Fulton County studying need for hotel development

JOHNSTOWN – A Chicago firm has been hired by the Fulton County Board of Supervisors to study the feasibility of additional hotel development in the Mohawk Valley county.

Holiday Inn Gloversville/Johnstown

The lobby of the Holiday Inn of Gloversville/Johnstown, one of Fulton County’s existing hotels.

Fulton County officials received five proposals for the study and on August 14 the Board of Supervisors hired Hunden Strategic Partners of Chicago at a cost of $19,500, according to County Planning Director James Mraz.

Funding for the agreement comes from a marketing project funded in the 2017 county capital budget.

Expanding business and tourist accommodation was one of the priorities voiced during Fulton County’s Vision 2026 Summit last October, in which 90 community leaders, elected officials, business leaders and members of the general public worked together to achieve a vision statement for Fulton County.

Hunden is charged with studying data and making site visits to assess the market demand and feasibility of an additional hotel or motel. The unbiased data and conclusions in the final report, expected in 2018, will become tools for local economic development officials to target and promote private development.hunden strategic partners logo

The target area for the study is an area from the Vail Mills Development Area along the southern and western edges of the Great Sacandaga Lake to the Village of Northville.

 

For further information, contact

James E. Mraz
Planning Director
Fulton County Planning Department
1 E. Montgomery St.
Johnstown, New York 12095
518-736-5660
518-762-4597 (fax)
jmraz@fultoncountyny.gov

 

 

County seeks state funding to encourage private investment

County eyes several big projects

Sewer systems and baseball fields are among big projects seeking state money in Fulton County for 2017. Recently filed was $1.6 million worth of state funding applications for five main economic development projects within the county.

The conduit for annual Empire State Development Corp. funding is the Consolidated Funding Application, or CFA.

A $500,000 state Consolidated Funding Application was submitted to improve Parkhurst Field off Harrison Street in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

A $500,000 state Consolidated Funding Application was submitted to improve Parkhurst Field off Harrison Street in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Since 2011, New York state’s counties have been part of a process started by Gov. Andrew Cuomo involving CFAs filed from 10 regional economic development councils. Fulton and Montgomery counties are part of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council. Awards will be announced for each region by the state in December.

“We filed two [CFAs] for the Hales Mills Road Extension sewer [project] and the Vail Mills sewer [project],” Fulton County Planning Director James Mraz said last week.

For the Hales Mills development area wastewater project, crews will install a wastewater pump station/wastewater lines along the east side of Hales Mills Road Extension. The total estimated project cost will be $600,000.

For the Vail Mills development area, installation of wastewater trunk lines and a pump station are on tap. The estimated project cost is $1.3 million.

Mraz said the county filed a $120,000 CFA for the Hales Mills Road sewer project and a $260,000 CFA for the Vail Mills sewer project.

Also serving as executive director of the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency, Mraz noted the Board of Supervisors’ Capital Projects Committee decided recently not to seek state funding for a water and sewer project at the Tryon Technology Park in Perth. Fulton County was originally considering submitting a CFA for that project. Mraz said supervisors decided to postpone that project until 2019.

Fulton County is trying to improve infrastructure in the Hales Mills development area. A waterline for that area is virtually complete, and now officials have set their sights on the sewer component to bring businesses to the area.

Eventually, county officials hope to bring much commercial development to some of the 490 acres off Hales Mills Road Extension. Also proposed is 120 residential lots, mixed-use developments, townhouses and a two-mile walking trail.

Environmental Design Partnership of Clifton Park determined a sewer system and pump station on Route 29 have excess capacity. If Fulton County can gain access to existing sewer lines, officials will create a county sewer district for the Hales Mills Road development area.

The Vail Mills development area proposal shows 455 acres, with 60 residential lots. The area is also expected to attract adult senior housing, commercial/retail development, and a possible hotel.

The state prefers projects already “ready to go” by the time the CFA is pursued for them, Mraz said. For entities pursuing CFA funding, he said they don’t want to incur costs until after the grant is awarded.

“Often, timing is an issue,” Mraz said.

In the private sector, some companies may file for a CFA for a project for which they they “want to get going” now, but realistically can’t until after December or January.

Ronald Peters, president and CEO of the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth, said a $500,000 CFA was filed for continued development of Parkhurst Field off Harrison Street in Gloversville.

“That was the one we worked on with them,” Peters said.

