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Thread: Technology Park vs. Urban core

  1. #1
         
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    Technology Park vs. Urban core

    I live near Syracuse, NY. Syracuse is currently building a clean energy research center on the eastside in the urban core. There is also a plan to build a clean energy tech park for companies that want to set up in the region. All the city planners, environmentalists, many local leaders want the tech park to just be the empty brownfields around the urban core instead of building a real Tech Park in a suburban location near a highway exit.

    here are a couple quotes from people opposed to a suburban Tech Park:

    "Why CAN'T environmental tech business be interspersed downtown especially on the SOUTH end. Building industrial "parks" is already a dated concept; urban development should be at the forefront of the city's priorities."

    "brownfields in urban areas can be reutilized at a lower cost and as a benefit to the region... why waste good farmland or greenspace for a site that already has what a company needs."

    The "proposed" suburban Tech Park is just outside the city line in an area where there are old trucks stops, old factories, and a wetland is today. That will take years to clean up and get the businesses out. No one has proposed a tech park on land that can be developed fast and easily. (I wish someone had, but the leaders in the area won't allow infrastructure expansion)

    Which area will attract more investment? The suburban Tech Park or various scattered locations in the urban core closer to the research center? And why?

    And if you have any other advice, I would love to hear it.

  2. #2

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    My Philosophical Answer/Rant (Take it for what it's worth )

    If there is really a market for a suburban "technology park" in upstate New York, won't the private sector provide for it? I have a problem with using local government to engage in land speculation which facilitates and encourages undesirable land use patterns (which I still believe building on a greenfield site in a suburban township near the freeway is)

    Conversely, maybe the only real way a somewhat stagnant city like Syracuse (correct me if the impression I have is wrong) will see significant reinvestment in the "brownfield" area is through local govenrment acting to prime the pump.

    As for which strategy will be more effective, the suburban model may initially attract more out-of-town capital. But, I am skeptical, because many of these multinational technology companies are investing more heavily in India and China. (Look at Carrier) Why would they choose upstate New York? Could the brownfield site be more effective at growing LOCAL businesses?

    Again, these are just some thoughts/questions/unsubstanitated opinions.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bizzo34
    Which area will attract more investment? The suburban Tech Park or various scattered locations in the urban core closer to the research center? And why?
    my cynical view says "what project are you willing to throw more money at?" i think that each has it strengths and weaknesses.

    in an urban location, you tend to have sufficient infrastruture (sewer, water, telecom...etc) in place. you also have a potential to cluster more that just these new businesses with existing ones. if you plan it right, you site the new businesses in areas near to related businesses and support services. reusing a brownfield also gets a lot of positive press and attention. the downside can be parking and image. an older, former brownfield needs some investment to make the site attractive. the proximity to the research center is key too. can you walk from a new business site in the urban core to the research center instead of having to worry about getting a car downtown and parking it? how are the amenities for workers (lunch, pharmacy, coffee shops, hair stylist/barber shop)?

    in a suburban site, you can do what you want to an extent. you are generally not confined in your building footprint (although the environmental considerations will factor in). chances are you don't have the same amenities for workers without having to drive there. a cafeteria in a tech park is not the same as having a choice of 10-20 places for lunch. in a suburban site you may have some "greenspace" but how much of it is useable for walking at lunch? beside building to spec, i don't have a lot of positive things to say about the suburban park. they are sterile and uninteresting IMHO.

    now from a pure economic development perspective: where are your Empire Zones? do you have them outside of the city at this suburban site? are they in the downtown core areas? there's a big thing to consider. how about grants and financing programs? which site can better access that capital? who is providing protective and safety to these sites? in the city it would be city PD and FD...what about at the suburb? how many years of tax relief do you have to provide in the suburb to make it work and how do you recapture that cost? how about in the city? ...in the city you probably have some multipliers effecting the downtown in employees spending $$.

