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GATES, NY-Binswanger/CBB has been named exclusive leasing and sales agent for more than four million sf of space inside the Rochester Technology Park, which formerly housed more than 20,000 manufacturing and light assembly workers at Eastman Kodak’s Elmgrove campus.

Cohen Asset Management, a Beverly Hill, CA.-based real estate investment firm, reports the property is slated to receive a host of tax benefits and business incentives when the state finalizes plans to approve Monroe County’s application as a State Empire Zone. Officials with Rochester Technology Park indicate that once the application has been approved by the state, the Rochester Technology Park will be the first site to be designated for Empire Zone status within Monroe County.

The complex totals 350 acres and 10 buildings totaling more than four million sf of mixed use space. The company acquired the 450 acre property from Eastman Kodak in June 2000 for $30 million. Since then, Eastman Kodak has vacated most of its space at the complex, located on Elmgrove Road in Gates, approximately six miles west of downtown Rochester.

In July 2000, Cohen Asset Management sold approximately 100 acres and one million sf of existing space to Heidelberg Digital Imaging, which is now embarking on an $84 million expansion project at its world headquarters site.

Dave Wallace, executive vice president of Rochester Technology Park, notes that Heidelberg Digital also leases approximately 150,000 sf of space at the Rochester Technology Park campus. Wallace expects the company, which manufactures digital imaging equipment to occupy approximately 300,000 sf of space there within the next six months. Other major tenants at Rochester Technology Park include Eastman Kodak, which leases approximately 150,000 sf of space, and Lightwave Enterprises, which occupies approximately 40,000 sf of space. Lightwave is expected to expand their operations there to another 75,000 sf of space.

“We currently have leased up about 700,000 sf of the four million sf of space and we expect that within two years to have 50% occupancy and 90% occupancy in four years,” Wallace notes.

The 10 buildings range in size from 905,231 sf to 71,347 sf and feature predominantly concrete and metal panel walls, 1,000 pounds per sf floor loading and ceiling heights to 26 feet. The property also includes another 65 acres of developable land. Wallace reveals that Cohen Asset Management is in negotiations with the Rochester Rhinos soccer team to build a $48 million, 20,000 seat soccer stadium at the site.

In terms of marketing the available space, Wallace and Michael Treacy, senior vice president of Binswanger/CBB, agree that the complex can appeal to a variety of users including those engaged in: high tech, biotechnology, photonics, precision manufacturing and electronics.

Wallace relates that Cohen Asset Management has subdivided the property for marketing purposes in order to achieve greater flexibility to handle prospects who might be interested in purchase and or lease deals on specific buildings at the complex.

Both Wallace and Treacy note that the pending designation as an Empire Zone will “level the playing field” and allow the property to compete with other states that are offering manufacturers and high tech firms various tax and other economic development related incentives.

Another amenity at the Rochester Technology Park is that it features the largest thermal powerhouse in upstate New York. The facility provides tenants with chilled water and steam heat.

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