Parkhurst Field, where the Gloversville Little League plays, in 2016 also received a $500,000 CFA award from the state.

The Parkhurst Field Foundation in February begin a capital campaign. The foundation has created a $2.3 million development plan for the 110-year-old field, which saw baseball greats from the early 20th century such as Cy Young and Honus Wagner take the field.

The plan has three phases

Phase one includes the installation of three baseball diamonds instead of the single “senior” field currently in place. Phase two includes installation of replica grandstands on the site similar to what would have been there during the turn of the century. Phase three includes landscaping, parking lot changes and other improvements.

Parkhurst Field was the site on Sunday for the fifth annual Vintage Baseball Game & Fundraiser for the Field of Dreams Capital Campaign. Festivities included a 12-year-old All-Star vintage game between the Johnstown Buckskins and the Gloversville Glovers, two teams that originally faced off locally in the late 1800s. The fundraiser also included a Vintage Baseball Game with a local A., J. & G team of former Gloversville Little League players versus the Whately Pioneers of Massachusetts.

The Fulton County Baseball & Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday also inducted 1951 Gloversville Glover Ralph Vitti, who had a successful film career, appearing in more than 30 movies and 150 television shows.

Other CFAs recently filed that involved the CRG was one for $200,000 to renew for two years the county’s successful Microenterprise Grant Program. The current grant program ends this year. The program is administered by the CRG. It is funded through Community Development Block Grant applications to the state Office of Community Renewal. It is intended to provide grants from $25,000 to $35,000 to small businesses with a maximum of five full-time employees.

The CRG has also been involved with the village of Northville on what Peters said is a Main Street “anchor” project. Applied for was a $500,000 CFA for that.

Earlier this year, Peters told his board he has spent considerable time on the downtown Northville project. He said a developer has shown interest. At one point, Peters said he was working on four potential “deals” for Northville. He said Mayor John Spaeth has been very supportive, but more details will be released later.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

WNYT finds Fulton County Posi+tive

Presentations highlight business opportunities in Fulton County

June 21, 2017 05:56 PM

PERTH – Fulton County wants companies to know it is open for business. County officials highlighted shovel-ready areas around the county for businesses to move in at a presentation Wednesday. The county highlighted those opportunities at Tryon Technology Park, and branded their new slogan – Fulton County: Posi+ive.

It may seem like an unusual place for a rebirth, an old juvenile detention facility. But at the Tryon Technology Park, Fulton County sees a bright business future for the county. “It was really a day to talk about investment opportunities, real estate development opportunities that we have here in Fulton County, readily available,” said James Mraz, Fulton County’s Planning Director.

The county brought in members of the Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Brokers to talk about opportunities for businesses and families in Fulton County. “We know what we’re doing, we know the opportunities that are here, but it doesn’t do us any good to know them and not for everybody else to,” said Mraz.

The county is focusing on three main sites. A planned residential and retail development in Johnstown and other in Mayfield. But the main area they focused on Wednesday was the Tryon Technology Park in the Town of Perth. The county got the property after the detention facility shut down in 2011. They’ve spent the last two years, and more than five million dollars, getting it ready for business.

“It’s one thing to have the land available, but if that land isn’t supported by the infrastructure it’s really not shovel-ready,” said Mraz. One tenant is already at the Technology Park: Vireo Health. A medical marijuana grower licensed by the state, the company credits the county for their growth.

“Fulton County and its IDA have been true partners to us,” said Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of NY, LLC. “We couldn’t do what we’re doing without their support.”

Vireo praised the county’s investments at Tryon, and say they’re ready for new tenants to come in. “Infrastructure here is top notch when it comes to power, when it comes to water, when it comes to high speed internet access,” said Hoffnung. “And it’s getting a little lonely so we would love a few more neighbors.”

Credits

Ben Amey

Copyright 2017 – WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Gloversville vies for $10 million prize

Glove City set sights on statewide competition for downtowns

A Gloversville committee is working on an ambitious plan for downtown revitalization, in anticipation of the relaunch of the $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) competition for 2017. The committee has identified at least $22 million worth of projects it would like to see funded.

Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President Ron Peters said he believes Gloversville came in second place in last year’s competition. To get a leg up on the next potential grant opportunity, the city hired a Downtown Development Specialist in December and formed a committee in March to work on the application.

