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Educational Opportunity Center Completed

January 10th officials gathered for a ribbon cutting at the new facility at 431 River Street for the Educational Opportunity Center.  The school opened it’s doors to officials, staff, and those who worked on the project to tour its new home.  The new school was a renovation of First Columbia’s Hedley Park Place featuring 50,000 square feet of space.  The old space that once housed NYS offices was converted into brand new offices, classrooms, cosmetology stations, welding garage, culinary and a new kitchen, nursing stations, hi tech computer labs and more!  First Columbia is proud to reveal the new space with professional photos done by Overit.

Check out our photos on First Columbia’s Google+ Profile

Tenant News: Officials to Gather for Ceremonial Opening of EOC

The Capital District Educational Opportunity Center will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at its new 50,000 sqft facility at Hedley Park Place.

Leaders from local, state, and federal government as well as the State University of New York; Hudson Valley Community College President Drew Matonak, EOC Vice President/Executive Director, Lucille Marion, and business and construction partners have been invited to join the celebration.

After 30 years on Congress Street, the Capital District Educational Opportunity Center celebrates its relocation to a new facility at 431 River Street (the Hedley Building). The 50,000 square foot space includes six general purpose classrooms, several computer and technology enhanced classrooms, student support areas, specialty labs for the Center’s career based programs in building trades, cosmetology, culinary, nursing assistant and welding.  A large conference/meeting room will allow the center to hosts events such as job and health fairs that will benefit both the EOC and the surrounding community.

The EOC opened its doors in 1966 as the Urban Center in the former Naval Reserve Center on the corner of Washington and Front Streets.  In 1973 the institution was renamed the Educational Opportunity Center and in 1984 moved to the former Bumstead Chevrolet Building at 145 Congress Street.

The Capital District Educational Opportunity Center, a division of Hudson Valley Community College, provides vocational training, academic preparation programs and job placement services to the Capital District and a seven-county area of New York. Through education, intensive casework and comprehensive employment services, eligible New York residents who are 16 years old and older are offered specific skills to gain employment, to succeed on the job, and to encourage ongoing personal and professional development.
First Columbia welcomes the EOC to the Hedley Park Place Building.  The new addition of this organization adds to the renovations that First Columbia has put into the building over the last couple of years bring the facility from a Tier III property to Tier II.

First Columbia Brings 500-Plus Jobs to Downtown Troy

Hedley Park Place Reports Strong Leasing Results in 2013.

TROY, N.Y. (01/08/13) — A year after the state’s restacking initiative removed more than 600 Department of Health jobs from the Hedley Building, First Columbia has moved in new businesses representing more than 500 new jobs to the Riverfront Complex.

“When the state left we were down to 32 percent occupancy in a very bad commercial office market,” said Deborah Mikhitarian-Russell, long time partner of First Columbia. “We decided to make a bold move and upgrade the building to Tier II quality, based on the lower vacancy rates of higher quality properties such as First Columbia’s Century Hill Plaza in Latham. We’ve invested $7 million into the building adding a significant amount of parking and amenities and are very happy to see the market react so positively and so quickly.”

2013 leasing results show eight new leases consisting of 116,000 square feet and 45,540 square feet of renewals bring the building occupancy to more than 75 percent leased with rates increasing by 13.6 percent year over year.

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

Express Scripts, a tenant of 20 years, recently renewed and expanded its lease at Hedley, growing into a total of 45,530 square feet of office space. First Columbia Construction Services is renovating the space for the prescription benefit management company.

EOC recently relocated from the area that will be developed into the next phase of the City Station Campus in South Troy, EOC will be hosting a ribbon cutting this Friday at 1 p.m., with a grand opening scheduled for March.

 

THE DRAW OF DOWNTOWN TROY

“We’re fueling the economy of Troy by bringing new companies and a fresh workforce to downtown. These are high quality tenants,” said Victoria Harris, marketing director of First Columbia. “The young educated workforce really want to be in the city, where they can walk to shops and restaurants and enjoy the riverfront amenities.”

