wouldn't have to.

Here are a handful of interesting bits we took from it...

We gathered these bits from the webcast and the state's request for proposals. A lot of this isn't new information -- some of it isn't even directly related to the sale -- but we thought it was interesting.

Basics

A quick review:

+ The state has put 27 acres on the eastern end of the campus up for sale.

+ Minimum purchase price is $5.1 million.

+ The deadline for submitting propsals is September 15. Bidders will go through a two phase process. The three bidders with the highest scores after the first round will move onto the second. (See pdf p. 27 of the RFP for the criteria -- purchase price isn't a criterion until the second round.)

What the state has at the Harriman campus right now

The state currently occupies 2.8 million square feet of office at the campus with 8,000 employees, according to the webcast. And it's projecting to have 12,000 employees there by 2020 because of the ongoing "re-stacking" of state office space and the addition fo the new $184 million UAlbany ETEC building on the western end of the campus.

The webcast noted the state has spent $87 million on renovation and infrastucture projects at the Harriman campus over the last five years and another $152 million in projects is in progress.

By the way: That amount of office space -- 2.8 million square feet -- is kind of hard to wrap your head around. Here are some comparisons:

+ It's the equivalent of more than 48 football fields.

+ The combined square footage of Crossgates and Colonie Center is 2.9 million square feet (according to the state's webcast).

Harriman_campus_sale_objectives_webcast_slide.png
From the webcast.

What the state is hoping to see on the property that's for sale

Both the webcast and the RFP emphasized that the state is looking for proposals that will match up with the state already has going on at the campus. From the RFP:

OGS is seeking Proposals that are responsive to, but not limited to, the following development priorities:
+ Be of quality and character that is aesthetically and functionally consistent with the existing offices and the State's future plans on the Campus.
+ Emphasize pedestrian interaction with the existing office buildings on the Campus and provide retail opportunities for Campus employees who currently have limited options.
+ Introduce sustainable development initiatives and align with "green" principles, including incorporating green space and maintaining as many of the existing mature trees as possible to preserve a perimeter buffer along the Campus ring road.
+ Minimize traffic disruption by utilizing existing access points with the State-owned Campus ring road. Minimize congestion by maintaining at least two vehicular access points to the Campus ring road.
+ Incorporate sufficient parking for the proposed uses.
+ Have a positive economic effect by demonstrating that the development of the Site will spur the use of private resources, create jobs and increase the tax base of the City, and include meaningful participation of New York businesses, including small businesses, certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), and certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOBs).

Also from the RFP: "[The state Office of General Services] envisions a project with a vibrant and synergistic mix of uses--potentially including corporations; companies in the healthcare, technology, research and education sectors; retailers; hospitality uses; and ancillary parking."

No residential

As was mentioned in the original announcement about the sale, the state will not be accepting proposals that include plans for residential use. The short reason cited in the webcast: "The state seeks a developmemnt plan that's consistent and in harmony with the balance of the campus."

The no-residential requirement will be in place for 20 years via a deed restriction or other similar restriction.

In this case, "no residential" means no single-family or multi-unit homes, no dorms, no boarding houses, no senior living facilities, or any "other structures intended to be occupied on a permanent or temporary basis and that include kitchen or cooking facilities." BUT: According to the RFP, hotels will be allowed.

Harriman_campus_sale_market_webcast_slide.png
From the webcast.

Zoning

The site will be subject to city of Albany zoning. (The campus is zoned "commercial office district," the same as Patroon Creek across Washington Ave.) And the RFP mentions the Rezone Albany process (which could adjust the zoning) and Albany 2030.

Taxes

The property taxes will be determined by the city and county of Albany. And the RFP mentions that the designated developer can work with orgs such as the Capital Region Economic Development Council, City of Albany IDA, and Capitalize Albany about identifying funding and incentives.

Bonus bit

The RFP mentions that the 10-mile radius around the Harriman campus site has 418,000, according to ESRI estimates. That's almost half of the whole population of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area.

Comments

what a shame they refuse to allow residential development -- they are literally turning away what could be a significant (and desperately needed) source of tax revenue simply to 'balance' the office campus vibe. i suppose they want to push development in other neighborhoods of albany instead, or perhaps don't want people near state offices for some reason (which offices are located there again?). i think the space would be a good candidate for mixed use housing, like we've see go up in some other very built-up nearby areas -- for example, retail on first floor, offices on second floor, residential on third floor (all paying tax revenue!). the state has some nerve imposing land use restrictions when they seized the land by eminent domain to begin with and have been tax-exempt all the while...

gb - with 50 years pilot (and nothing would work without pilot), residential neighborhood would probably be cash-negative for the city.

..."Be of quality and character that is aesthetically and functionally consistent with the existing offices"...

I love that this is one of the stipulations. Definitely want more of that ugly 70s square box "character"...

We surely must first hire a company to study how to rebrand this area.....how about "Hideous Stalinist suburban centrally planned clusterfuck--k"?.......

..."Be of quality and character that is aesthetically and functionally consistent with the existing offices"...

I love that this is one of the stipulations. Definitely want more of that ugly 70s square box "character"...

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Drawing: Beer dinner at City Beer Hall

The City Beer Hall has a special dinner lined up for next Monday featuring beers from Common Roots Brewing and Peekskill Brewery (like bookends on... (more)

Gnome away from home

A post shared by Henry Bellagnome (@tourism_gnome) on Jul 1, 2017 at 9:32am PDT This is an Instagram account of a garden gnome --... (more)

If you've been wanting to take one of those State Education building tours, don't wait

Quick follow-up on that new series of monthly tours of the beautiful state Education Building: they are very popular. The tour dates for September, October,... (more)

Neba Sandwich from Mike's Neba

Whoever coined the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" probably didn't mean for the quip to apply to a sandwich. Hey, love comes in... (more)

Tours at Oakwood Cemetery

The historic Oakwood Cemetery in Troy has a handful of tours coming up over the next few months. Each guided walk has it own... (more)

Recent Comments

I'm concerned how much demolition is going on here. Too many important, historic buildings in Albany are already tagged with an 'X' and the city's approach seems to tear down and ask questions later. Not only are these homes part of the city's history but they are what makes this place unique and they should be treasured- not trashed. In addition, these structures are better built and will last longer than new construction. ...

Drawing: Beer dinner at City Beer Hall

...has 25 comments, most recently from Brian

Gnome away from home

...has 1 comment, most recently from Justin

Morning Blend for Aug 22

...has 1 comment, most recently from Lauren Alpert

Finding refuge: Rifat Filkins

...has 1 comment, most recently from Eric F

How to commemorate a traitor

...has 4 comments, most recently from Eric Scheirer Stott