State workers to be relocated to new Albany office

Posted at: 08/15/2013 4:58 PM
Updated at: 08/16/2013 3:04 PM
By: WNYT Staff

ALBANY - About 1,400 state workers will be relocated to the Harriman State Office Campus.

They'll be moving into building 5, which is the former home of the Department of Transportation.

That space has been vacant since DOT left in 2004 for new place in Colonie.

The state plans to spend $47 million to renovate the building.

It will centralize administrative, human resources and financial functions for 60 state agencies.

Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy says it's all part of Governor Cuomo's effort to consolidate and save money. “When you balance the cost of leasing space in the city of Albany or the County, vs. renovating state space. This is state property here. It is a great use of taxpayer money, great use of state property.”

Duffy says the move will save taxpayers $17 million over the next 10 years.

Construction will start this fall.

It's expected to take 18 months.

NewsChannel 13 Waste Watchers wanted to know where the $17 million in savings was coming from with the governor's plan.

According to a spokesperson with the Office of General Services, it is money that is not being spent currently.

It's what the state estimates it would have to pay if it rented.

NewsChannel 13 also wanted to get an idea of how much taxpayer money the state currently spends on rentals.

Using the freedom of information law, NewsChannel 13 received data from OGS showing that in Albany County alone, lease agreements that are active right now have taxpayers shelling out more that $31.5 million year, and that's just through OGS.

NewsChannel 13 is told that other state agencies rent and lease buildings as well.

Following is a list of the building lease costs for Albany County:

NYS Building Lease Costs for Albany County