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TROY SKYLINE COULD GET NEW RESTAURANT OR CONFERENCE CENTER WITH 100-MILE VIEW

Developer First Columbia Planning Hedley Building Penthouse Addition, 9th Floor Glass Conference Center

HedleyNightShot Roof Top 9.23.16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Troy Industrial Development Agency Board Approves Three “Hedley District” Projects

TROY, N.Y. (9/26/16) — One of the tallest and most prominent buildings in the Troy skyline could get a restaurant with 100-mile views in the near future once a mixed-use addition is complete.

First Columbia announced plans today to construct an additional 9th floor penthouse on the Hedley Building at 433 River St., an historic 1917 factory that once housed the Cluett Peabody shirt manufacturing company. The riverside building and its signature red smokestack are iconic. The project is expected to cost $3.2 million.

Hedley View 9.23.16

“We have the best view of the Capital Region from our rooftop and we can’t wait to open it to the public,” said First Columbia President & CEO Kevin Bette. “There’s a hundred mile view looking down the Hudson River all the way to the Catskill

Mountains, with a great vantage of both the Troy and Albany downtowns. You can look at it all day in all seasons and it never gets old.”

The addition will include a 20,000 square-foot window-lined enclosure with a 6,000 square-foot outdoor rooftop terrace. Bette said at this stage the exact mixture of uses for the space has yet to be finalized. Plans include a conference center, which can accommodate tenants of the Hedley Building as well as the city’s collages, government and nonprofits with a beautiful 100-person meeting room appointed with dramatic finishes and the latest communication technology. The conference center is also expected to tie-in with First Columbia’s 124-room Marriot Hotel, which will break ground next spring on the river just north of the Hedley building.

“This is a rare space unlike any other in the region, with many potential opportunities. It’s not every day a rooftop area goes on the market,” Bette said. “We would love to include a rooftop restaurant in the mix, if we find a good tenant for the space. We expect quite a few restauranteurs will be eager for the chance to operate up here with this incredible view.”

Bette stressed that at this point, the exact programming for the additional ninth floor is still to be determined and that anyone interested in leasing space on the ninth floor or anywhere in the Hedley Building should contact Patricia McGrath at (518) 213-1088 or info@firstcolumbia.com

The penthouse addition will be a crowning achievement in the company’s ongoing, multi-year $10 million investment to renovate and reactivate the 272,759 square-foot Hedley Building as well as the nearby Flanigan Square building. Though New York State vacated about 136,000 square feet of space in the Hedley Building in its 2012 “re-stacking” initiative, First Columbia has recruited a diverse tenant mixture of education, healthcare, Fortune 500, high tech, professional companies and government offices that currently occupy 95 percent of the building.

“This building is filling up fast,” said Deborah Mikhitarian, partner at First Columbia. “People really want to be in downtown Troy and this rooftop addition will help us keep pace with the demand for quality space in the city.”

Mikhitarian said the 9th floor addition could include a “green” office with backup power generation and stunning views if a suitable tenant requests it. Currently, before the additional floor is constructed, there is about 10,000 square feet of available office space remaining in the Hedley building along with 10,000 square feet of available retail space on River Street.

HedleyPenthouse View 9.23.16

For additional leasing space information, contact Patricia McGrath at (518) 213-1088 or info@firstcoilumbia.com.

TROY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY BOARD OKS THREE HEDLEY DISTRICT PROJECTS

On Friday, the Troy Industrial Development Agency (TIDA) Board of Directors met and approved three inter-related projects by First Columbia including: the 9th floor addition to the Hedley Building; a new $19 million hotel and a conference space in the Hedley District; and renovations to Flanigan Square, located at 547 River Street.

“Through these agreements the IDA has made possible a significant investment by First Columbia which further expands Troy’s successful Downtown revitalization into Troy’s North Central Neighborhood,” said TIDA member and City Council Representative Dean Bodnar.

