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Economic development officials bullish about future of Marcy nanocenter

The proposed Marcy Nanocenter semiconductor chip fabrication plant, which is still under construction at the campus of SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Officials in the Mohawk Valley are scrambling to find a replacement tenant for a semiconductor chip fabrication plant in Marcy after its main corporate partner dropped out. But officials say they are still optimistic about the future of the project.

New York officials say lengthy delays were ultimately responsible for the Austrian company AMS AG's decision to pull out of the plant that's still under construction at the campus of SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Marcy. Work on the 428-acre plant ground to a halt earlier this year after revelations of a massive corruption scandal surfaced that included the indictment of SUNY Poly's president.

At a press conference in Utica this week, the head of New York's Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) Howard Zemsky said the state and ESD's commitment to the project has not changed.

"The governor has made it extremely clear his dedication to this region, the money designated for this project is staying right here in Utica and we are going to deliver results for this community," Zemsky said. "There is no state in this country that puts the kind of resources on the table for fab industry the way New York does."

ESD has earmarked $535 million for the site. The organization took over the project from SUNY Poly in September and tried unsuccessfully to lobby ams to stay with it.

Despite the setback, officials with the regional nonprofit economic development organization involved in the project, Mohawk Valley Edge, say this hasn't killed the plant.

Mohawk Valley Edge President Steve Dimeo says other companies have already taken notice of the state's commitment to the nanocenter.

"This wasn’t only company we were talking to. the ams project has generated additional interest in New York state and in this location, we’ve had multiple conversations with companies during the course of the last 12 months and we have a fairly robust marketing effort," Dimeo said. "I believe firmly that the site is well position for success."

Zemsky says the state plans to continue developing the site in the spring and will continue its search for a replacement in the meantime. 

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.