Real estate development group National Resources will redevelop 300 acres of land with 2 million square feet of buildings at the former East Fishkill IBM campus with plans to add residential, retail and a hotel.
The Greenwich-based development company announced Sept. 1 it had reached a deal for an undisclosed amount to take over the land from its current owner, GlobalFoundries.
National Resources will brand its part of the campus as an iPark, the same branding the company uses for its other mixed-use office, retail, hotel and residential developments in the region. GlobalFoundries will continue to own 160 acres of active manufacturing space on the site, where it employs 2,500 people.
The California-based semiconductor company took over the campus in 2015 when it bought IBM’s semiconductor business.
The deal finalizes a four-year pursuit of the former IBM campus for National Resources. The company in 2013 talked with IBM about redeveloping parts of the campus, but the deal was delayed after IBM sold the semiconductor division to GlobalFoundries.
Lynne M. Ward, senior vice president for National Resources, said the company never lost interest in the property.
“There’s a billion dollars of infrastructure there,” Ward said. “That’s the huge electric, huge water capacity, sewer, everything is there. That’s really what was attractive to us.”
Earlier this year, GlobalFoundries came back to National Resources to work on a modified plan from the 2013 talks with IBM.
The plan from National Resources will look to build on the campus’ strong infrastructure, built up over time by IBM, as well as the site’s easy access to Interstate 84 to attract new manufacturing and transportation tenants, along with residents, shoppers and travelers for the new uses.
“This has very good road transportation for high-tech distribution, fulfillment centers,” Ward said.
Several high bay spaces will be leased to new users, while build-to-suit warehouses have been designed for those distribution and fulfillment centers, according to the company’s announcement. Ward said the location fills a gap in manufacturing and distribution space between southern Westchester and Dutchess County.
“This is your next opportunity once you’re priced out of Yonkers, the Bronx or southern Westchester,” she said.
IBM and micro-display manufacturer eMagin will continue to lease offices, laboratories and clean rooms at the campus, according to the announcement. Ward said the company has several other letters-of-intent for the property and hopes to start some construction on the manufacturing and warehousing part of the campus within six months.
The company also plans to add residential buildings, retail and a hotel to the site. That will be part of an effort to add vibrancy to the campus, through retail such as coffee shops and possibly an educational user, Ward said.
“The site needs life. You can’t have 300 acres without life.”
The residential portion will be sized similar to the Uno micro-apartments at National Resources’ iPark Hudson in Yonkers. Ward said the company will look to develop about 150 small apartment units on the site and at least 100,000 square feet of retail. Construction on that part of the campus likely won’t start until late next year.
National Resources has a history of taking over the former campuses of big-name companies and turning them into mixed-use developments. In Yonkers, the company converted a former Otis Elevator Co. factory complex into a mixed-use campus with office space and apartments. Tenants include Kawasaki Rail Car Inc., the biotech company ContraFect Corp. and mobile app developer IAC Applications.
On Long Island, the company turned a former Lockheed Martin manufacturing center into iPark Lake Success. And in Norwalk, National Resources redeveloped a former PerkinElmer campus into an iPark.
The IBM East Fishkill campus was developed by the company in the 1960s and was once home to more than 10,000 employees. But IBM began winding that number down amid hard times in the 1990s.
Sarah Lee, CEO of the Dutchess County’s economic development agency, Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, said the National Resources plan represents a chance for new life in the corridor along Route 52.
“The part that’s so exciting is the timing of it,” Lee said. “To be able to bring some life back to that part of Fishkill, then next door you have the sports dome, you have development near there with businesses opening, orthopedics opening there.”
Lee was referring to the Sports KingDome, which is being built by Rye Brook-based Air Structures American Technologies Inc. on another former IBM parcel just down the road from the future iPark campus. The dome, scheduled to open before the end of the year, will be more than 300,000 square feet and allow athletes from multiple sports to train year round.
“So with the hotel, the residential plans for the National Resources site, there’s going to be a lot of activity down there,” Lee said.
In the company’s announcement of the deal, National Resources said it worked for the past six months with the Dutchess County Executive’s Office, Think Dutchess Alliance, town of East Fishkill and Empire State Development to prepare the site with suitable zoning and parcel subdivision for commercial, industrial and mixed-use development.
In a statement following the deal’s announcement, Dutchess County Executive Marc J. Molinaro said he was excited to see ownership of the site transferred to a developer with more than $1 billion in past projects. The deal, he said, frees GlobalFoundries “from the burden of real estate development and (allows) them to focus on their core mission: semiconductor manufacturing.”
He added: “Thanks to the hard work of the town of East Fishkill, GlobalFoundries and National Resources, we will soon see big things happening on this site.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated from its original version.