    working in both a suburban and urban places, i prefer the urban places even though my parking lot is about 3/4 miles away from my office. i don't mind taking our downtown shuttle (free) to the office. it just requires me to be at the office 10 minutes before i have to be at my desk. plus, the walk is good exercise in nice weather. you can't beat the options for your downtime (breaks, lunch). my typical lunch break involves walking to the post office where i have a po box for my personal mail, walking to the rite-aid pharmacy for any number of goods, walking to grab lunch from many options, and heading back to the office. along the way you see people you know. it's a nice feeling. it far outweighs having a parking spot 100 feet from the front door.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bizzo34
    Which area will attract more investment? The suburban Tech Park or various scattered locations in the urban core closer to the research center? And why?

    And if you have any other advice, I would love to hear it.
    Go with urban area close to the research center. Right now the expansion of the medical corridor in Buffalo is seeing money from start-up companies being reinvestment into buildings that were once abandoned. Most of these companies are locating there to be close to the medical corridor and bio-tech industry that is slowly beginning to emerge.

    OT-As for "office park", I am so sick of that word, as well as "campus like setting". Its a bunch of crap out in some place that use to be a swamp.

    RANT-And another thing, I am so sick of seeing the governor's face on tv saying "Gecko" is coming to Buffalo. There moving to some "office park" in the suburbs, not the city you idiot, unless we just annexed that town. That deal was a sure mis-use of the empire zones program intended for struggling cities and towns.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


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  5. #5
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    My Philosophical Answer/Rant (Take it for what it's worth )

    If there is really a market for a suburban "technology park" in upstate New York, won't the private sector provide for it? I have a problem with using local government to engage in land speculation which facilitates and encourages undesirable land use patterns (which I still believe building on a greenfield site in a suburban township near the freeway is)

    Conversely, maybe the only real way a somewhat stagnant city like Syracuse (correct me if the impression I have is wrong) will see significant reinvestment in the "brownfield" area is through local govenrment acting to prime the pump.

    As for which strategy will be more effective, the suburban model may initially attract more out-of-town capital. But, I am skeptical, because many of these multinational technology companies are investing more heavily in India and China. (Look at Carrier) Why would they choose upstate New York? Could the brownfield site be more effective at growing LOCAL businesses?

    Again, these are just some thoughts/questions/unsubstanitated opinions.
    Great points! and many of your suggestions are being adopted by the town i work for (which is very similar to syracuse in size and regional importance). The community is activley working with some private citizens w/ money and vision to create a bio-tech incubator district, near the downtown, in a grayfield area. The area is somewhat blighted, has some great old 1920's "auto-row" showroom buildings, and is cradeled on either side by a university and two large medical campuses and a medical school. It only took this community 30+ years to figure out that preserving/investing in the old part of the community is vital to the communties health. Now they are ecouraging development of new local research companies within the old, urban areas.

    also, brownfield/or urban core development offers more flexible transportation options easier re-use of future vacant buildings than a "park" development.
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  6. #6
         
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    BKM, you make good points.

    But, here are my concerns.

    "If there is really a market for a suburban "technology park" in upstate New York, won't the private sector provide for it?"
    It's the chicken and egg thing: Private developers will only develop more business parks if the region was growing. The region can't grow until we give companies better locations. IMO, there aren't any competitive locations located in Central NY. (Geico looked at the locations offered them and was not impressed to say the least.)

    "Conversely, maybe the only real way a somewhat stagnant city like Syracuse (correct me if the impression I have is wrong) will see significant reinvestment in the "brownfield" area is through local govenrment acting to prime the pump."
    You are correct, the Syracuse REGION hasn't grown in 35 years. The region is banking on this research center to jump start growth.

    IMO the brownfields will only be redeveloped after the area starts growing, not before. I don't see a world class company coming to a Syracuse brownfield in an inner city neighborhood. Having a first class Tech Park with an empire zone, with plenty of parking, in a shovel ready site, in an aesthetically pleasing environment ,and with good road access, it becomes a possibility.

