State ready to raze Harriman buildings

Work part of effort to turn campus into technology park

LARRY RULISON Business writer
Section: Business,  Page: E1

Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2006

ALBANY - State officials are preparing to demolish the first set of buildings at the W. Averell Harriman State Office Campus as part of the site's redevelopment into a technology business park.

Ritter & Paratore Contract ing Inc. of Utica and LaCorte Cos. Inc. of Troy will work on the demolition of buildings 1 and 1a, which formerly housed the Department of Civil Service. Ritter & Paratore, which will handle most of the work, submitted a low bid of $3.95 million, while LaCorte, which will handle electrical wiring issues related to the buildings, had a low bid of $151,400 for its portion of the work.

Christine Burling, a spokeswoman for the state Office of General Services, said the attorney general's office and the comptroller's office have already signed off on the bids, a necessary step in officially awarding the contracts. Asbestos removal at the sites is expected to begin in the near future.

The 330-acre state campus is between Washington and Western avenues and west of Route 85, near the University at Albany. In 2002, Gov. George Pataki proposed turning it into a technology park, and the Harriman Research and Technology Development Corp. was later created to oversee the development.

The group is seeking a master developer for the park, with requests for proposals due next month, said spokesman Timothy Dunn.

Saratoga Associates, an engineering and architecture firm based in Saratoga Springs, is leading a team of companies and consultants that have developed the park's master plan.

The cost of the demolition of the first two buildings is being funded by the previous sale of a 12.6-acre state parking located nearby. Patroon Creek Blvd. LLC, an affiliate of Columbia Development Cos., an Albany development firm, paid $4.2 million for the parcel.