“HEDLEY DISTRICT” PLANS MOVING FORWARD

In 2006, First Columbia commissioned a Hedley Waterfront Redevelopment Plan to redevelop roughly 25 city blocks surrounding its Hedley Park Place and Flanigan Square properties.  That vision has evolved into a $100 million dollar “Hedley District” that when completed will include prime office space, retail, mixed use, residential units, parking, hotel, and a riverside promenade stretching over 800 feet of Hudson River frontage.

ABOUT FIRST COLUMBIA

First Columbia is a diversified real estate/investment organization committed to planning, developing, and operating high quality facilities. Its projects include corporate buildings, office campuses, medical complexes, senior housing, hospitality, and high-tech facilities.

Contact: Victoria Harris, marketing director First Columbia, at (518) 213-1009 or vharris@firstcolumbia.com

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First Columbia Welcomes Vermont Insurance Company to Hedley Park Place

First Columbia does it again with bringing an outside company into the city of Troy…

TROY, NY—UNION MUTUAL OF VERMONT COMPANIES opens satellite office for New York operations in Hedley Park Place, Troy, NY (433 River St., suite 8002). Official ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Friday, Nov. 21 at 9 AM.

The Union Mutual of Vermont Companies announced today that their New York operations center will be located in Hedley Park Place in Troy, NY. This office will employ 10 employees to start.

“This showcase facility will help support our strong New York growth and will serve as a foundation of operations for future growth in the New York marketplace” said CEO Michael Nobles. According to Nobles “We recognize the strength of the talent pool in the Albany area and are excited to be part of the vibrant economy in the Capital region. Due to the expansion of our NY employee base we had outgrown our existing location in Schodack, NY and this move provides us with critical Class 1 physical space with ample room for future staffing growth. The Hedley Park Place location will support the business functions for both Community Mutual Insurance Company as well as some of Union Mutual’s non-New York business functions for a long time to come, it is a win-win for the entire organization.”

Senior Vice President Gary Ouellette stated: “The team of professionals at First Columbia along with Dan Simpson at CBRE Albany did a great job in understanding our commercial real estate needs and making the transition into Hedley Park Place easy and seamless, I couldn’t have hoped for a better experience with leasing commercial property.” Ouellette added that the hiring base of the Capital Region was a draw for the company and that they have already acquired two key hires from the area.

We are very excited to welcome United Mutual to the downtown district,” said Erin Pihlaja, executive director of the Downtown Troy BID. “Troy’s downtown is a perk for employees of companies like United Mutual, and we can’t wait to show them all that we have to offer.”

For the full article in the Albany Business Review click here.

Hedley Tenant, kW Mission Critical Doubles Space in Just Two Years!

ENGINEERING FIRM DOUBLES OFFICE SPACE IN TROY TO 12K SQ FT.
kW Mission Critical Engineering Passes $10 million in Annual Projects in 2 Years

TROY, N.Y. (5/21/14) — An engineering firm specializing in mission critical facilities, predominantly data centers, is expanding in the Hedley park Place Building.

kW Mission Critical Engineering moved its headquarters to the Hedley Building in 2012. But in just two years the firm outgrew their 6,155 square foot space on the 8th floor and is now moving to a 12,000 square foot space in that building’s 7th floor.

“Last year we passed $10 million in signups for work. That’s a great milestone for us,” said kW MCE co-founder James Warren. “We have officially run out of room. This move will give us more space to grow.”

Warren said the firm, which currently employs 30, has plans to fill its new space with an additional 20 employees over the next two years. Though, kW MCE was founded in Troy in 2012, its principals, Warren, 42, and Chris Kurkjian, 54, have worked together professionally for the past 15 years. Kurkjian is a graduate of RPI. Warren graduated from Rutgers University. Both have lived in the Capital Region and in other cities throughout their lives. Their work takes them around the world. Some of their major clients include: American Express, Citigroup, CyrusOne, QTS Realty Trust, Inc. and Time Warner.

“We design facilities for continuous operations, for some of the best companies out there,” Warren said. “They rely on us to design buildings that last. We go where our clients go.”