    "Could the brownfield site be more effective at growing LOCAL businesses?"
    I agree. I could see Local companies locate in the brownfields.

    IMO the Syracuse region needs better sites if it ever expects to lure outside companies here.

    Other concerns

    1. Marketing (how do you market brownfields, a Tech Park is a lot easier)
    2. Clustering (the brownfield sites are scattered, a Tech Park will allow companies to cluster)
    3. Time (brownfield sites take more time to develop, Tech Parks are more attractive because the permitting process is less time consuming)
    4. Competition (the Albany area already has three Tech Parks and is in the process of building more. If a company is going Upstate, the Albany area's Tech Parks are more attractive than Syracuse's brownfields)

  7. #7
         
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    where are your Empire Zones? do you have them outside of the city at this suburban site? are they in the downtown core areas? there's a big thing to consider. how about grants and financing programs? which site can better access that capital? who is providing protective and safety to these sites? in the city it would be city PD and FD...what about at the suburb? how many years of tax relief do you have to provide in the suburb to make it work and how do you recapture that cost? how about in the city? ...in the city you probably have some multipliers effecting the downtown in employees spending $$.
    I'm sure if Amherst can get an Empire zone, a Syracuse suburb can too. Pataki's new proposal allows 40% of a county empire zone to be in a non-distressed area.

    Syracuse suburbs have the protective and safety issues covered.

    And another thing, I am so sick of seeing the governor's face on tv saying "Gecko" is coming to Buffalo. There moving to some "office park" in the suburbs, not the city you idiot, unless we just annexed that town. That deal was a sure mis-use of the empire zones program intended for struggling cities and towns.
    I don't agree. I believe in regions, not just a city. If the Western NY region's economy was healthy, the city of Buffalo would see a lot more investment. Geico will provide employment in the region, thus helping people feel more confident about investing in the city of Buffalo.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    What is your targeted industry? If you are going after manufacturing and distribution jobs, you should forget about the downtown location. The siting requirements of these businesses are such that they need to open space and highway access of the "suburban" sites. The business park is far from being a dated concept. Over 75% of all new locations are in business (office, industrial, or combined) parks. That does not mean that these cannot be green alternatives. They can be designed to support transit, and to incorporate many environmentally-friendly concepts.

    If your target is likely to be smaller businesses, with an intensity of offices, lab facilities, and other uses conducive to a smaller footprint, then the downtown location is perhaps better. If the workers are the type to collaborate or intereact between companies over lunch (as opposed to picking up something at Burger King or eating in the break room) then the downtown is perhaps better.

    Either way, do not let one side's preference for a site sway the decision. Look to what the intended tenant will prefer and make the decision based on the market choice.
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bizzo34
    I'm sure if Amherst can get an Empire zone, a Syracuse suburb can too. Pataki's new proposal allows 40% of a county empire zone to be in a non-distressed area.

    Syracuse suburbs have the protective and safety issues covered.

    I don't agree. I believe in regions, not just a city. If the Western NY region's economy was healthy, the city of Buffalo would see a lot more investment. Geico will provide employment in the region, thus helping people feel more confident about investing in the city of Buffalo.
    -The purpose of the empire zone was to attract businesses (and retain) in struggling cities and towns, not areas that are prospering and have a growing tax base. The town borrowed those acres from the town next door, Tonawanda. Yes its employment for the region, but at the same time the city is missing out on the tax rolls from this employer. "Gecko" claims its not anti-urban, but then how come it didn't build in the city when there is plenty of available land, or for that matter the town it borrowed the empire zones from?