 See the video of Gloversville’s plans for redevelopment

The DRI program set aside $100 million in 2016 to “improve the urban vitality of city centers across New York State.” One city in each of 10 regions was chosen for a $10 million grant. Contestants within each region were pitted against each other to prove their plans had the most potential to transform “downtown neighborhoods into vibrant communities where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise families.”

Oneonta and the 9 other cities chosen in 2016 – Glens Falls, Oswego, Geneva, Westbury, Middletown, Jamaica, Plattsburgh, Elmira and Jamestown  – have been working since last summer on Strategic Implementation Plans for downtown projects that well exceed the $10 million available to each city over the next five years. The plans, due in June, outline ways to combine the DRI funds with other sources of private or public funds.

Trail Station park during Gloversville Railfest

Trail Station Park in 2016

Trail Station Park in the summer of 2016

Trail Station Park in the summer of 2016

Funding for another round of DRI was included in the state budget passed in the second week of April, but the announcement of the timeline for applications has not yet been made. CRG’s Peters said he suspects the turnaround time might be tight, and that Gloversville will be competing against many of last year’s runners up.

The committee is keeping projects outlined in the 2016 application, such as streetscape improvements on South Main and Harrison streets, lawn improvements at Estee Commons near the bronze sculptures, a new bike path connecting downtown to Trail Station Park, a skate park at the corner of Bleecker and Church streets and a redesign of Castiglione Park.

Parkhurst-Three-Fields-2-1920-x-1064-logo-600x333

Artist rendering of planned improvements at Parkhurst Field

Parkhurst Field and The Gloversville Public Library, which were part of last year’s application, later won Consolidated Funding Applications grants.  Parkhurst Field is the oldest continuously used baseball grounds in America. A not-for-profit organization has launched The Fields of Dreams Campaign to restore the park to its condition during its heyday to “create a destination and economic diamond for Upstate New York.”

gloversville-library-NY

Exterior view of the 1904 Beaux Arts library building in Gloversville

The Gloversville library, built in 1904 with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie, was the first public library to ever win CFA funding, receiving two $500,000 grants, as well as $214,252 from the NYS Public Library Construction program and $460,000 in private pledges and donations, according to its annual report. The library is currently operating from temporary space in the CRG headquarters and business incubator while the Beaux Arts building is completely renovated and restored.

Curves in stairwell at Gloversville library

View of the curving staircase inside the Gloversville Public Library.

Site Selection: New Lease on Life

Below is an excerpt from an in-depth article outlining the virtues of Tryon Technology Park for potential investors in the March 2017 edition of Site Selection magazine.

Tryon Technology Park in Upstate New York shows what can happen when a sense of purpose meets a parcel primed for adaptive redevelopment

by Adam Bruns
adam.bruns@siteselection.com

excerpt:

Fifty years after its commissioning in upstate New York’s Fulton County, the 515-acre Tryon Juvenile Detention Center campus in the Town of Perth is experiencing a complete transformation into Tryon Technology Park.

It’s just the beginning, says James Mraz, and area native who’s been Fulton County’s Planning Director for 30 years. The facility that was once the jewel of the state’s juvenile detention system was closed in 2011 as part of a system makeover by the State of New York. Its creative, adaptive reuse is a project Mraz calls the jewel of his career, and it is taking place in a county whose entire population is only about 50,000 people.

“Many towns and villages are bigger than us,” he says. But no place had a bigger motivation to turn things around. The closure meant the loss of 325 good jobs totalling about $15 million in payroll.

See the online edition of Site Selector Magazine here. Tryon article is on digital page 140.

Tryon Technology Park

Josh O’Neil, Chief Business Development Officer at Vireo Health Solutions, said Tryon Technology Park in Fulton County, NY, was ideal for his company because: “All the infrastructure was in place. That was a very big deal. It was also very affordable – on a per-acre basis, it’s one of the best values in the state. And there has been tremendous support from the town and the county. When we met with Fulton County folks, seeing their enthusiasm was a game changer. They wanted us there, and we knew they’d be good partners.”

In conversations with local leaders, Mraz suggested the closure was an opportunity. After all, the campus already had fiber-optics, natural gas, sewer and water service. It also has a 75,000-sq.-ft. building available for reuse as manufacturing, office or incubator space.

