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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 3, 2012

SCHUMER: AFTER YEARS OF WORK, FEDS MUST EXPEDITE SALE OF POUGHKEEPSIE ARMY RESERVE TO ENSURE HIGH-TECH COMPANY CAN MOVE INTO OAKLEY ST. FACILITY – URGES FEDS TO SPEED TRANSFER TO LOCATE FIRM AT SITE & CREATE JOBS IN DUTCHESS COUNTY



Schumer Calls On Army Corps. & GSA to Expedite the Auction Process of the Poughkeepsie Army Reserve Ctr. – Building Sits Idle While High-Tech Companies Wait to Purchase Site and Redevelop – and Bring Up To 50 Jobs In Immediate Future

In 2005, Army Reserve Ctr. Selected for Closure Under BRAC & Since Then, Army Has Promised to Bring Building to Market – Years Later, Many Job- Creating Businesses Await Public Auction, An Effort Dutchess Co. & City of Poughkeepsie Highly Support

Schumer: Army Must Finally Sell Reserve Ctr. And Let Jobs & Business Inside

 

Today, at the former Carpenter U.S. Army Reserve Center in Poughkeepsie, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to fast-track the sale and public auction of the decommissioned Army Reserve Center to unlock the potential for high-tech, distribution, and engineering companies to move into the Oakley Street facility. The 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) designated the Army Reserve Center for closure in 2007, after which the Army committed to sell the building on the open market. Schumer highlighted that years later, at least six growing organizations have officially submitted notices of interest and await the public auction of the facility in order to purchase this site and expand in Dutchess County. County officials and local stakeholders are in support of this public auction without further delay, and according to a City of Poughkeepsie IDA commissioned economic development report, at least 50 jobs could be created if the prime real estate location is sold to a private enterprise. As a result, Schumer called on the federal USACE and GSA to expeditiously bring the facility to public auction, to ensure local taxpayers, residents and the economy can benefit from this vacant site in the near future. 

“The federal government cannot waste any time bringing the former Army Reserve Center in Poughkeepsie to public auction while high-tech companies stand at the ready to boost the Hudson Valley economy,” said Schumer. “For five years, the closed Army Reserve Center has collected cobwebs, while Dutchess County taxpayers and businesses lose out on a potential hub for next-generation technology. Now that the City of Poughkeepsie, County of Dutchess, and local economic development officials support the public sale of this property for economic development, I am calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the General Services Administration to work with Dutchess County stakeholders to expedite the sale of this invaluable property. If the Reserve Center is not sold to a private entity soon, the Hudson Valley could lose out on potential new businesses and at least 50 new jobs at a time when the region needs them the most.”

“We have several confidential clients, including site selectors and private firms alike who have expressed interest in this property,” said Mike Oates, President of HVEDC. “In addition to the local firm looking to expand to this property, I am confident that this property would sell at a fair price to the federal government and would create immediate job creation and economic development opportunities, which are desperately needed, in the City of Poughkeepsie. Further delay of the public sale could allow the building to fall into disrepair, or worse, force the companies to find immediate and more reliable space outside of Dutchess County. I know this has been a long process for the Army Core, and thank them for working with economic development leaders since 2005, however Senator Schumer is right in saying that we need this property to be made available now. With broad support across the City and County, there is a public mandate to sell this property and turn it into an economic engine. Whether Dorsey or another company are the ultimate owners of this property, I look forward to working with them and Senator Schumer to bring good paying, hi-tech jobs to the City of Poughkeepsie.”

Schumer was joined by County Executive Marc Molinaro, City of Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik, Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce President Charlie North and Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC) President Mike Oates as he urged for the federal government to step up to the plate and ensure this vacant site be utilized for economic development in the City of Poughkeepsie. The administrations of the Mayor, the County Executive, as well as the HVEDC have been working aggressively to attract and expand hi-tech manufacturing throughout the region. During his visit, Schumer acknowledged the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development have worked closely with the local redevelopment authority and City of Poughkeepsie to ensure all BRAC policies were followed, and have also advised the City on redevelopment policies. However, the entire process of bringing the building to market has taken far too long, particularly given that six organizations have formally expressed their interest in the site, and all stakeholders universally support the public auction in order to create jobs in Poughkeepsie. Schumer also asked the USACE to allow interested businesses an opportunity to tour the facility, as they had done at the beginning of the process. To make tours efficient and less burdensome for USACE, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation has agreed to coordinate with individual businesses and USACE to set up group tours for interested businesses.

Since the initial closure and designation by the 2005 BRAC Commission, noticed in the Legal Notice section of the Poughkeepsie Journal, the City has received significant interest to purchase and redevelop this property. After conducting extensive public outreach, including the request of “notice of interests,” public hearings and debates as well as an exhaustive feasibility study - the City of Poughkeepsie ultimately decided that a public sale was the best course of action to take. This decision, made in 2008, led to the IDA deciding that the best use of the facility would be for additional manufacturing and business development space. The IDA held another public hearing officially recognizing this as the best plan and have since supported the redevelopment of this property for job creation and expanded manufacturing space. That report estimated that at least 50 jobs would be created on the short term, and many more in the long term, if the site was sold to a private enterprise. 