    -Pataki's proposal of the 40% for non-distressed defeats the purpose of the program's original intent.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


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    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    let's say it's not Syracuse. Let's say it's Columbia, SC. Why is the push to build the office/research space on the edge of the city rather than in the city?

    a.) because the people pushing the project live/spend their time there and since they live there it MUST be a good idea.
    b.) because the CEO of the company that eventually moves in won't be living
    in Downtown Columbia he'll have a mansion on Lake Murray (30 miles northwest of the city) and his first concern is going to be how far the office is from the closest golf course.

    i've been around long enough to know that, essentially, this is how fickle the business is . . . unless of course you're offering this guy a 20 year PILOT, then the golf course might not seem as important. The only big firms that wind up locating downtown (in smaller cities) are those that need a large population on which to draw talent from and need to be centrally located - or firms that need to be close to the seat of government.

    In cities like syracuse and columbia location isn't much of an issue in the sense that it's just assumed that everyone has a car and commutes of 30 minutes are rare and even then are purely by choice.

    The office following the boss has been going on for 250 years as the petite bourgeoisie followed the bourgeoisie into the suburbs - and then finally got so tired of commuting that they set up factories and dragged the working class out there too.

    Robert Fishman wrote a great book on it called Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia.
    "Bourgeois Utopias is the history of suburbs in France, England, and the United States. It traces the rise and fall of suburbia from its origins in eighteenth-century London to its end in Los Angeles and the other decentralized urban regions of contemporary America. The author, an urban historian, looks upon suburbia as a true bourgeois utopia, the most complete embodiment of middle-class ideals of property and familial privacy. He compares the suburbs of Philadelphia, Manchester, London, Los Angeles, and other decentralized cities with the rejection of suburbs by Parisians. Fishman also explains why he believes that in the "technoburbs" of contemporary America the line between working and living space is increasingly blurred. Included are photographs, illustrations, maps, endnotes, and an index."
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

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    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    the necessity of the "sprawling office complex" is absolute garbage.The only thing that necissitates it is the demand for parking. Parking and landcaping always takes up more square footage than the actual office space and the footprint to footprint comparisons are ludicrous.

    Witness AOL's NYC operations and their Northern VA operations.
    Witness Lockheed Martin's King of Prussia operations and their downtown Camden operations.

    In both instances they have the same (or similar) amount of office space the only difference is one is horizontal and the other is vertical.

    Witness Merril Lynch's new "city" being built in the semi-rural area north of Trenton, featuring 6-8 story buildings and parking lot's so big shuttle busses are being planned.
    There's nothing you can do in a brand new 8 story building on an old farm that you can't do in a brand new 16 story building in downtown Trenton.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

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    Member japrovo's avatar
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    The regional government here has been chewing over how to accommodate industrial lands in the land use planning framework in a way that ends up at a similar point to the Syracuse question. url]http://www.metro-region.org/article.cfm?articleid=5370[/url] A shortage of industrial lands appropriate for the kind of high tech manufacturing we grew through in the 1990s is being identified with our recent economic woes. The long term implications are challenging as you have to speculate on future industrial structure to some extent. With more and more high tech manufacturing moving over seas many are making the case that r&d facilities that can presumably fit into any sort of office development are the way to go. The discussion then turns to whether this requires more land to be added to the urban growth boundary (i.e. suburban) or that demand can be accommodated through existing regional centers (i.e. urban).

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    I guess my question follows along with Cardinale's: What manufacturing jobs will be choosing a Syracuse location, anyway? Is this a realistic economic development strategy? How many GEICOs are there anyway (and won't they increasingly be expanding their big call centers in low-cost off-shore subcontractors anyway).

    Beyond the short term question of jobs right now, what will really benefit the community over the long run-another pod of wasteful parking lots and "buffer landscaping" in a suburban location with a devastated inner city?

    Finally, I still question the need for government to create a new suburban industrial park. Private developers do it all the time.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Finally, I still question the need for government to create a new suburban industrial park. Private developers do it all the time.
    This is only true in certain locales. There are many communities that do not have the demand, or the private capacity, to develop a quality business park. Public development creates the resource to allow the community to attract businesses offering employment for area residents. It is certainly worth the effort, and not necessarily an inappropriate subsidy of business.
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    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    All that really comes to mind is that Silicon Valley is the success it is because of its association with Stanford. If you want to go with the downtown locations, you need to connect it to research and other critical resources for the kinds of business you want to foster.

