Orange County Partnership - News

  • Rendering of Green Thumb Industry's $155-million cannabis production facility

Warwick Office Tech Park Project Reaps Tremendous Return on Investment

During the approval process when some applicants seek public benefits for their development projects, citizens rightly question what the return on investment will be in coming years. A major success story in that regard is the Warwick Valley Office and Technology Park that over a period of 10 years was developed at the former Mid-Orange Correctional Facility in the Town of Warwick.


The return on investment in this project is a testament to the work of economic development officials in Orange County and municipal officials who had the vision to transform what could have been a blighted underutilized parcel into a cutting edge commercial hub that has produced revenue and hundreds of new jobs for the town and the county.


On Dec. 20, the Warwick Valley Local Development Corp. (Warwick LDC) made its final reimbursement payment to the Orange County Industrial Development Agency in the amount of $2 million for the IDA’s investments in the project that has become a significant economic engine for the Town of Warwick and for Orange County.


The OCIDA made three investments totaling $3.5 million in the 730-acre Warwick Valley Office and Technology Corporate Park. Of this amount, the Warwick LDC has reimbursed the OCIDA a total of $3 million, resulting in a net investment of $500,000 by the IDA in this very successful project.


In 2014, the OCIDA provided the Warwick LDC with $1.05 million to equip 10 parcels, across approximately 50 "greenfield" acres at the park, with water, sewer, natural gas and fiber optic service, thereby readying the parcels for immediate development. This financial support by the OCIDA also funded the construction of an access road and cul de sac, connecting the development parcels with the remainder of the bucolic property, more commonly known to locals as Wickham Woodlands. These funds were repaid to the OCIDA following the sale of all 10 parcels to two NYS-licensed medical cannabis manufacturers, Green Thumb Industries (GTI) and CITIVA.


In 2019, the OCIDA furthered its partnership with the Town of Warwick and the Warwick LDC through another $2.5 million of investments at the project, including a $500,000 non-reimbursable grant. The focus of this round of funding was to capitalize on the burgeoning cannabis/CBD market by creating a CBD Accelerator at the park to house hemp and marijuana production and processing, and to incubate several small CBD-focused businesses on-site. This funding was used to convert a former dairy barn at the Park into a CBD extraction facility for Warwick-based urbanXtracts, and to turn a former poultry house into a state-of-the-art hemp and marijuana testing laboratory, operated by Phyto-Farma Labs.


That OCIDA investment (aside from the non-reimbursable grant) was repaid last week by the Warwick LDC with a $2,000,000 check from the Warwick LDC. This reimbursement was funded by a NYS "Economic Transformation" grant, which the park qualified for as a former prison site closed by the state.


Orange County and the Town of Warwick have already seen a tremendous return on the OCIDA’s net investment of $500,000 in the Warwick Valley Office and Technology Corporate Park, mostly in the form of quality jobs, taxes and robust economic activity, Orange County IDA officials noted. Construction of GTI’s $155-million cannabis production facility that will create 125 high-wage jobs is well underway, and CITIVA’s project is under construction as well.


Bus manufacturer Trans Tech has been a mainstay at the complex for several years, and Hudson Sports Complex and Drowned Lands Brewery are already thriving there as well. Phyto-Farm’s lab opened in late 2020 and urbanXtracts began operating at the property this past June.


The OCIDA’s CBD Accelerator, located in the refurbished 1840’s Manor House, is home to three incubating businesses: Scripted Fragrance, Farm Body and Honey Buz. And lastly, the remaining vacant buildings on site have been gutted by architects DeGraw & DeHaan, who plan to develop the space into the firm’s headquarters and an event space with lodging.


The bold vision for repurposing the Mid-Orange Correctional facility was first conceived by Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton, who credits the OCIDA for making it a reality. “This successful public-private partnership would not have been possible without the assistance of the Orange County IDA”, said Supervisor Sweeton. “We have taken a surplus state facility and returned it to a tax paying, job creating economic engine for our town and for the county. None of this would have happened without the Orange County IDA and we are grateful for their confidence as well as their investment in our vision for the site.”


“The Warwick Tech Park is a great success story and I credit the Town of Warwick and the Orange County IDA for their vision and collaboration on this innovative project,” said Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus. “What could have become a blighted campus is now an economic driver for Warwick and Orange County.”


Maureen Halahan, President and CEO of the Orange County Partnership, has served as a board member for the Warwick LDC since its inception and has advocated tirelessly for this project. “If it wasn’t for the infusion of dollars from the Orange County IDA to assist in bringing the Warwick Tech Park to shovel ready status, the timeline of attracting quality companies would have been much longer,” Halahan said. “This collaborative effort through public private leadership should be used as a model for commercial development projects in other municipalities throughout the state.”


John Lavelle, an Associate Broker for Rand Commercial, and co-chair of the Alliance for Balance Growth, marketed the available properties at the Tech Park for several years and played an integral part in its most significant deals. He credited the other key players – including Warwick LDC President Robert Krahulik for the enormous success of the park: “Congratulations to Mr. Sweeton, Mr. Krahulik and the entire Warwick LDC board on having the vision to see the Warwick Tech Park for what it could be, and to the Orange County IDA for helping the town make it a reality.”


Bill Fioravanti, the OCIDA’s Chief Executive Officer who was appointed in November, says the project is a major win for the agency. He said, “What our IDA accomplished at the Warwick Tech Park—in partnership with the Town of Warwick—was a strategic, well-calculated investment in local economic development and one we will look to replicate. Thanks to the vision and collaboration of the Orange County IDA and Supervisor Sweeton, what could have easily become a blighted campus is now an economic driver.”


The Following is a list of contractors and professionals who performed work at the Tech Park over the past several years, those from Orange County and elsewhere:


Paul Lewis, LLC (Warwick); Argenio Brothers (New Windsor); FF Contracting NY, Inc (Goshen); JPM Environmental Solutions, LLC (Newburgh); HV Realty Services, Inc. (Central Valley); F&A Concrete (Unionville); American Concrete Cutting (Central Valley); Buddy's Glass, Inc. (Middletown); Eden Restoration (Warwick); Integrity Drywall, LLC; (Middletown); Allied Excavating (Warwick); Skyward Electric Corp. (Warwick); NY Certified Electrical Inspectors, LLC (Campbell Hall); Ground Control Excavating (Warwick); Engineering Surveying Properties (Montgomery); Wright Landscaping (Warwick); Van Etten Contracting LLC (Cornwall); Schmick Surveyors (Warwick); DeGraw and DeHaan Architects (Middletown); Allied Excavating (Warwick); Expert Mechanical LLC (Goshen); R.H.E. Electric Inc. (Pine Bush); Four Seasons Insulators (Newburgh); Peak Power Systems (Middletown); Nebrasky Plumbing & Heating (Monroe); Lehman & Getz Engineering, PC (Warwick); Specht's Recycling Corp. (Warwick); N.A.S. Security Services (Warwick); Ward Pavements (Goshen); Tech Lock & Key (Warwick) and Wadeson's Home Center (Warwick).


Mid-Hudson & Beyond


Liberty Iron Works (Liberty); Carella Contracting (Bloomingburg); Grove Precision Contractors (Wappingers Falls); Environmental Management Solutions of NY, Inc. (Valhalla); LaClerc Electric Corp. (Laurelton); PX2 Holding LLC DBA Precision Extraction Solutions (Troy); Groves Precision Contractors, Inc. (Wappingers Falls); Dougherty Concrete Inc. (Bloomingburg); Liquid Green (Brewster); HDR Engineering (Suffern) and KBL Corp (Wappingers Falls).