January 29 2021

Week in Review: January 25 – January 29, 2021

Stay up-to-date on business and economic development happenings in the Capital Region with the CEG Economic Development Week in Review. Don’t miss out on the developments that are transforming the region by following us on:


University at Albany: UAlbany Expands the Capital Region’s Academic R&D Footprint

Saratogian: Capital Region Chamber announced slate of 2021 officers


Precision Valve & Automation to start work on Saratoga County campus

“Precision Valve & Automation in Colonie will start renovating its new 76,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing complex in Halfmoon next month.

The manufacturer of robotic machines used to build cars, electronics, razors and military equipment has identified BBL Construction of Albany as a potential contractor to convert the Halfmoon SportsPlex into a manufacturing campus.”

Regeneron says its antibody cocktail deals with coronavirus variants

“While health officials are alarmed by the spread of two highly contagious COVID-19 variants that have made their way to the United States, local drug manufacturer Regeneron is confident that its popular antibody cocktail that helped former President Donald Trump recover from the deadly disease in October is still highly effective.

That’s because the Regeneron cocktail, which is not a vaccine but was designed to treat people who have already been infected with the coronavirus, is a mix of two different antibodies that fight COVID-19, instead of just one.”

Work to start soon on $854M power line upgrade, new high-voltage electric substation in Rotterdam

“Work on a new high-voltage electric substation in Rotterdam and pole replacements could start early next month, after the state Public Service Commission recently approved the first phase of a $854 million upgrade to existing major electric transmission lines between Utica and New Scotland.

The 93-mile line that runs through Oneida, Herkimer, Montgomery, Schenectady and Albany counties is being upgraded from a 230-kilovolt transmission capacity to 345-kilovolt, with construction of a new substation in Princetown, upgrades to the existing substation in Rotterdam, and replacement of all the aging power poles along the route.”

Albany region’s largest mechanical contractor, FPI, buys shop space in Rensselaer

“FPI Mechanical has purchased the former Petrochem Mechanical Services Inc. real estate and fabrication shop on Columbia Street in Rensselaer, seven months after acquiring the business.

The 36-year-old heating, pipefitting and ventilation company purchased the 2-plus-acre property for $1.03 million from Jack Dority, who sold the Petrochem business to FPI in June 2020. Dority now works for FPI.”

Vyv gets investment from Citi Impact Fund

“A Troy-based startup is one of 11 companies that is receiving funding from a new Citibank investment fund.

The bank said Monday Vyv, a startup that makes LED antimicrobial lights, is receiving funding from the $200 million Citi Impact Fund. A Citibank representative said terms for the funding are not currently being disclosed.”

Tourism officials hope pent-up demand drives industry’s recovery

“For the state’s tourism industry, 2019 was a very good year. But 2020, not so much.

Travel demand drop nearly by half, costing hundreds of thousands of jobs, members of the state’s Tourism Advisory Council were told during their quarterly meeting on Monday.”

Capital Region housing sales, prices jump 7% in 2020 despite COVID

“Across the region, 7% more single-family housing units were sold in 2020 than in 2019, despite the limitations on transactions created by pandemic restrictions last spring. And the median price paid was 7% higher in 2020 than in 2019, despite the economic shutdown that suspended or ended so many New Yorkers’ jobs.

Single-month statistics — which can be distorted by one-time events — showed an even greater jump year over year. In December 2020, there were 36% more closed sales than in December 2019, and the median price was 10% higher.”

Revenue, stock price continue to surge for Latham-based Plug Power

“At the start of 2020, the Latham-based company projected $300 million in gross billings for the year. Plug Power finished with $330 million, CEO Andy Marsh said Tuesday in a conference call with finance industry analysts, and is now increasing its 2021 projection from $450 million to $475 million.

A notable difference: Plug Power usually starts the year with 70% of its anticipated billing backlogged in January, but this year it has 90% backlogged, Marsh said.”

Video game studio Vicarious Visions merges into Blizzard Entertainment

“The video game studio Vicarious Visions has merged into Blizzard Entertainment.

Jennifer Oneal, former studio head for Vicarious Visions, shared the news in a LinkedIn post this week. Oneal has been promoted to executive vice president of development at Blizzard Entertainment.”

Local Brands Boost Wellness of Customer and Community

“If you’ve seen Shane Avery at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, you’ll know he’s a busy man operating two businesses at once. Avery started at the market as Saratoga Urban Farm, selling microgreens and wheatgrass shots. The latter inspired him to make holistic wellness products more accessible to customers. The creation of both Earth To Mind, a CBD product line, and Junbucha, a green tea and honey-based twist on kombucha, soon followed.”

Funding Partners