The City of Poughkeepsie, in an effort to meet all requirements of the BRAC process, assisted homeless shelter organizations once interested in the property to find approved and acceptable alternative space. The City led these efforts to increase the chances of the property being used for economic development purposes and made meaningful strides towards ensuring the USACE could move forward with selling the property. Since the acknowledgement that this property would be best suited for economic development, expansion and job creating projects - all local entities have strongly encouraged the Army Corps of Engineers to move forward with a public auction. 

The Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation has a variety of businesses that are seeking manufacturing, distribution and office space in Poughkeepsie - including the Army Reserve Center on Oakley Street in the City of Poughkeepsie. Schumer and the HVEDC highlighted that commercial space of this type is hard to come by and HVEDC is fielding requests from site selectors, developers, real estate brokers and end users that are interest in bringing jobs and investment to Dutchess County. 

One of the companies who have publically declared their interest in this property as far back as 2006 is Dorsey Metrology. Located just a block away from the Army Reserve Center, this high-tech manufacturing company is interested in expanding to this location to grow sales and employees to meet their growing demand. As an original business involved in the BRAC process since 2006,Dorsey Metrology welcomes a public auction and would look to expand their business immediately to this location if selected. Dorsey Metrology stated that they will immediately hire up to 10 new employees and could expand to up to 50 new employees over the course of a few years. This is one of numerous companies that have made inquiries with the City of Poughkeepsie, the HVEDC and the Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce. Schumer is not pushing for a specific company to be housed in the site, but is simply urging that the federal government do its part to speed this auction and sale, after years of delays. 
Specifically, the property includes three buildings, originally designated and constructed by the U.S. Army, which occupy approximately 11 percent of the total site area. The two main single-story brick buildings, the former armory and assembly hall, are joined by a wide, stepped-up corridor. Together these single story structures occupy almost 12,000 square feet. The detached two-door brick garage, occupying 2,800 square feet, is located on the north side the property along with a small shed used for industrial, hazardous materials storage.

The interior of the armory building contains office space, classrooms, a kitchen, locker rooms, and a boiler/utility room. The very high ceiling assembly hall (which is the building attached to the north of the main Armory by a common stairway) has a former security vault, a closet, improvised storage racks and rough office space. This property and specifically the buildings have been unused for several years.

As part of the BRAC process in 2005, Carpenter US Army Reserve Center in Poughkeepsie was selected as one of the military facilities slated to be closed. The Carpenter USARC, along with four other area US Army Reserve Centers were to have their units relocated to the newly realigned Fort Totten Armed Forces Reserve Center in Fort Totten, New York. The closing of Fort Carpenter in the 2005 round of realignments and closures was part of the effort that was expected to save the US government nearly $50 billion in savings over two decades. As a result of the Carpenter USARC closing, one military personnel and one civilian personnel were eliminated or relocated to a new or realigned USARC.

 

A copy of Sen. Schumer’s letter appears below:

Dear Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick and Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. General Services Administration have worked hard in recent years to dispose of old properties in New York State in order to attract or promote private sector growth in our communities.. I commend both of your agencies for going to great lengths to ensure that our state remains a business-friendly environment. However, the City of Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County have an obstacle in their path to increased prosperity. While this impediment to attracting new jobs to Poughkeepsie has lingered for five years, the Army Corps of Engineers and GSA are uniquely positioned to pave the way for new companies who can employ more residents in Dutchess County.

As you know, as part of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) process in 2005, the Carpenter U.S. Army Reserve Center in Poughkeepsie was selected as one of the military facilities slated to be closed. The closing of Fort Carpenter in the 2005 round of realignments and closures was part of the effort that was expected to save the US government billions of dollars over two decades.

Since the initial closure and designation by the 2005 BRAC Commission, noticed in the Legal Notice section of the Poughkeepsie Journal, the City has received significant interest to purchase and redevelop this property. After conducting extensive public outreach, including the request of “notice of interests,” public hearings and debates as well as an exhaustive feasibility study - the City of Poughkeepsie ultimately decided that a public sale was the best course of action to take. This decision, made in 2008, led to the IDA deciding that the best use of the facility would be for additional manufacturing and business development space. The IDA held another public hearing officially recognizing this as the best plan and have since supported the redevelopment of this property for job creation and expanded manufacturing space. That report estimated that at least 50 jobs would be created on the short term, and many more in the long term, if the site was sold to a private enterprise.

Given the huge economic gains these new jobs could bring for the City of Poughkeepsie, I urge both the Army Corps of Engineers and the GSA to do everything possible to expedite the public sale of the former Carpenter Reserve Center. Although the Army Corps and Department of Housing and Urban Development have assisted Dutchess County and Poughkeepsie stakeholders throughout the Center’s closure to ensure that the BRAC policies were closely followed, the vacant 12,000 square-foot space on Oakley Street stands as an economic void for local businesses and taxpayers.

I applaud your previous support of Dutchess County and City of Poughkeepsie officials in order to fast-track economic development at the Carpenter site, and thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to continuing to work with you on this important issue. 

 

 

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