WXXI AM News

Photonics Board Hires Real Estate Consultant To Recommend Site

Sep 6, 2016

The ongoing efforts to ramp up photonics manufacturing in the Rochester area has taken another step forward.

The New York State Photonics Board, which is coordinating the state’s financial investment in photonics, has hired a real estate firm that does site selection work to  recommend a location for what is going to be a testing, assembly and packaging facility.

The board hired Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, which is headquartered in New York City.

The chairman of the photonics board, John Maggiore  says there are advantages in hiring an outside entity to do that. For one thing, he says they have the expertise to know what kinds of sites will meet the technical specifications. And Maggiore says it also helps officials make an objective decision.

Maggiore emphasizes whatever site is chosen will be in the Greater Rochester area.

“That’s where the academic institutions, the companies, they’re going to be sharing the space, sharing the equipment, doing research, they’re going to be building off of each other’s innovation. It’ll be a bricks and mortar place that people can point to," he told WXXI News.

Maggiore says the new facility should be up and operating sometime next year. He says it’s too early to say how many jobs it will create, but he says this is part of an overall project that is expected to eventually create a number of jobs over time.

The Photonics Board also has put out requests for proposals for $78 million worth of equipment that will be part of the new test assembly and packaging facility.