RENSSELAER TECHNOLOGY PARK

A project of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

 

General Information

Rensselaer Technology Park is a university related park for technology ventures seeking a unique environment focused on the interface between industry and education.

Basic Facts
The Site
Park Statistics
Development Chronology

 

Basic Facts

Ownership.  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Developer.  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  Rensselaer Technology Park is a Division of the Institute that reports directly to the President.

Governance.  Standing Committee of the University Board of Trustees.

University Interactions.  A fundamental objective of the Park is to develop interactions between tenant companies and the university.  Such interactions enrich the educational environment of the university and help the companies stay on the leading edge of their technologies.  All companies in the Park automatically become members of the "Venture Affiliates of RPI."  Building a synergistic environment is a responsibility shared by all members of the Park staff.

Technology Focus.  The development of the Park is not focused on a singular technology or specific industries.  On the contrary, the objective of the Park is to attract a broad diversity of technologies reflective of the varied technological strengths of the university.

Financing.  This project has been financed by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  Initial funding for Phase I infrastructure and operations was from the endowment of the university.  Funding for the thirteen multi-tenant buildings built by the university was through Industrial Revenue Bonds and/or conventional financing.

Administration.  The Park is administered by a staff of 6 people with a Director who reports to the President of the university, a Manager of Operations (finance and business), a Property Manager/Administrative Assistant, a Design and Construction Specialist, an Accounts Manager/Secretary and a Secretary/Receptionist/Events Specialist.  Part time maintenance people are used for some Park services and the bulk of maintenance requirements are provided through contract services.

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The Site

Covenants and Development Standards.  Development of the Park is guided by a Master Plan and regulated by Covenants and Development Standards that are a required component of each land lease.  The intent of the Covenants is to assure standards of development that are characterized by quality and consistency without imposing an additional cumbersome layer of bureaucracy in the approval process.  They address such things as density and open space requirements, building setbacks, parking requirements, drainage, waste disposal, noise, air quality, landscaping, building design and materials specifications, etc.

Zoning.  The 450 acres in the core of the Park designated for technology development has been rezoned to an "industrial" classification which permits all intended uses.  When the Park was initiated, officials very carefully considered whether the rezoning should be approached as a function of the existing zoning ordinance in the community or whether new zoning classifications (such as Planned Unit Development) should be introduced.  It was concluded to simply work within the structure of the existing ordinance.  However, as part of the rezoning process, several "industrial" uses were formally agreed not to be permissible within the Park.

Environmental Impact.  The rezoning process required the preparation and review of the Environmental Impact Statement.  A "generic" impact statement was approved which dealt with general overall impacts of developing the Park and greatly simplifies the review process for specific building projects.

Land Lease.  It is the policy of the university that parcels will only be available on a land lease basis.  Land will not be sold.  A standard lease has been prepared that defines uses, regulates assignments and subletting and allows the subordination of fee to the first mortgage.

Strategic Location.  The Technology Park is located in New York's Capital Region at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers and the intersection of major East/West and North/South highways that provide access to markets and people.  A three hundred mile radius encompasses a population in excess of 50 million people and an approximate three hour drive reaches major markets in New York City, Boston, and Montreal.  The area is also served by the Albany Park, Amtrak and Conrail railroads, and the Albany International Airport.

Multi-Tenant Rental Space.  The Rensselaer Technology Park (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) is the owner/developer/operator of multi-tenant rental space in the Park.  425,000 square feet of space has been developed and the leasing/fit-up/management is administered by the Park office.  These buildings have been designed as one story, highly flexible/adaptable space to accommodate technology enterprises ranging from the sophisticated needs of computer environments and research labs to the provision of conventional office and manufacturing space.  Park staff have developed design and construction expertise to address the unique and unpredictable needs of tenants in a very timely and responsive manner.

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Park Statistics

Buildings.  There are twenty three buildings in the Park, thirteen of which are university owned multi-tenant facilities (including one devoted exclusively to manufacturing use) and ten are single purpose tenant owned facilities.  Total square footage in place exceeds 1,000,000.

