Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — ALABAMA — Imagine this bucolic speck on the map as New York’s version of the Silicon Valley.
Genesee County economic development planners are imagining it, seriously.
A Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) project has been in the works in Alabama, a rural town sharing borders with Shelby in Orleans County and Royalton in Niagara County, for nearly nine years.
A fully developed STAMP could bring tens of thousands of jobs to western New York over the next 20 years, the planners say.
A STAMP, dedicated to bringing the next generation of nanotechnology manufacturing to Western New York, is “a transformative economic development project for Buffalo and Rochester and all points between,” said Steve Hyde, president of the Genesee County Economic Development Center.
Development of Global Foundries, a nanotechnology industry, has had “enormous economic benefits” for the state’s Capitol Region, Hyde said.
Rachael Tabelski, Marketing and Communication Director for the GCEDC, said the goal of STAMP is to “replicate what is happening in Albany in this region.”
In the newly enacted 2014-2015 state budget, $33 million in state aid is earmarked for the STAMP, which would be developed off Route 77.
The Genesee County economic development center will use the money to make a 1,250-acre mega site “shovel ready light,” meaning water and sewer lines and roadways will be installed and “solutions for the major infrastructure” will be engineered, Tabelski said. “That will allow a company to come in and be comfortable knowing we’ll meet their timelines.”
The STAMP site is one of only three sites in North America that could handle a nanotechnology project, Tabelski asserted.
Having one in Western New York would “really put us in the game,” she said.
Among the factors that could attract nano-technology manufacturers to the region are the more than 1 million workers that are available within a reasonable commuting distance, a lower construction cost than the national average, the availability of low-cost hydropower, tax incentives from New York State, and the site’s central location between two large cities.