In 2012, the groundwork was laid for a number of economic development projects we hope will bring growth and jobs to the area.
We believe 2013 may be our lucky year, and we hope our elected officials will work with the business community in 2013 to foster more growth.
We are looking forward to the Walmart Supercenter project, which is set to open this year after nearly a decade of delays. With a tentative grand opening set for July, the supercenter, taking shape near the intersection of Route 30 and South Kingsboro Avenue, will attract more retail and dining options. TJ Maxx in Johnstown is expected to start construction in the spring in a shopping center along Route 30A. The development of a new 13,000-square-foot building near the roundabout in Vail Mills will add more retail options, including a Dollar General store. It's expected to be constructed by June and businesses could fill that building 60 days later.
Another major positive is the repurposing of the Tryon youth detention facility. The 515-acre complex was closed in 2011, and the county plans to turn it into what will be called the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center. State and local officials say the site could be ready to welcome its first business occupants this year, and it could eventually generate hundreds of jobs. Fulton County expects to receive the deed for the property in the first quarter of the new year.
Another reason to think positive: California-based CG Roxane began construction of its new water-bottling plant in 2012 and is close to completion of a 170,000-square-foot structure in the town of Johnstown.
In 2013, several development projects in the area are set to get millions of dollars in state funding. They include an aquaculture facility in Montgomery County's Glen Canal View Business Park, which is expected to create 175 jobs. The state will provide $1.4 million of the project's estimated $50 million cost.
In Fulton County, $1 million in state money will support the expansion of the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility, which will grow to accommodate more output from Fage USA's Greek yogurt factory. Fage itself is undertaking a $150 million expansion that could add 150 jobs at the yogurt plant in Johnstown.
Hamilton County will receive $1.7 million to improve its broadband Internet connectivity, which has been cited as necessary for economic development in the county.
Hundreds of thousands of state dollars also will go to additional projects in Amsterdam, Canajoharie, Northville and other local communities.
This year should be a good one for economic development in our area.