Micron Technology on Tuesday committed to making a home in Central New York. The development raised questions about what plans are in place to provide housing for the anticipated workforce that's expected to accompany the significant project.
“Our latest rendition is showing about 500 units," said Guy Hart Jr., managing partner and lead developer at the Hart-Lyman Company. "I'd say that would be 875 bedrooms.”
Hart and his team are one piece of a puzzle to help Micron Technology, which choose Onondaga County as a manufacturing location.
“One of the things that we spent a lot of time talking to the company about is housing," Centerstate CEO and President Robert Simpson said. "We're going to work with a company, we're really going to pull together our state partners, our local partners and the company at the same table. We're going to study the housing issue very carefully. We're going to understand what their long-term demand for housing will be for their employees. We're going to figure out how we can help the market help our private developers meet that demand.”
Hart’s company, just one developer out of many that will be needed, plans to be able to provide thousands of units using properties he owns or already has under contract, like the defunct Great Northern Mall, located three miles west of the proposed Micron site.
He also plans to redevelop Hart-Lyman's Lake Shore Country Club into Lake Shore Villages.
“As a couple months have gone by, we've had to make some calculated decisions as a company," he said. "We've had to decide, you know, at least we've had to decide do we want to take the financial risks that we felt we needed to take in order to have a leg up in this process? For our company, really, it's been a matter of that it's, it's been a matter of allocating resources to places like Syracuse instead of south Florida or the Carolinas, and in the last, especially in the last year or two, that's a decision both with Lakeshore Village and with Great Northern Mall that we've decided to make."
The housing demand from Micron is a direct result of the work Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency representatives put in for years to secure a high-tech employer to White Pine.
“You know, we have all the transportation in the water and you know, we had to work to build the infrastructure. And now it's there and Micron realized that. So, we're going to start off on this pathway to build a street facility," Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency Chair Pat Hogan said. “Everyone is going to feel the positive effects of this, from home builders, mom-and-pop shops to folks that are delivering sandwiches, to people that are buying homes, people that are consuming durable goods.”
“I can honestly say if there's many others besides us, they not made those decisions for this community," Hart said. "Micron might not have ended up coming here. They made a decision to come here over metro Austin, Texas. That's a big deal, isn't it?”
Hart hopes to begin renovations at the Great Northern Mall in 2023. Leaders and stakeholders said this was the beginning.
“As arduous as this process was to win the project, the real work starts now with having to deliver and making sure that Micron can build and they can produce products here, because at the end of the day, that's the end game," OCIDA Director Robert Petrovich said. "We want them to be able to manufacture here. We want them to be able to produce product here.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been edited to correct the Lake Shore Country Club name.