The county already had a proven track record in developing three business parks, but by 2011 their available land had dwindled, thanks to projects from companies such as Fage Yogurt, Walmart and Benjamin Moore Paints. Perth also happens to be centrally located in a triangle formed by the GLOBALFOUNDRIES semiconductor manufacturing complex in Malta, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany and the Marcy Nano Center site in Utica.

Unique Offering

After Mraz’s team submitted a proposal, the parcel was transferred to the Fulton County Industrial Development Authority for the price of $1. The county and IDA secured $2 million in state grant funding for a new internal access road and upgraded water and sewer lines. Then the county invested another $2 million Read the rest of the article from Site Selector Magazine as a PDF

New Johnstown Water district established

Will serve Hales Mills Road Ext.

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday established the county’s second water district, which will serve the Hales Mills Road Extension area from the city of Gloversville to the town of Johnstown.

Fulton County has earmarked a 2017 capital project for a Smart Waters program waterline for Hales Mills Road Extension in the town of Johnstown.

The project is the county’s first major Smart Waters initiative — a program established in 2014.

The county hopes to attract new housing, commercial and retail ventures, and grow the tax base while creating jobs and improving quality of life. The county is trying to establish public water services along the road to build on retail development begun a few years ago with the nearby Gloversville Walmart Supercenter on South Kingsboro Avenue Extension.

The resolution creating Fulton County Water District No. 2 includes a waterline project. The project involves installation of 6,075 linear feet of a new 12-inch water main, hydrants, valves and a boring under Route 29. The line would be installed on the west side of Hales Mills Road Extension.

2nd Johnstown Water District

No one spoke at a public hearing Monday on a draft map, plan and report for the water district. The report was done by Environmental Design Partnership of Clifton Park.

“The area along Hales Mills Road Extension and east to beyond Asher Road has been identified as one of the county’s primary development areas,” the report said. “This is an area where the county believes that focused, smart land development will improve the economic climate for the county as a whole. The extension of municipal water services along Hales Mills Road Extension is a necessary step to encourage the build out of the Hales Mills Road Extension development area.”

Supervisors also passed three other resolutions related to the Hales Mills Road Extension development.

The board declared itself lead agency for the state Environmental Quality Review process related to the district.

Supervisors approved awarding a $690,340 low bid and alternates contract to R.B. Robinson Contracting of Candor, Tioga County, for construction for the Hales Mills Road waterline project.

The board also authorized a resolution awarding a $22,500 contract to Environmental Design Partnership for construction administration for the project.

In discussing approvals of solar array projects surfacing in Fulton County, Gloversville 1st Ward Marie Born commented that the county should be encouraging them to be sited at “business friendly” areas such as Hales Mills Road Extension.

“I think we have to be careful in the future,” Born said.

IDA, county weigh solar array project at Tryon

20-year electricity contract under discussion

Fulton County Industrial Development Agency Executive Director James Mraz reviews a solar array project at the Tryon Technology Park at the IDA board of directors meeting Thursday at the Fort  Johnstown Annex in Johnstown.(The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Fulton County Industrial Development Agency Executive Director James Mraz reviews a solar array project at the Tryon Technology Park at the IDA board of directors meeting Thursday at the Fort Johnstown Annex in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Industrial Development Agency on Thursday reviewed a proposed 2-megawatt solar array project at the Tryon Technology Park for which county government may be asked to enter into a 20-year deal.

IDA Executive Director James Mraz reminded his agency’s board of directors at the Fort Johnstown Annex that the IDA in 2016 hired Latham-based C.T. Male Associates to assess the potential of developing a solar array at Tryon. He said the engineering firm finished that report.

“The development of a solar array on a 30-acre parcel seems feasible,” Mraz said.

Mraz, also county planning director, said the solar array could be built on a tract of land behind the property of medical marijuana manufacturer Vireo Health. He said that as part of its evaluation, C.T. Male needs to verify if National Grid would allow an interconnection of a solar array into the grid at Tryon. He said C.T. Male has worked with Ameresco Inc. and brought the firm into the project.

According to its website, Ameresco is a “leading independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America and the United Kingdom, delivering long-term value through innovative systems, strategies and technologies.”

Mraz said Ameresco has offered to prepare an application for National Grid.

“They put together a complicated application,” he said.

National Grid said the next step in the project is to prepare an $18,100 supplemental analysis to determine if upgrades would be needed to Tryon substation transformers, ground over voltage protection, or feeder anti-islanding protection.