Warren said the firm often works on projects in faraway locations, such as Brazil, London, China and throughout the United States. But Troy is an ideal location to be based because of its central location in the Capital Region and the stability in the job market. Engineers tend to switch companies more frequently in larger cities, but in the Capital Region they tend to be more loyal to their employers, Warren said. And that’s a good thing for everyone, because clients get used to working with certain engineers and prefer to stick with them, he added.

“When we started our firm in the Hedley building, our goal was to get the best people and create the best environment for people to work in,” Warren said. “I think we’ve done that.”

kW has also introduced many of its employees to the charms that Troy has to offer.

“A lot of the people working for us didn’t really know Troy,” Warren said. “Once they started working here, they realized how many cool restaurants there are, and other nice places with character. Everybody really enjoys it here.”

Warren also notes the location is convenient for commuters because Troy is centrally located in the Capital Region, close to where people live and easy to get in and out of.

First Columbia, the company that owns and manages Hedley Park Place, is now using these same selling points to market the 6,155 square foot space recently vacated by kW’s move to a larger space in the same building.

“kW Mission Critical Engineering was one of the first tenants to move into Hedley after the state left Troy, and they represent the type of high quality companies we have been recruiting to this city over the past two years,” said Victoria Harris, marketing director of First Columbia. “This is the type of company that contributes to the local community. They are enthusiastic about what they’re doing. And we want to be able to provide space for companies like these to grow in Troy.”

In 2012, New York State began vacating more than 130,000 square feet of rental space at Hedley Park Place and Flanigan Square in 2012. Though occupancy at Hedley dipped below 32 percent after the withdrawal, the building is now more than 90 percent occupied with a diverse mixture of nearly equal percentages of educational, healthcare, fortune 500, high tech and government tenants in the building.

“Hedley Park Place is really the best of both worlds because it has a downtown professional office feeling, where you can walk to restaurants and shops at lunch or after work. But it also has all the suburban office park amenities, like easy access from the highway, parking and modern fixtures,” said Victoria Harris, marketing director of First Columbia. “The view from this building alone is a huge selling point. It’s an amazing riverfront panorama of the city, downtown Albany and even the Catskill mountains.”

FOR OFFICE SPACE LEASING
Prospective tenants can learn more about the properties and space available for lease by calling listing broker Deborah Mikhitarian-Russell at (518) 213-1088. Check out our Ad!8th-Floor-Space-Web

THE LOWERCASE “K” IN kW
The lowercase “k” in kW Mission Critical Engineering is part of the symbol for kilowatt (kW).

OCCUPANCY REPORT HEDLEY PARK PLACE
For an occupancy report for Hedley Park Place, visit: http://hedleydistrict.com/news/numbers-first-columbia-reshaping-troys-workforce/

FOR INFORMATION
For information about kW Mission Critical Engineering, visit: http://kwmce.com

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Apprenda, Software Leader Now Headquartered in Troy, NY

Major Tech Firm Signs Lease with First Columbia at the Hedley Building on Hudson River!

TROY, N.Y. (5/29/14) — A leading software engineering company has set up shop in Troy, the latest of several software and tech companies to headquarter in this vibrant Hudson River city.
Founded in Clifton Park, N.Y. in 2007, Apprenda finalized its move to First Columbia’s Hedley Park Place in downtown Troy this month. The company is currently leasing 20,000 square feet of space on the fourth floor of the Hedley building, with an option to grow to 35,000 square feet within two years.

Apprenda’s cutting edge technology, “platform as a service” (PaaS) software, makes it easier for large enterprises to build and deliver modern software applications that will work on a variety of devices, such as new web browsers, mobile phones and tablets.

“Software is disrupting every industry, and every large enterprise is investing heavily in building more and more software to fuel innovation, create competitive advantages, and ultimately deliver more value to their customers, partners, and employees,” said Jesse Kliza, senior director of marketing. “We provide a platform that abstracts away the complexities of building and delivering these modern software applications, while also helping our customers maximize their existing investments in both software and hardware infrastructure.”

Some of Apprenda’s clients include major enterprises like JP Morgan Chase, Honeywell, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen.
For information about Apprenda, click here.