    I, personally, think that Solano County ought to push to become "the green biz" corridor. With low rents, in the most agricultural county in the SF Bay area and midway between SF and Sacramento, I already see some green business locating here. Dixon ought to get with Davis -- in another county but a mere 15 minutes away -- and foster "the next Silicon Valley" in northern Solano, for green business instead of computers. (But they won't talk to me -- much less *listen*. Sigh. I am "nobody". I need to start my own grass roots organization for something-or-other and then remake the county in my image. Pick some nice lake to be my eye in the portrait and ...)

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    Member japrovo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    Public development creates the resource to allow the community to attract businesses offering employment for area residents. .
    Isn't the match between local skills and new industries kind of a big assumption---especially in the more speculative "build it and they will come" ventures?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    here are a couple quotes from people opposed to a suburban Tech Park:

    "Why CAN'T environmental tech business be interspersed downtown especially on the SOUTH end. Building industrial "parks" is already a dated concept; urban development should be at the forefront of the city's priorities."
    Many tech industries deal with delecate manufacturing processes (do you realize how many plasma TVS still come off the assembly line and go right to scrap due to process errors in manufacturing?). Redundant power is essential. A power spike that is un-noticeable to many modern industry is intolerable in the tech sector. Read up on "nine-nines" power reliabilty. Its pretty amazing stuff, and will answer the question as to why that can not widely interspersed these industries on the grid."

    "brownfields in urban areas can be reutilized at a lower cost and as a benefit to the region... why waste good farmland or greenspace for a site that already has what a company needs."
    ...assuming government has already cleaned them up?

    The "proposed" suburban Tech Park is just outside the city line in an area where there are old trucks stops, old factories, and a wetland is today. That will take years to clean up and get the businesses out. No one has proposed a tech park on land that can be developed fast and easily. (I wish someone had, but the leaders in the area won't allow infrastructure expansion)
    this is what planning is about, right?

    Which area will attract more investment? The suburban Tech Park or various scattered locations in the urban core closer to the research center? And why?

    And if you have any other advice, I would love to hear it/
    Waaaay too rhetorical to answer! But a good series of questions anyway....

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    Michelle:

    Michelle: Silicon Valley may be rich, but its physical form, development pattern (ugh-the most beautiful orchard country in the world converted to strip malls and ranchers and glassy boxes), toxic containation problem from "clean" high technology, and costliness make me hope we can avoid becoming the "Silicon Valley" of anything, even "green businesses."

    (Sorry, I am being a troll today. I will shut up. Its just that I personally find office (or anything misnamed "park") parks a very sterile environment.)
    Last edited by BKM; 21 Jan 2004 at 8:04 PM.

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    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Michelle: Silicon Valley may be rich, but its physical form, development pattern (ugh-the most beautiful orchard country in the world converted to strip malls and ranchers and glassy boxes), toxic containation problem from "clean" high technology, and costliness make me hope we can avoid becoming the "Silicon Valley" of anything, even "green businesses."

    (Sorry, I am being a troll today. I will shut up. Its just that I personally find office (or anything misnamed "park") parks a very sterile environment.)
    Gee, and you are using technology that likely wouldn't "exist" if it weren't for Silicon Valley to say this. Me thinks thou art a hypocrit.

    Want to meet for "coffee"? It is about 5:30p here and I have a couple of errands to run. I imagine that around 6:30-ish, I will be at Pizza Puck's (and they do sell cappuccino and such) in Vacaville's outlet mall -- dressed in brown from head to toe and I wear a very distinctive bracelet on my left hand, with an eagle on it and attached by a "chain" to a ring. Of course, you will also know me by my pink plastic glasses since "rose colored glasses" are a de rigeur fashion statement for a die hard optimist.

