WATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. -- (December 8, 2008) - The Department of the Army announced Sunday at the Watervliet Arsenal the selection of a business development group that will have the opportunity to transform up to 60 acres of Arsenal property for private development.

Bill Birney, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Installation and Housing, said the Arsenal Business and Technology Partnership was the winning development team selected to lease, transform and operate an energy co-generation facility, a data center, and an office for nanotechnology research and development on the Arsenal.

Birney explained the lease will create a win-win environment for the installation, the Army, and for the local community.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, "During these tough economic times, winning such a major investment that will spur hundreds of new, good-paying jobs is just what the doctor ordered."

"Securing this lease for the local development corporation will allow the capital region to expand its high-tech growth and make sure we have a lean, mean core cannon mission," added Schumer.

Rep. Michael McNulty (D-N.Y.) praised Secretary of the Army, Pete Geren, due to Geren's efforts to open up Arsenal property for civilian use.

"I have known Pete Geren for 20 years. He has always been an outstanding public servant and someone who really takes time and effort to solving tough problems. This was not easy to rectify, be he saw to it that everybody on his team listened to our case and ultimately found a solution that we all think will be a tremendous benefit," said McNulty.

McNulty also praised the arsenal commander, Col. Scott N. Fletcher, for "making this wonderful thing happen."

"What does this mean...the Arsenal is here to stay," McNulty ended.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has oversight for the Enhanced Use Leasing program, the development team, together with the Army and the Arsenal, will develop a Lease and Management Plan compatible with the installation's goals and objectives.

As lease consideration, the Arsenal will receive in-kind services for the maintenance, repair and improvement of installation facilities that enhance its mission. EULs are typically signed for a period of 50 years. In addition, the project will provide employment and tax revenue to the local community, according to a corps press release.

"The Army has brought us a present," proclaimed Schumer.

In addition to Schumer and McNulty, New York Assemblyman Ron Canestrari and City of Watervliet Mayor Michael Manning also spoke and praised the selection of the Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership as the developer who has the potential to create hundreds of new jobs for the capital district.