TROY: THE ANTI-SILICON VALLEY?
While many tech companies choose to locate in California’s “Silicon Valley,” or in other big cities, Apprenda sees Troy, with a population of 51,000, as the right fit for its company culture.
“We like the growing creative culture that Troy has, with its walkable downtown,” Kliza said. “It’s much more interesting than being in a corporate office park setting, and a lot of our employees live in Troy or nearby.”

Being located in the same city as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is another plus for Apprenda. Two of the company’s founders are RPI graduates, Abraham Sultan (2004) and Sinclair Schulle (2004) and the school has been an excellent resource for employee recruiting.

OPEN HOUSE/ RIBBON CUTTING
There will be an Apprenda open house and “ribbon cutting” ceremony with a special tech twist later this year.

FIRST COLUMBIA RESHAPING TROY’S WORKFORCE AT HEDLEY
Hedley Park Place, Apprenda’s new headquarters, is a nine-story 272,000 square foot historic building overlooking the Hudson River in downtown Troy. It is owned and managed by First Columbia, who is also redeveloping almost a half-mile of waterfront along the Hudson.

In Dec. 2011, New York State announced its workforce consolidation plans, which included vacating 136,000 square feet of office rental space at First Columbia’s Hedley Park Place and adjacent Flanigan Square building.

Since then, First Columbia has worked to attract a diverse mix of high tech and professional tenants to the Hedley Building. Their emphasis has been on bringing new companies to Troy.

“Our goal was to attract high tech and professional companies, whose employees are capable supporting the city and its economy,” said Victoria Harris, marketing director of First Columbia. “We’re treating the Hedley building as a company incubator, of sorts, because we can work with early stage ventures and meet their needs as they grow within our buildings.”

The plan is working. Though occupancy at Hedley dipped to 36 percent after the withdrawal, the building is now more than 90 percent occupied with a diverse mixture of educational, healthcare, fortune 500 and high tech tenants in the building.

“We are very proud that our vision for a vibrant downtown Troy is coming to fruition with the addition of the great team at Apprenda,” said Deborah Mikhitarian-Russell, First Columbia partner.

For a Hedley Building Tenant Occupancy report and tenant mix charts,click here

FOR OFFICE SPACE LEASING
30,000 square feet of office space is still available for lease at Hedley Park Place, with more available in the adjacent Flanigan Square building.

Prospective tenants can learn more about the properties and space available for lease by calling Patricia McGrath at (518) 213-1088.

PUBLICITY IMAGES/PHOTOGRAPHS
For a video tour of the “fit-up” done by First Columbia for Apprenda’s
new space, visit: YouTube

Apprenda’s Forbes Article – click here

ABOUT FIRST COLUMBIA
First Columbia is a diversified real estate/investment organization committed to planning, developing, and operating high quality facilities. Its projects include corporate buildings, office campuses, medical complexes, senior housing, hospitality, and high-tech facilities.

For information, contact: Victoria Harris, marketing director First
Columbia at (518) 213-1009 or vharris@firstcolumbia.com

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By the Numbers: First Columbia Reshaping Troy’s Workforce

Hedley Building Annual Tenant Occupancy Report 2013

Call it a comeback.

First Columbia is showing a strong first quarter in 2014 occupancy levels at its Troy properties, following a banner year for attracting new tenants in 2013. The good news comes just one year after the state’s workforce consolidation plan removed more than 600 Department of Health jobs from First Columbia’s Hedley Park Place and Flanigan Square buildings.

Today, not only is the Hedley building once again approaching full occupancy, but the tenants there now represent a healthy mixture of education, healthcare, Fortune 500, high tech and professional companies, in addition to government offices.

Nine new leases, consisting of 144,000 square feet, and 45,540 square feet of renewals, bring the building to more than 86 percent occupied — a 13.6 percent increase from 2012. The building now serves as office space for more than 500 workers.

According to market research by global real estate firm CBRE, these positive results for Hedley buck the overall trend in the Capital Region as a whole, which saw area office vacancy rates remain steady or increase since 2012. In Troy, however, First Columbia’s rapid turnaround at its Hedley and Flanigan buildings helped bring the city’s vacancy rate down from 19 percent in 2012 to 10 percent in 2013, the lowest in the region according to CBRE.