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    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Beyond the short term question of jobs right now, what will really benefit the community over the long run-another pod of wasteful parking lots and "buffer landscaping" in a suburban location with a devastated inner city?

    Finally, I still question the need for government to create a new suburban industrial park. Private developers do it all the time.
    -Finally somebody sees where I'm coming from on this. As BKM states, sure it helps the region short-term, but at the same time it hurts the area in the long haul, especially for this area (include other "upstate" cities here) and many other areas in the "rust-belt" region.

    -Our MSA population continues to decline, yet we continue to sprawl. Land I remember as being farm land and forests when I was a kid is now a sea of asphalt parking lots with sprawling buildings consuming unneccesary land. If you keep disinvesting in the central city, and continue to invest in the suburbs, everbody in the area pays for the consequences. Open space and farm land is lost, infrastructure costs go up due to the low density, social costs are passed on to everybody in the county as inner-city locales go down the toilet. Its an endless cycle.

    -Allright, fasten your seatbelts....Rant (long)

    -Here is an editorial sent to the news on this recent deal (page will expire, so here is the text)
    1/14/04 Buffalo News
    It's too bad Geico isn't locating in city
    As I have been reading all of the feel-good stories about the decision to locate the new service center for Geico Insurance in Amherst, I have been waiting for someone to raise the question as to why this project could not be built in Buffalo.
    I find it insulting to city residents that a news conference was held in Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery announcing that 2,500 jobs were being sent to Amherst and not Buffalo. Now we have television spots with the governor and others telling us 2,500 jobs are coming to Buffalo. What makes this even more frustrating is the constant reminder that locating the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst was a city killer. How does this differ? If a company announced that it was moving from Buffalo to Amherst, a lot of people would be crying foul and filing lawsuits, as we have seen lately. Locating this project in the city would add needed revenue to our property tax rolls, open possibilities for further development in the immediate area and help local restaurants and shops when employees venture out for lunch and dinner. Most importantly, it would send a message to other potential companies that Buffalo is ready, willing and able to support their operations.
    The addition of 2,500 jobs is huge boost to the Western New York economy, but another huge loss to the City of Buffalo.
    JEFFREY DRAGO
    Buffalo
    Link http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial...14/1057587.asp

    -He hit the nail on the coffin on this deal. In this city and region there is a huge rift between the city and suburbs steming from things like this. The city has sued the town over incentives offered to city businesses to relocate to the suburbs, even though this practice by the town is illegal in NYS and considered "pirating". The county executive has been trying to combine that town's industrial agency with the Erie County IDA for a while with little resolve.

    -The whole thing that really bugs me (besides the above), is that the state (and taxpayers) are paying for this venture. Everybody I've talked to says, hey its jobs, but they are not seeing "the trees from the forests" on this issue. I'll agree its jobs for the region, but at the same time its a morally wrong decision to which the whole "empire zone" program was intended to serve. The company even came out and said that most of the employees would be from the city, and would be able to take mass-transit. I've taken the bus out there before and its not pretty, service (unfortunately for people working out there) is still the best within the city limits and not out to the reverse commute suburbs. This is also from a town, whose Master Plan takes aim at capitalizing and reaping the benefits from the city's bio-informatics program.

    -I guess the whole point of this is, is that we should not be doing what we did in the 1950's (or till present era), which is subsidizing the suburbs at the expense of inner-cities. I know the current system is flawed, but this one really takes the cake.

    -A local utility company tried to hold the city ( and region) hostage by saying it was going to leave the area, only to locate to the suburbs and demand a tax break. The county said get lost and they just moved their operations out there (from city to suburbs). Where do we go from here?

    -Giving economic assistance to a company through these programs, is warranted when they are creating jobs and locating in that zone (empire), for a economically distressed area which the program intended to help. But using it for this makes me want to yak on the politicians of this area as well as state-wide.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


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    Thanks everyone for your input! Very interesting discussion.

