Datacenter planned for chunk of former Pfizer property

·5 min read

May 14—ROUSES POINT — California-based tech company 2CRSi, a multi-million-dollar green computer server manufacturer founded in France, will soon make the former Pfizer property here its U.S. headquarters.

"They're shipping stuff already," Dave Kreutz, partner with property owner ERS Investors, or ERS Rouses Point LLC, said Wednesday. "They'll be sending people within the next week."

'THE HEARTBEAT'

The announcement comes months after ERS, a New York City-based real estate firm, received County of Clinton Industrial Development Agency approval for a 15-year-long PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement to redevelop 80-or-so acres of abandoned Pfizer property.

ERS announced plans to resurrect the property, acquired from the pharmaceutical giant in 2018, to construct Northern Gateway Industrial Park in the Village of Rouses Point.

Kreutz had said interior renovations were underway at the site to attract "first-class tenants" and 2CRSi was the first to get on board. It would at first operate out of about 25,000 square feet space at the Industrial Park with room to expand in the future.

Kreutz said ERS was in conversations with several other companies in the medical manufacturing, computer manufacturing, industrial warehousing and solar manufacturing sectors about the site's other available real estate opportunities. He expected news on those to be released in coming weeks.

"We are completely committed to (having) multiple companies," he said. "We don't want the one big firm leaving again and having that devastate the town; that's not going to happen again.

"This is just the heartbeat. We're getting the heartbeat started and then we're going to start expanding from there."

THE COMPANY

2CRSi develops, produces and sells high-performance customized and environment-friendly servers.

It was founded in 2005 in Strasbourg, has approximately 350 employees today and markets itself across more than 50 countries.

Its pending site in Rouses Point will function as its U.S. tech campus. It plans to merge hardware production, sales, training, research and development, and support functions there, while also operating as a green datacenter to provide customers with housing and hosting services.

In a Tuesday news release from ERS, partnerships with local universities are referenced and Cristian Balan, a faculty member of SUNY Plattsburgh's School of Business and Economics, said he had already been approached about such.

"2CRSi is fully committed to partnering with local universities to offer internships, research opportunities and provide jobs for technology, cybersecurity and business students," Balan says in the release. "It is interesting to remark that 2CRSi already employs a number of PhD's in their research and development."

The company also boasts advanced cooling solutions and says it plans to reuse waste heat from its servers, noting a pending arrangement that could help heat village homes and businesses.

MAJOR INVESTMENT

2CRSi Chairman and Co-Founder Alain Wilmouth said the company believed it time to take a new step in growing its U.S. presence.

"This project has the unique potential to simultaneously contribute to boost the local economy and demonstrate how we can reconciliate IT and the planet," he says in the release. "We are happy to work hand-in-hand with ERS Rouses Point LLC on the facility and we are looking forward to making this a project in partnership with the local community.

"With state and federal support, 2CRSi fully intends to commit significant investments over the next five years to make our campus a focal point for world's most advanced green IT solutions."

According to the release, 2CRSi and ERS combined have invested over $12 million in the project with an additional $8 million planned.

"This will enable 2CRSI to begin manufacturing servers and offer green compute services to the first customers," the release adds. "Together they will bring cutting-edge, high-speed 100 (gigabits per second) data lines to the campus which (will) attract manufacturing and data processing firms to what will be the crown jewel of the northeast."

SHINE A LIGHT

Kreutz expects about 20 to 25 employees to work at the Rouses Point location during 2CRSi's first year there.

"Their employees, their executives are moving to the area, which is awesome," he said. "It is high-skilled labor. There is some medium-skilled labor, but it's going to bring super high-quality, high-skilled people into Rouses Point to go to work everyday. It's a good addition to the village, in my opinion."

Kreutz said his firm was impressed with 2CRSi's sustainable practices, eagerness to meld into the Rouses Point community and partnerships with worldwide firms.

"This is really exciting, because it's this company, 2CRSi, but they bring with them all of these outside entities that are going to come in and shine a great spotlight on Rouses Point."

On the opposite side of the coin, Kreutz said 2CRSi was impressed with the former Pfizer property's power access, existing structures and the region's beauty.

"They love the lake, they love the area geographically and how beautiful it is and they love that it's a small, quaint town," he said. "They really feel like it is a place that they can expand and build and create a campus where people will really enjoy working."

EXCITING NEWS

North Country Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Garry Douglas said his team was pleased to welcome the tech company to Rouses Point.

"We have been working with ERS and 2CRSi for more than a year as the site has been prepared for its first tenants," he says in the release. "It's exciting to have another international company select our region as a place for investment, and it's especially exciting that they have chosen the former Pfizer site.

"We thank 2CRSi for their confidence in our region and its team. And we thank ERS for its commitment to the future of this site. Onward and upward!"

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) expressed excitement over the news, as well.

"As the gateway to the Quebec-New York corridor, the North Country represents an important junction of international relations and communications," his Wednesday statement says.

"I'd like to extend my sincerest thanks to 2CRSi for their decision to expand into the North Country, which help create new jobs, promote eco-friendly energy and provide a boost to our local economy."

Email McKenzie Delisle:

mdelisle@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @McKenzieDelisle

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