Jeremy McDonald, 47, principal of Guth Deconzo Consulting Engineers said he encouraged his firm to make the move from the Albany Pine Bush to Troy.

“My feelings about Troy changed for the better 10 years ago, when I started to visit Brown’s Brewing Co. and the farmers’ market,” said McDonald, who earned a bachelors degree from RPI in 1989 and his masters in 1992. “There are a lot of positive things going on. There’s a good trend here.”

According to McDonald, he and his other 10 co-workers are making the most of their new downtown digs by walking to lunch at the nearby restaurants and sticking around in town after work hours to socialize.

“Where we used to be located, we called it ‘The Bubble’ because we had to drive everywhere,” he said of the firm’s former suburban setting. “Now, sometimes I’ll ride my bike to work from Cohoes.”

Harris said McDonald and his firm are just one of many examples of how First Columbia’s efforts are working to help make Troy a place to live, work and play.

Prospective tenants can learn more about the properties and space available for lease by calling listing broker Deborah Mikhitarian-Russell at (518) 213-1088.

“The current administration in Troy has been a tremendous help in achieving our recent success,” said First Columbia President Kevin Bette. “Mayor Lou Rosamilia, Monica Kurzejeski and the City of Troy as a whole are really implementing policies and changes that will to do some great things.”

 

“HEDLEY DISTRICT” PLANS MOVING FORWARD

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.

“Our goal is to help make Troy a place where you can truly live, work and play,” Harris said.

 

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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Urban Renovations & New Development Uncover the Riches of Troy

A wave of renovation is removing Troy’s Rust Belt decay to open the way for new urban economy and culture.  Artisans, restaurant owners and developers help revive a venerable community that retains a rich heritage and charming location.

“Troy is the place where Henry Hudson turned around,” goes the chorus of a rock anthem by The Parlor, a popular band from this upstate town.

But while the famous explorer didn’t find the Northern Passage to the spice markets of Asia, a new generation of urban entrepreneurs is discovering opportunities here.

With an abundance of affordable studios, shops and homes in grand turn-of-the-century buildings, artisans, restaurateurs, and other creative types are helping resurrect this venerable old town just north of Albany.

In a way, Troy has come full circle. Shipping, steel and textiles built Troy, even made it one of the wealthiest cities in the entire country.  To read more check out the full article in the NY Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/urban-renovations-uncover-riches-troy-article-1.1472989#ixzz2gl5Lz3wN

10.4.13 – Suzanne Spellen

Capital Region Economic Development Council Eyes Troy Projects for State Funding

TROY — A renovation of the Quackenbush building for use by a makerspace, the creation of a Transit Center for the city, and the next development phase for City Station North are among the priority projects proposed by the Capital Region Economic Development Council to receive state funding. http://www.troyrecord.com/articles/2013/09/26/news/doc5243845f14537770679348.txt

9/26/13 – The Troy Record – Ian Benjamin

Troy’s Historic Smokestack Lights Up for Lymphoma

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Victoria Harris, (518) 213-1009 vharris@firstcolumbia.com

Troy’s Historic Smokestack Lights Up for Lymphoma

First Columbia uses Hedley Park Place to Raise Awareness for Blood Cancer

TROY. N.Y. (9/5/13) — The Hedley Park Place smokestack is one of the most recognizable features in the Capital Region skyline.

Hedley Park Place Smokestack, Troy, NY

Hedley Park Place Smokestack, Troy, NY

Throughout the month of September, the landmark structure in Troy will be illuminated by red lights as part of the national “Light it Red for Lymphoma” campaign of the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

The campaign asks the owners of iconic landmarks and buildings around the country to light them red during September, which is Blood Cancer Awareness Month, to raise awareness of the disease and to help provide hope to all those touched by lymphoma. (Sept. 15 is World Lymphoma Awareness Day.)

According to the Foundation, Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer in adults and the third most common cancer overall among children.

Some other facts provided by the foundation are that:

  • Every day, approximately 200 Americans are diagnosed with a type of lymphoma.