    Rumpy Tunanator, you sound exactly like the planners in the Syracuse area. I always try to point out to them that the war should NOT be between the city and the suburbs, rather it should be between my region vs. your region.

    For example. The pursuit for Geico was not between Buffalo and Amherst, rather it was between Amherst and suburban Rochester or out-of-state. So the question then becomes:

    Would you rather have a company locating in the suburbs that brings 2,500 new jobs, or no company at all?
    That was the choice. The choice was NEVER Downtown Buffalo or Amherst.

    This brings me to the Tech Park debate. Would I rather see new jobs in the suburbs or no jobs at all? Clearly not all companies want to locate in the urban core. If a region doesn't offer a suburban location, that region is bypassed in favor of another region who will offer suburban locations with incentives.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    Intervention
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    Quote Originally posted by bizzo34
    For example. The pursuit for Geico was not between Buffalo and Amherst, rather it was between Amherst and suburban Rochester or out-of-state. So the question then becomes:

    Would you rather have a company locating in the suburbs that brings 2,500 new jobs, or no company at all?
    That was the choice. The choice was NEVER Downtown Buffalo or Amherst.
    -I know the jobs are good for the region, but using economic incentives intended for depressed areas should not be used in an area that is not economically depressed. If they wanted to build in the suburbs, they could of located in the town of tonawanda which has designated empire zones. These companies try to hold cities and regions hostage until the area throws in the kitchen sink.

    -If the state wants to attract businesses to this state, it should start by lowing taxes. That is the single most reason businesses leave this area or don't want to locate here. It should also cut the fat of the mismanaged state goverment in albany. We have one of the worst managed state goverments in the country. They send a control board here to fix our fiscal problems, meanwhile the state sinks deeper into the red. They need a control board. There are so many other problems with this state from medicaide, highest property taxes in the nation for upstate cities, loss of population, etc........
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by japrovo
    Isn't the match between local skills and new industries kind of a big assumption---especially in the more speculative "build it and they will come" ventures?
    In all too many cases you are right. Some dumb community in Illinois (typical) will look at a stunning example of success from Wisconsin (typical) and think that all they need to do is build a business park like "them folk up there done" and the businesses will flock to them. They forget that in Wisconsin the local high school graduates fully-certified Cysco network administrators, the local technical college has set up advanced technology centers in partnership with Fortune 100 businesses, and the university in the community has one of the nation's top tier business colleges. A good community will match its efforts to the local resources and population. The ones that fail have usually not done this.

    Some of the best programs come out of inner-city neighborhoods, where they take a broader view of what constitutes economic development. These programs don't just provide incentives or sites, but work from the very start to identify and build the skill base of the area population so that they are prepared when opportunities arrive to create and fill new jobs.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  24. #24
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Without a lot of repeat from what has already been said, I want to put in my vote for the urban core location, especially if there is room for infill. Urban densities provide a base for public transportation and a suburban park will create arterial traffic and a collocation of sprawl development like fast food and strip centers to serve the park. Keep our rural rural and keep our urban urban. Go urban, go downtown.

  25. #25

    Registered
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    Michelle (O/T)

    I missed your message yesterday.

    There are a few Bay Area people joining the Board. I was thinking about having a "Bay Area/Northern California Cyburbia Get-Together.

    As for my "hypocrisy." Maybe. But now, 20%-40% of many Silicon Valley cities' office space is vacant. Would it really have been so terrible to expect all that investment to be done with a little better planning? Maybe fewer one-story spec buildings with a sea of parking, six-lane "arterials," and employees commuting 60 miles each way. Maybe that's the commie planner in me, but still. I drive around Sunnyvale or San Jose, and its awful, just awful. That's what sparks my visceral reaction when people talk about Solano County becoming the "next Silicon valley."

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