Tryon park would offer large lots

JOHNSTOWN – A former juvenile detention center is getting closer to opening its gates to industrial tenants.

James Mraz, Fulton County’s senior planner and executive director of the Industrial Development Agency, unveiled the first draft of the site plan for the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center to the county supervisors’ Economic Development & Environmental Committee on Tuesday.

The business park, which would replace the former Tryon juvenile detention center on County Highway 107 in Perth, would feature nine large “shovel-ready” sites ready for development access on the outside of a loop road that would be partially built on roads already in use, Mraz told supervisors.

“The concept was to try to create large lots. Bigger is better,”Mraz said, noting the lots range from 16 to 38 acres. By comparison, Walmart owns about 130 acres for its distribution center in the Johnstown Industrial Park, according to county property tax records. The Fage yogurt plant in Johnstown sits on 21 acres.

Three other smaller Tryon lots totaling 61 acres would be available for development, according to the site plan prepared by engineering firm C.T. Male Associates. For now, all property lines will “float,” Mraz said, so a company seeking to add or subtract acreage to suit the size of its plant will have some flexibility if the adjacent lots are undeveloped.

“It’s what’s been done with every other industrial park built in Fulton County in the last 25 years, and it’s been a very successful process,” he said.

The entire Tryon site totals 515 acres, according to a survey from Ferguson & Foss Surveyors. Seventeen acres have been designated as wetlands, including a 15.4-acre spot near the center of the property. Mraz said that spot will sit in the center of the loop, and the other wetland, 1.7 acres east of the access road, won’t pose a problem.

“I don’t think they’ll have any impact on our ability to develop anything else,” he said.

Gloversville 2nd Ward Supervisor Frank Lauria asked Mraz about companies that might be interested in using the small buildings on the 27 acres south of County Highway 107, which are not addressed for development in the C.T. Male plan.

Mraz said the IDA will be looking into possibilities for that part of the property, as well as acreage on the north end and northeast corner of the property, which has topographical challenges, including a steep slope.

The county does not yet have the deed to the property and is waiting on environmental assessments. Mraz said the engineers only recently received more than 1,000 pages of records for underground storage tanks and other environmental concerns. Mraz said after reviewing the records, the IDA may negotiate with the state over any required cleanups.

The county has a $2 million state grant that will be used to pay for the road and water and sewer upgrades, Mraz said.