    That means that every 7 minutes someone is diagnosed with lymphoma.
  • More than half a million Americans are living with some form of lymphoma.
  • A cure for lymphoma can only be realized through advanced cancer research.

“Our smokestack, which is no longer operational, can be seen by tens of thousands of passing vehicles every day,” said Victoria Harris, marketing director of First Columbia. “We are very happy to help raise awareness for this important issue, while beautifying the night skyline of Troy.”

In 2008, First Columbia, which owns Hedley Park Place, partnered with collaborated with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center to highlight at night the architectural features of its historic Hedley and Flanigan Square buildings, and the adjacent seawall.

The Lymphoma Research Foundation is currently seeking other regional landmarks to participate in the September campaign.

PHOTO OF RED SMOKESTACK

For a high-resolution photograph of the Hedley Park Place smokestack illuminated at night, visit:
http://DuncanCrary.com/clients/FirstColumbia

ABOUT THE LYMPHOMA RESEARCH FOUNDATION

The Lymphoma Research Foundation is the nation’s largest non-profit lymphoma organization devoted to funding innovative research and providing people with lymphoma and healthcare professionals with critical information on the disease. To date, LRF has awarded more than $55 million in lymphoma-specific research.

For information, visit http://lymphoma.org.

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, retail, and high-tech facilities.

For information, visit: http://hedleydistrict.com

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, retail, and high-tech facilities.

For information, visit: http://www.firstcolumbia.com

MEDIA CONTACTS:

CONTACT:

Victoria Harris
Marketing Director
First Columbia
(518) 213-1009
vharris@firstcolumbia.com

Peggy Ann Torney
Associate Director of Public Affairs
Lymphoma Research Foundation
ptorney@lymphoma.org

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IT Firm Relocates to Hedley Park Place, Troy

MAC Source brings 14 employees to downtown Troy

TROY, NY (5/3/13) — This April, an IT solutions provider relocated 14 employees to Hedley Park Place in downtown Troy.

Founded in 1997, MAC Source Communications, Inc. offers business communications consulting, telecommunications system design, implementation and management services. It is a subsidiary of Meridian Group International, headquartered in Chicago, IL.

“Everyone loves it here, and the fact that we can just walk downstairs for coffee or down the block for lunch,” said MAC Source marketing manager Carly Rizzo of the company’s new Troy location. “We almost had a few squabbles over who gets the best window views.”

The company relocated this April 1, from Cohoes to the newly renovated sixth floor of Hedley Park Place, after it had outgrown its previous space.  Rizzo says all but one of the company’s 14 employees  commute from outside Troy.

MAC Source is one of several new tenants to refill Hedley Park Place after the state began vacating more than 130,000 square feet of rental space  in 2012. Both Hedley Park Place and nearby Flanigan Square are owned and managed by Latham-based developer First Columbia, which is investing about $10 million to convert the spaces into New York City-style, high-tech offices. An all-new lobby and fully rennovated lob lready completed at the Hedley building are an all new lobby and fully renovated sixth floor.

Victoria Harris, marketing director, says First Columbia is committed to bringing a fresh new workforce to Troy in order to help stimulate true growth in the city. To date, new tenants have re-filled 106,000 square feet out of the 136,000 square feet formerly occupied by the state.

“Over the past few months we’ve been hearing from a lot of suburban employers who are looking to relocate to an area where there are things to do, places to walk. People want to be where the action is,” Harris said. “Hedley Park Place is really the best of both worlds because it has that urban/downtown/professional feeling, but it also has all the suburban office park amenities, like easy access from the highway, parking and modern fixtures.”

Prospective tenants can learn more about the properties and space available for lease by calling listing broker Deborah Mikhitarian-Russell at (518) 213-1088.

ABOUT MAC SOURCE COMMUNICATIONS

MAC Source (www.MacSourceInc.com) offers reliable traditional and advanced IT solutions for government agencies, schools, private companies and businesses. Technicians are available 24 hours.

