Orange County Partnership - News

Investment is Coming in Many Forms

By Maureen Halahan

When we launched our Resources & Results e-newsletter during the height of the pandemic, the Orange County Partnership’s goal was to bring new perspectives and economic development news that offer real value to its members and investors.


Since then, my column has focused on many issues from financial, political, social and even health concerns. In today’s installment, however, it will serve as being the gatekeeper—highlighting the significant information and insight featured in this edition’s articles.


First, I would like to congratulate Orange County Economic Development Director Steve Gross and Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus on a highly informative and successful Orange County Economic Summit event. I was honored to be included in the program that covered a great deal of information and topics.  This will be an annual summit and feedback is always welcomed for topics and ideas you want us to cover.  I was also heartened to hear County Executive Neuhaus’ strong support for the Orange County IDA staff and Board of Directors for their reform efforts.


If there is a common theme with the other stories in this newsletter, I think it is that we can look forward to a massive amount of investment coming to Orange County and the Hudson Valley in the coming years. While economists and analysts at various events covered by Resources & Results are expecting an economic downturn and a possible recession in 2023, they all believe the downturn will be short-lived and likely not too severe.


Balance that troubling news with the fact that Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced that the environmental review process on the construction of a third lane on Route 17 in Orange and Sullivan counties has begun. While construction will not take place for three years, the second phase of the planned improvements on the westbound section of Exit 122 will begin a year earlier. The good news here is that Gov. Hochul has doubled down and committed up to $1 billion for the Route 17 expansion project.


The newsletter also chronicles the $100 billion in investment planned by Micron in upstate New York and $20 billion to be spent by IBM in the Hudson Valley due in large part to the $100-billion CHIPS and Science Act. Many believe that more companies and investment will be forthcoming and the Orange County Partnership’s Site Inventory Program will be critical in finding suitable sites for these massive projects.


Sometimes raw numbers do not tell the story. The new Tappan Zee Bridge cost approximately $4 billion and was a massive project that employed thousands of construction workers and provided significant economic benefits to the region. Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries investment of $4.2 billion to manufacture chips in an expansion of GlobalFoundries’ upstate New York facility (also announced recently) is basically the same investment as the bridge. IBM’s $20 billion investment statewide will be like five Tappan Zee Bridges. The Micron investment in a suburb of Syracuse will be 25 TZ Bridge jobs. Can you imagine what a game-changer that will be for that area of the state?


Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work to make sure Orange County can tap into this massive injection of investment in the Empire State.