Infrastructure Features. The Park has a road network built to highway specifications and all underground utility services, including: fiber-optic cabling, power from two separate sources internally looped, telephone, natural gas, public water and sanitary and storm sewers.  The primary source of power to the Park is from the nearby and recently upgraded Reynolds Road substation in North Greenbush.  There is a secondary source (switchable) from the Menands grid.  The capacity exists in the Park to tie into a fiber loop fed from both the North Greenbush and East Greenbush central offices, however, each fiber service is "custom" designed to fit the needs of the user.

Tenants.  There are over 50 tenants in the Park representing a wide diversity of technologies ranging from electronic to physics research, from biotechnology to software.

Employees.  There are over 2,200 employees.

Permissible Uses.  Uses that develop a product or provide a service relating to advanced technologies are permissible in the Park.  Research and development, assembly and manufacturing and support services relating to technology are also allowed.

Acreage.  1250 contiguous acres comprise the Technology Park.

Location.  The Technology Park is located along the Hudson River approximately five miles south of the university campus, across the river from Albany and conveniently accessible to the interstate highway network.

Land Uses. There are four principal land uses that comprise the 1250 acre parcel:

  • The Technology component that comprises 450 acres in the core of the Park for technology bases companies.
  • A Housing component that comprises 150 acres adjacent to the technology component and earmarked for the development of residential alternatives servicing both the university and community and the Tech Park community.
  • The Riverfront component comprising 150 acres for the development of a hotel/conference center, marina, recreation and additional residential or corporate facilities.
  • An Open Space component of approximately 500 acres preserving the forested slopes between the riverfront and the upland areas that are so characteristic of the glacial history and the "Greenbush" identity of the area.

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Development Chronology

Feasibility Study 1979-80.  This effort explored the many dimensions of the feasibility of developing a Park.  A special task force was assembled by the President representing faculty, staff, alumni/trustees, students and friends of Rensselaer.

Commitment March 1981.  The Board of Trustees authorized a $3 million investment of the endowment to design and build the infrastructure for the first phase of the Park and for operations expenses in the initial years of the Park.

Master Plan, Rezoning and Subdivision approval March 1981-July 1981. A highly concentrated effort was undertaken to prepare a Master Plan and Environmental Assessment Report, to rezone over 400 acres from agricultural-residential to industrial classification, and to prepare the necessary engineering documents for Subdivision approval and construction of Phase I Infrastructure.

Phase I Infrastructure August 1981-October 1982.  Improvement of approximately 150 acres for Phase I development consisting of .8 mile of roadway and underground utilities including power, gas, water, sanitary and storm sewers and telephone.

First tenant announced March 1983.  An optoelectronics facility for National Semiconductor was occupied in the Fall of 1983.

Multi-tenant facilities First facility (26,000 square feet) announced and occupied in 1984.  A total of thirteen buildings (425,000 square feet) built since 1984, including one devoted exclusively to manufacturing use.

Phase II Infrastructure April 1991-October 1991.  Improvement of approximately 100 acres for Phase II development consisting of .5 mile of roadway and underground utilities including power, gas, water, sanitary and storm sewers, telephone and fiber optics.

Metropolitan Life opened July 1992.  A corporate cornerstone in the Park is the MetLife 212,000 sq. ft. computer center that serves as the corporationís national disaster recovery site and computer software development headquarters.

MapInfo locates in the Park in 1993.  This company was founded by three RPI students after taking a course in Technological Entrepreneurship which produced their first business plan.  MapInfo is now the worldwide leader in the development of desktop mapping software, which combines computer generated maps with databases for a variety of applications.

I-90 Connector Phase I opened in 1996 greatly improving access to the I-90 Interstate via the new Exit 8.

WMHT, the local PBS affiliate, announced in 1999 that the Tech Park would be home for their new state of the art digital broadcasting and production facility.

Outstanding Research Park achievement award to Rensselaer Technology Park in 2000 by the Association of University Research Parks.

Expanded Fiber Optic Loop in Park in 2001.  Joint Trench/Multiple Carriers.

MapInfo expands into 210,000 sq. ft. complex in the Park in July 2002.

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