MAC Source works with a variety of technology companies, including Avaya, to maintain a comprehensive inventory of immediately available parts, for virtually any business communications requirements, including:

  • Traditional key and hybrid telephony solutions
  • PBX planning, design, installation, and maintenance
  • Voice over IP
  • IP PBX
  • Unified messaging
  • Unified communications
  • Wireless communications
  • Video conferencing
  • Ethernet switching

As part of Meridian Group International (MGI), MAC Source is supported by over three decades of financial stability and a deep understanding of IT solutions, leasing, and finance. Since 1979, MGI has enjoyed consecutive years of profitability, attributed to technical expertise and a dedication to building strong, productive relationships with customers. Learn more at: www.onlineMeridian.com

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, retail, and high-tech facilities.

For information, visit: http://www.firstcolumbia.com

MEDIA CONTACT:

Victoria Harris, marketing director First Columbia at (518) 213-1009.

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Developer Taps Author To Promote Troy, NY

First Columbia Hires Duncan Crary to Help Spread Troy to the World

TROY, N.Y. (04/04/13) — A major developer has retained a Troy-based author to publicize its historic properties and the revitalization of the city in general.

DCC_CropDuncan Crary, 34, will be helping First Columbia share news of its historic Hedley Park Place and Flanigan Square buildings, as well as the company’s plans to develop the surrounding 25-block region along Troy’s downtown waterfront.

“The City of Troy is undergoing a genuine rebirth. But we need more people living, working and playing here in order to see a full comeback,” Crary said. “I’ll be working with First Columbia to share that message, using their properties and construction plans to entice people to check out what this small American city has to offer.”

A well-known New Urbanist, Crary is the author of “The KunstlerCast: Conversations with James Howard Kunstler… the tragic comedy of suburban sprawl,” (New Society Publishers, 2011). In the book, which earned critical acclaim in the U.S. and Canada, Crary and Kunstler (author of “The Geography of Nowhere,” and “The Long Emergency”) advocated for the prospects of small cities like Troy.

This December, Crary launched a semi-monthly podcast, titled “A Small American City.” The program highlights the voices, stories, history and urban fabric of Troy, N.Y. It has already attracted an international audience and acclaim.

“We noticed Duncan’s been getting a lot of positive press for the city of Troy — not just locally but around the world,” said Victoria Harris, marketing director of First Columbia. “He really loves this city, and knows a lot about it. So we decided he was the right person to help us get the word out about our properties and plans in Troy.”
$10 MILLION INVESTMENT

First Columbia is investing $10 million to convert the space in both its Hedley Park Place and Flanigan Square buildings into “New York City-style,” high tech offices. In total, the two buildings, contain more than 350,000 square-feet of office space. About 86,000 square-feet of space is currently available at Hedley Park Place, located at 433 River St., while about 87,476 square feet are available at Flanigan Square, located at 547 River St.

Crary’s goal will be to gain positive media attention, locally and beyond, to help attract more tenants from outside the city. He will do that by promoting First Columbia’s projects and the city as a whole.

“Young professionals in particular are looking to re-locate to small walkable cities like Troy,” Crary said. “These two beautiful buildings are great places to set up a company, all within walking distance of restaurants, parks and shops downtown.”
25-BLOCK URBAN REDEVELOPMENT

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.

Crary describes First Columbia’s plans for downtown Troy as high quality New Urbanism.
ABOUT DUNCAN CRARY

In 2008, Crary established a self-titled consulting and public relations firm in Troy. His clients include authors, nonprofits and businesses. He has helped several Troy-based clients garner national news coverage. He is a board member of the Troy Rehabilitation & Improvement Project (TRIP), a member of the Rensselaer County Environmental Management Council, and often serves on panels for The Arts Center of the Capital Region. His website is: http://DuncanCrary.com
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, retail and high-tech facilities.
PUBLICITY IMAGES
For a high resolution photo of Crary and publicity images for First Columbia, visit: http://www.duncancrary.com/clients/FirstColumbia

For information, contact:

Victoria Harris, 518-213-1009

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