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Is CNY close to landing a major tech manufacturer?

An overhead view of the White Pine Commerce Park in Clay.
White Pine Commerce Park
An overhead view of the White Pine Commerce Park in Clay.

In recent weeks, both Gov. Kathy Hochul and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) hinted that central New York is close to landing a deal to bring a major tech industry to the area.

The White Pine Commerce Park sits on more than 1,200 acres of land on Route 31 in Clay. And it’s the epicenter of continued talks with tech companies looking to expand tech manufacturing, including a chip fab plant, to central New York.

Schumer and Hochul both were optimistic about White Pine’s chances of landing a big tenant, noting incentives from state and local governments. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon calls the site the most competitive site for high tech manufacturing in the country.

“We have worked very hard to intentionally put the infrastructure that’s necessary on the site,” McMahon said. “We’ve worked intentionally hard to make the site big enough to entertain an opportunity like this. The marketplace has overall recognized how unique and special the White Pine site is."

The county has been working at attracting someone to the site for decades, investing millions of dollars to the point where it’s more than 1,250 acres with access to water and sewer and proximity to a major electrical substation.

The plan has run into some community opposition with concerns over traffic and pollution and reluctance of some neighbors to sell property to the county. As time goes on, some companies have already announced deals to set up plants in Ohio and Texas. McMahon said because of sensitive negotiations, he can only speak in generalities about when a deal might be struck locally.

"I think soon, we’ll know more about the White Pine story and what it’s going to look like in 2022,” he said.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.