Mraz said Ameresco is “very interested” in getting involved with the Tryon project. He said the firm is proposing to execute a “letter of intent” with the IDA, which owns the Tryon Technology Park property. He said Ameresco would also execute a 20-year land lease with the IDA, and build the 2-megawatt solar array.

As an electrical measurement, one megawatt equals one million watts.

Mraz said part of the proposal is to execute a 20-year power purchase agreement, or PPA, with Fulton County government in which Ameresco will sell all solar-generated electricity at Tryon to the county. Ameresco will develop, build, operate and maintain the array and obtain all permits.

Ameresco will finance the project, which may be partially funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Mraz told the IDA board he met last week with the county Board of Supervisors’ Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee to “introduce” to county supervisors the concept of a possible 20-year county PPA with Ameresco. He said the full board will look at the deal Monday at the County Office Building.

“What’s in it for the IDA?” asked Mraz. “It’s the land lease.”

Board Chairman Joseph Semione asked if the IDA can go with another company besides Ameresco.

Mraz said another approach would be for the IDA to pay the $18,100 supplementary analysis cost and not involve Ameresco.

“I kind of like the competitive nature of things,” said board Secretary Joseph Gillis.

The IDA board made no decisions Thursday on the solar array project.

“This is an evolving thing here,” Mraz said.

Fulton County, New York – Positive

You have one life.
Don’t spend it on someone else’s dream.
You have the fire. You have the potential.
You will rise to the challenge.

Fulton County believes in you.
This is your new frontier
The place where your side hustle becomes the next big thing.

We are positive.

We are ready for you now.
Fulton County has the plan and the infrastructure,
the untapped resources,
and affordable architectural treasures to start your imagination as well as your business.

Fulton County welcomes the risk takers
the visionary creators
the artisans
the passionate entrepreneurs.
We honor bold ideas and unconventional thinking.
We offer you inspiring vistas
44 lakes,
a sense of community
and places you can afford to call your own.
This is where you start.
This is positively your time.
This is positively your place.
This is YOUR Fulton County.
Fulton County, New York
Positive

Tryon Technology Park

Fulton County, New York, introduces Tryon Technology Park, a transformative, 515-acre business opportunity in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. With Tryon’s state and local expedited approval process, you could be breaking ground on 212-acres of the lowest-priced shovel-ready land in the state in 30 to 60 days, with hundreds of additional acres available for future development.

Tryon is located in a pristine, wooded environment… where a company can thrive, take a 180 turn away from a high-cost, high-stress environment.

Fulton County Administrative Officer Jon Stead: “One thing people are starting to learn about the Tryon Technology Park is it’s right in New York’s Technology Triangle, and it’s within striking distance and easy reach of 70 million customers all around the Northeast.”

Fulton County’s Targeted Industry Analysis identified seven Industry Clusters for Tryon compatible with existing businesses and the site’s resources: Biomedical R&D, Food & Beverage, Headquarters & Business Services, Health Care Products & Services, Electronics, Renewable Energy and Software & Media.

Tryon Technology Park’s first tenant was Vireo Health, which purchased 20 acres in 2015 to manufacture pharmaceuticals from cannabis. In less than a year, it doubled the size of its facility.

Josh O’Neill, Vireo Health, Chief Business Development Officer: “When you look at the value of the land, with all the infrastructure in place, we could not find anything better in the state of New York. It’s highly accessible from I-90 and other major highways. It’s got great infrastructure. There’s new water and sewer, gas, three-phase power and a new county road that’s well-maintained year-round.”

Jim Mraz, Fulton County Planning Director and Executive Director, Fulton County Industrial Development Agency:
“The property at Tryon is also very affordable. At a $20,000 per an acre price, it is the lowest price per acre of comparable land anywhere in the region.”

The origins of Tryon are a unique story of cooperation by state and local governments. When the state closed the Tryon Juvenile Detention Facility in 2011, it was an economic blow to Fulton County.

In an effort to turn that negative into a positive, Fulton County officials petitioned the state for control of the property. Two years later, Tryon was deeded over to the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency for redevelopment as a technology park.

Josh O’Neill, Vireo Health, Chief Business Development Officer: “It’s a beautiful place. A really great community. I feel like Fulton County as a whole has been very welcoming to our business and the people who have moved here from other states, they’ve found it to be a really high quality of life. They’ve found good, affordable housing. The feedback on the schools has been very positive. We’ve got a lot of young families on our team and for them to locate to Fulton County from other states was a big step for them and it’s been an extremely positive experience.”

