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ALBANY-Gov. Eliot Spitzer has revealed a new scaled down plan to redevelop the Averill Harriman State office campus. The governor’s strategy unveiled here yesterday calls for the redevelopment rather than the demolition of existing buildings on the campus and the preparation for future development of some “shovel ready” sites on the more than 300-acre property.

The plan radically differs from a proposal put out in 2005 that called for the development of a “world class university research and technology park.” The plan under former Gov. George Pataki called for the relocation of state offices from the campus to other locations in Albany and the phased redevelopment of the Harriman campus that was to involve the demolition of some existing buildings on the campus. The Harriman Research and Technology Development Corp., the agency charged with the redevelopment of the campus, issued a Request for Proposals on the venture, which were answered by four prospective bidders. However, the Pataki plan languished in the final days of his administration and has been scrapped and replaced with a new vision by Spitzer that calls for adaptive reuse of the campus buildings and the retention of more state offices there.

“This pragmatic, comprehensive new plan will meet the area’s existing needs even as it speeds the campus to an important role in ‘Innovation Economy’ job growth,” says Spitzer. “This plan will transform an underutilized state asset into a center for technological innovation, job creation, and economic development in the Capital Region. The new Harriman campus represents a crossroads where technology and regional growth meet. This blueprint reflects the very essence of the Innovation Economy and it is now time to take these plans from the drawing board and make them a reality.”

The Request for Qualifications to be issued next week will seek private developers to redevelop the 653,000 sf of vacant buildings on the campus and prepare shovel-ready sites for development, state officials say. Spitzer says that the state will be looking to develop a “green” project that will meet National Green Building Council’s LEED standards.

The new plan calls for the state and private interests to work with SUNY-Albany to provide space for the university and its Center for Nanotechnology and at a later date to issue a RFP for site-specific development on the campus. State officials say the redeveloped campus would be a mixed-use property featuring business, government, academic and recreational space.

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