“There was a sharp rise in occupancy rates in this city,” said Erin Pihlaja, executive director of the Downtown Troy Business Improvement District. “Those numbers really support the fact that Troy is a desirable place to invest.”

As the following chart shows, the tenant mix at Hedley Park Place has shifted from heavily government-occupied in 2010 to a well-rounded mixture of industry types in 2014.

Hedley-Occupancy-Profile-2010-2014

Hedley building tenants now represent a healthy mixture of industries and professions. (After the State’s departure in the 3rd Quarter of 2012, First Columbia’s team hit the pavement working on attracting a strong tenant mix to help encourage growth in the city.)

“A diverse tenant mix, such as what we now have at Hedley, provides a more enjoyable experience for our tenants and promotes economic growth for our city,” said Victoria Harris, marketing director of First Columbia. “Our goal was to attract tenants from around the region, not simply lure them from other parts of Troy. Our focus was on professional and high tech companies.”

The following tenants relocated to Hedley Park Place in 2013: MacSource Communications, a business communications subsidiary of Meridian Group International; KW Mission Critical Engineering, International Data Center Engineers, Guth DeConzo Consulting Engineers; LinguaLinx Solutions, a multilingual marketing and technology services company; Capital District Educational Opportunity Center (EOC); Stockton Barker & Mead LLP, and Workforce Development Institute.

To attract these types of high quality tenants, First Columbia committed to investing $10 million to renovate the historic 1917 building, which once housed the Cluett Peabody shirt manufacturing company. This investment is paying off at Hedley Park Place and setting the tone for the rest of the city, as well. Not only are First Columbia’s tenants supporting the surrounding restaurants and business by patronizing them, but their presence is inspiring confidence in other entrepreneurs to set up shop in Troy. According to City Economic Development Coordinator Monica Kurzejeski, 35 new businesses opened in Troy in 2013 with a strong 2014 underway.

The city of Troy released its own report indicating the total dollar value of construction within its borders in 2013 rose by 10.5 percent over 2012, totaling nearly $51 million. This figure increased for the second consecutive year.

“The totals for the past two years are remarkable,” said Mayor Lou Rosamilia. “Almost $100 million in construction is an incredible amount and indicative of the interest investors have in Troy. Even more remarkable is the fact that the number has been contributed to by so many people and such a broad spectrum of projects.”

How First Columbia Got Here

In Dec. 2011, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state’s workforce consolidation plans, which included vacating 136,000 square feet of office rental space at Hedley Park Place and the adjacent Flanigan Square building along with properties located throughout New York State.

“Our property was heavily dependent on government leases at the time,” said Harris. “We were blindsided by the news that our state tenants would be leaving for Albany.”

Left with a vacancy rate of over 60 percent during a global economic crisis, First Columbia’s Troy properties were facing severe financial difficulties if something was done soon. But rather than throw in the towel, First Columbia partners Kevin Bette and Deborah Mikhitarian-Russell put together a plan in place to re-position the property.

Mikhitarian-Russell and her team initiated the first big step toward stabilization by persuading Troy’s city government to move into the fifth floor of Hedley. Since 2010, Troy’s “City Hall” has been without a permanent home. The city now has a 10-year lease, renewed every 2 years, for nearly 36,500 square feet in Hedley.

Next, First Columbia’s marketing and leasing team focused its efforts on bringing a diverse tenant mix to the Hedley Building through targeted campaigns. Their goal was to attract high tech and professional companies, whose employees are capable supporting the city and its economy. As the charts below confirm, the marketing worked.

Hedley-Tenants---10'-Occupancy-Pie-Chart

Government leases comprised 50% of Hedley building rents in 2010.

Hedley-Tenants-14'

Government leases comprise only 14% of Hedley building rents in 2014.

Meanwhile the property management team at Hedley achieved significant reductions in operating expenses to get the building through the cash crunch, while property maintenance and security kept up their high quality services that distinguish First Columbia from its competitors. The accounting department managed the complex process smoothly and drilled down on cost while also putting together a new financial model that helped to restructure First Columbia’s bank loan for its Troy properties.

