Ulster County filed to foreclose on 18 parcels at the former IBM site due to owner Alan Ginsberg’s failure to pay over $12 million in back taxes
In November of 2020, Ulster County Court granted the county ownership through foreclosure of all of the buildings formerly used by Bank of America in the western portion of the industrial campus formerly occupied by IBM
KINGSTON, N.Y. - County Executive Ryan announced today that Ulster County has filed to foreclose on eighteen (18) parcels at the former IBM site, nearly the entire eastern portion of the campus, due to current owner Alan Ginsberg’s failure to pay over $12 million in back taxes. Once the foreclosure is finalized, Ulster County would have control over the vast majority of the former IBM industrial site’s after previously foreclosing on 82-acres on the western portion of the site in November of 2020 due to owed back taxes.
“Through his failure to pay taxes and his continued pollution of the former TechCity site, Alan Ginsberg has essentially held our county hostage for decades, and Ulster County will not stand for it,” County Executive Pat Ryan said. “We are committed to working tirelessly with our legal team, economic development professionals, and the County Legislature to come up with a true 21st-century economic revitalization plan for the property that turns what has for too long been a shell of past economic success into a thriving beacon of new opportunity for our County.”
“I commend County Executive Ryan’s initiation of the foreclosure action on the east campus parcels at Tech City for the non-payment of the real estate taxes,” said Town of Ulster Supervisor James E. Quigley. “Combining this action with the proposed EPA cleanup announced by Senator Schumer, the east campus of Tech City will finally be positioned for a successful redevelopment benefiting the People of the Town of Ulster and all of Ulster County.”
“This is a new chapter for Ulster County,” Ulster County Legislative Chairman Dave Donaldson said. “The closing of this site was a nightmare for their employees, the many local businesses and their employees that supplied IBM, as well as those that benefitted from IBMers spending their paychecks. There was a glimmer of hope when IBM sold the properties but that quickly diminished. It took some time but our unique neighborhoods adjusted, grew and learned the importance of diversification. We need to keep that value in our mind and create clear goals for the development of these valuable properties.
“With today's action behind us, the partnership between the Legislature and the Executive Branch to work towards getting this long struggling parcel put into a more productive, valuable, and job creating site for the Town and County of Ulster is of the utmost importance,” Ulster County Legislature and Chair of the Economic Development Committee Brian Cahill said. “We will continue that important cooperative relationship.”
Earlier this month, United States Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer visited TechCity to announce that he is seeking additional funds in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan to clean up the asbestos piles located on-site that are currently the subject of a federal Superfund action managed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. In recent months, five people have pleaded guilty to federal crimes for the illegal handling and dumping of asbestos at Tech City while under Ginsberg’s control.
In March, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced that the County received twenty-two responses to its request for ideas to redevelop two parcels on the west side of the former IBM campus. The expressions of interest represent a broad range of proposed uses for the former office building and surrounding property and demonstrate immediate opportunity to put the long-dormant site back to productive use, creating jobs and providing local tax revenues to the County, the Town of Ulster, and the Kingston City School district.
At its prime in the 1980’s, the IBM campus had 7,000 employees and was the heart of Ulster County’s economy. IBM moved out in 1995 and subsequently sold the entire campus in 1998 to Ginsberg, who promised full redevelopment.
The 117-page foreclosure action filed by the County today will be before Ulster County Court Judge Hon. Brian Rounds for further court proceedings and decisions.