Two buildings at Eastman Business Park, comprising 63,000 square feet of laboratory, manufacturing and office space, may soon be home to dozens of new businesses – the result of a New York State program offering substantial tax relief packages to companies who move there.
Building 59, near Kodak's Research Facility on Lake Avenue, and Building 320, located on Ridgeway Avenue, recently were declared eligible for inclusion in the the University of Rochester (UR) STARTUP-NY Plan. Under STARTUP-NY, participating companies do not have to pay any state or local taxes for 10 years, including property, income, business, corporate or sales taxes. Franchise fees are also forgiven.
The buildings were included as part of a larger proposal put together by the University of Rochester, which also won the same tax free designation for the Lennox Tech Enterprise Center in Henrietta where one of the region's top business incubators, High Tech Rochester, is located. Combined, the tax free designations encompass 106,000 square feet of space.
Mike Alt, director of Eastman Business Park, said the STARTUP-NY program is a “win-win" for SUNY universities and the state's manufacturing sector, in effect transforming college campuses across the state into tax-free communities for new and expanding businesses.
“Under the STARTUP-NY program, the University of Rochester will pursue partnerships with high tech companies that align with its own academic and research enterprises, all with the goal of commercializing innovation and creating advanced manufacturing jobs," Alt said.
“This region has long been a hub for innovation in life sciences, bioengineering, biotechnology, information technology, chemistry, nanotechnology, renewable energy, optics, imaging and semi-conductors," he said. “Now, under STARTUP-NY, we're taking the next step, advancing that innovation from the laboratory to the production line."
UR officials say more than 70 businesses interested in the tax relief packages have already approached the university about renting space at the Park or at Lennox Tech. Both of those facilities are eligible for the tax breaks because Lennox Tech is an affiliate of UR, and the college leases space at Eastman Business Park.
"That enables us to qualify for STARTUP-NY," Alt said, adding that EBP has been the top priority of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council since 2011.
Businesses interested in partnering with the University of Rochester should initially contact Adam Tulgan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Companies that decide to apply to the program will complete the State of New York's START-UP NY Business Application included on theUniversity of Rochester's START-UP webpage.