In addition, First Columbia enlisted Troy author and public relations consultant Duncan Crary to generate positive news stories about the company’s Troy properties and vision to the national media. In October, 2013, Crary successfully “placed” a glowing three-page spread in the New York Daily News about Troy’s ongoing renaissance. The article, in the Fall Real Estate Preview section, featured a color photograph of Hedley Park Place and three paragraphs about First Columbia, including quotes by President & CEO Kevin Bette.

New York Daily News article featuring First Columbia's Troy, N.Y. properties.

New York Daily News article featuring First Columbia’s Troy, N.Y. properties.

And finally, First Columbia’s Construction Services team continued its top-notch level of performance, delivering beautiful new spaces to Hedley Park Place tenants. Their proactive approach to design allows tenants to update the look and feel of their office space while improving energy and cost, giving tenants the biggest bang for the buck.

What’s Next?

In 2006, First Columbia commissioned a master plan to redevelop roughly 25 city blocks surrounding its Hedley Park Place and Flanigan Square properties. Plans for “The Hedley District” include dozens of new office and condominium buildings, a seven-story hotel and a riverside promenade. After suffering a setback, those plans are now back in motion in 2014.

“Our goal is to help make Troy a place where you can truly live, work and play,” Harris said. “And that’s just what we’re doing.”

The Hedley District is a planned waterfront redevelopment project stretching over 800 feet of the Hudson River. When completed the development project will offer prime office space, retail, mixed use, residential units, parking, hotel, and more!

The Hedley District is a planned waterfront redevelopment project stretching over 800 feet of the Hudson River. When completed the development project will offer prime office space, retail, mixed use, residential units, parking, hotel, and more!

Is it Spring?

Although the weather hasn’t shown it, we are in Spring. Check out these awesome shots from Google Earth (panoramio) to help encourage the warm weather and river days to arrive here soon!

Beautiful shot of Hedley looking North, up Hudson River

Beautiful shot of Hedley looking North, up Hudson River

Great shot of Hedley Park Place from the Green Island side of the River

Great shot of Hedley Park Place from the Green Island side of the River

The Capital District Educational Opportunity Center Grand Opening March 25th!

Tuesday, March 25th 2014 the Capital District Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) at 431 River Street opened its doors to the public, politicians, and community members to take a tour of their new space. EOC is First Columbia’s largest tenant leasing 50,000 square feet. The newly acquired space had been renovated to accommodate the school’s need for culinary, cosmetology, welding, high tech computer labs, nursing, and classroom space!

Below are some photos from the event: (photos by Anthony Salamone – HVCC)

Inspiration Wall

James Emerson Sharp Memorial Hall

K. Bette Speaking

Mayor Rosamilia

President Matonak HVCC

1970518_813099998720120_1180341383_n

Christopher Meyer Rens Chamber Deputy Director

Culinary Arts Instructor

Culinary Students Prepared Food

Dr. Marion & Laureen Sharp - Memorial Wall

Dr. Marion Speaking

EOC Building Trade Student Malcom Dobbs

Well-Known Blogger Sheds Light on City of Troy

Suzanne Spellen, a lay historian who writes eight times a week about Brooklyn architecture has recently shed some light on the city of Troy, NY. October 2013, Suzanne Spellen wrote a piece in the NY Daily Times about the city of Troy and the many projects that are currently in the works to rebuild the city. Her article showcased new companies, developers, and the enthusiasm that surrounds the city from its supports.

Now Suzanne once again mentions this great city in her latest article issued February 24, 2014 in the New York Daily Times title “Blogger Keeps Focus on Brooklyn Architecture, but Now Mostly From Upstate”

As owners of multiple properties in the city, First Columbia is grateful for the attention this well-known writer has placed over the city. The positive notes and the feeling of growth and worth that Suzanne mentions in both of her articles can only do good things for this city that is making its way back on the map.

To read Suzanne’s full article check it out here in the NY Daily Times