At the center of the park is the Tryon Regional Business Training and Incubator Center, adding training, classroom, office and workshop space for businesses to utilize. Tryon also has the benefit of being geographically close to its partner in training and workforce development, Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

Dr. Dustin Swanger, President, Fulton-Montgomery Community College: “FM has a long history of strong workforce development programs and customizing programs for local businesses, like Benjamin Moore and Townsend Leather.”

Tim Beckett, senior vice president, Townsend Leather:
“We continually rely on them for training, customized classes, and working with our people to help further our staff in growth here in the area.
Fulton County as a whole, any time we’ve needed anything, in terms of economic growth or sustaining our workforce or bringing in new business, they’ve been a good person to rely on and go to for grants, money, even locations and building and equipment.”

Fulton County hosts a vibrant array of biomedical manufacturers, global food processors and light manufacturing companies in three existing business parks. Adding Tryon to that portfolio creates unparalleled advantages for companies searching for an inviting, centrally located home with plug and play infrastructure.

Contact us today to find out more about Tryon Technology Park.
Fulton County New York – Positive.

Fulton County working to rebuild local economy: Times Union

Officials market low costs, infrastructure to attract companies, people

 By Robert Downen, Originally published in the Albany Times Union

In their quest to reverse economic downturn, Fulton County officials are focusing on three words: Live, work and play.

By 2026, they hope their county will attract residents who want to do all three.

Once the epicenter of the upstate leather industry centered in Gloversville, Fulton County has steadily watched economic opportunities dwindle as niche manufacturing jobs go overseas.

Since 1970, the number of people directly and indirectly employed in the leather trades has dropped from 10,000 to 400, the U.S. Department of Labor said.

“These businesses employed towns,” Johnny Evers, director of government affairs at the Business Council of New York State, said at a seminar on Fulton County economic development Tuesday,

Now — and hopefully, with buy-in from local business leaders and elected officials — county officials are hoping they can transform the area into a hotbed of growth by attracting businesses and young people alike.

Boosters believe they have the resources both in infrastructure and human capital. The question is how to get people to use them.

The pitch is simple: Cheap cost of living, coupled with the factory buildings left over from the heyday of manufacturing, should make Fulton County immediately attractive to those seeking metropolitan amenities at a discounted rate.

“Upstate New York is a beautiful place to explore and enjoy, but in many areas the cost of living can be too high,” Jim Mraz, Fulton County planning director, said in August. “In Fulton County, that’s not the case, and that’s something we’re proud of.”

Add in a low crime rate, a new focus on regional partnerships and the county’s location in the middle of myriad nature destinations, and officials are confident they “can establish Fulton County as one of the Capital Region’s premier economic and residential destinations,” said Charles Potter, chairman of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors.

Since undertaking the development initiative called Jump Start Fulton County in 2014, officials have focused heavily on luring new businesses and young workers to shovel-ready sites.

Fulton and Montgomery counties at that time brought in Mike Mullis, a corporate site selector, to assess the region’s ability to attract large corporations. Mullis identified seven clusters on which the counties should focus, with biomedical research and development, food and beverage services and health care products among them.

By reorienting towards such high-tech sectors, officials hope they can use their location in the middle of what they’re calling the “Tech Triangle” of New York as a selling point. (Both Utica and the Capital Region tout significant biotechnology sectors, and Albany was rated last week as the most friendly place to do business in New York by Forbes).

A cornerstone of that strategy is the Tryon Technology Park in Perth. The 515-acre park, once occupied by the now-shuttered Tryon Detention Center, has been the focus of the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency. Last year it moved in its first tenant, medical marijuana company Vireo Health.

“In the greater Capital Region, there’s a tremendous amount of human capital,” Vireo CEO Ari Hoffnung said in September. “There’s a lot of talent.

“We want to bring back more (than the 325 jobs) that were lost (at Tryon).”

County officials are also banking on growing agricultural industries statewide.

Since 2000, gross domestic product from upstate New York’s dairy sector has increased by more than 38 percent, to more than $600 million, according to the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth.

In this region alone, international yogurt makers Fage and Chobani have created more than 1,650 jobs, making New York the No. 1 yogurt manufacturing state in the country.

rdownen@timesunion.com • 518-454-5018 • @Robert_Downen