Once a tech ghost town glimpsed from Route 52 in East Fishkill, the former IBM campus is poised to become a 300-acre Hudson Valley hot spot where you can shop, stay in a hotel, rent an apartment, and enjoy a meal or drink. It’s all part of a vision of Connecticut-based National Resources, a real estate development and investment company that has transformed corporate and industrial sites into mixed-use hubs, branded “iParks,” mostly along the East Coast.
Over the next three to five years, the company plans to repurpose and renovate 2 million square feet of buildings, as well as begin new construction, says National Resources Executive Vice President Lynne Ward. Two manufacturers have already signed on: More Good, the beverage syrup maker, and Sloop Brewery. Ward envisions retail along Route 52, including drugstores and restaurants, as well as two hotels bordering 52 and I-84. Add to that 100 to 150 “microresidential units” in the style of the company’s Yonkers mixed-used waterfront community developed in the former Otis Elevator Co. factory complex.
National Resources has been working with the Town of East Fishkill, Dutchess County, and GlobalFoundries (which owns the remaining 160 acres of the IBM property) to make zoning changes and parcel subdivision happen. “All four parties recognized the potential of the location and site and worked together to make it as ‘development ready’ as possible,” says Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess Alliance for Business. “It was not an easy task as the campus was constructed and planned for one user, IBM.” Today, everyone — from tech to hospitality — is invited to the party, as the site is projected to create 500 to 1,000 entry-level to highly skilled jobs. “When you create jobs,” says Assistant Dutchess County Executive Ron Hicks, “you create a demand for goods and services, which creates more jobs.”