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 Milestones

Basic Facts

Owner and Developer.  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).  The nation’s oldest technological research university, RPI is a nonsectarian, coeducational institution, offering degrees from five schools: Engineering, Science, Architecture, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Lally School of Management and Technology, as well as interdisciplinary degrees in Information Technology.

 

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 “affiliates” of Rensselaer."  Building a synergistic environment is a responsibility shared by all members of the Park staff.

 

Technology Focus.  The objective of the Park is to attract a 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 multi-tenant buildings constructed by the university was through conventional financing and/or Industrial Revenue Bonds.

 

Administration.  The Park is administered by a staff of 6; a Director who reports to the chief of Staff of the university, a Manager of Operations (finance and business), a Property Manager/Design and Construction Specialist, an Accounts Manager, an Office Assistant/Events Specialist and a handyman.  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

 

Master Plan and Covenants/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 have 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 heavy "industrial" uses were formally agreed not to be permissible within the Park.

 

Environmental Impact.  The rezoning process required the preparation and review of an Environmental Impact Statement.  A "generic" impact statement (GEIS) was approved which dealt with the 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 long-term land lease basis.  Land will not be sold.  A standard lease has been prepared that defines permissible uses and addresses required terms, conditions and covenants.

 

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 Amtrak railroad 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.  11 buildings comprising 320,000 square feet of space have 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

Employees. There are over 2,400 employees.

Tenants. There are over 70 tenants in the Park representing diverse technologies ranging from electronics to physics research, from biotechnology to software.

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. 1,250 contiguous acres comprise the entire lands of 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.

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 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 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. There are multiple providers and each fiber service is "custom" designed to fit the user needs.

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

 

 

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Development Milestones

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 opened in the Fall of 1983.

 

Multi-tenant facilities First facility (26,000 square feet) built 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 ½ 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 corporation’s 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.

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, founded by 3 RPI students in 1986, expands into 210,000 sq. ft. complex in the Park in July 2002.

 

Children’s Museum of Science and Technology opened in the Park in 2004.  The Museum is dedicated to introducing children of all ages to a wide spectrum of science and technology topics.

 

WMHT, the local PBS affiliate, officially opened in November 2005 its new state-of-the-art digital broadcasting and production facility.

 

Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI) opened in 2007. A partnership between RPI, New York State and IBM, the CCNI supercomputer is ranked the 7th most powerful computer in the world.

 

GE Healthcare’s Digital X-Ray Detector Production Facility  built in 2008 and Opened in the first quarter of 2009.  This 230,000 square foot building includes 60,000 square feet of clean rooms. 

 

Phase III Infrastructure completed Spring 2009.  About 75 acres for future development (including GE Healthcare) became available with road and utilities. 

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