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Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon forecasts real estate impact of Micron – Eagle News Online

ONONDAGA COUNTY — Since Micron Technology announced its plans earlier this month to build a $100 billion semiconductor manufacturing operation in Clay, the Central New York real estate community has been buzzing with questions about the project’s impact on the region. To answer some of those questions, real estate broker Chip Hodgkins hosted a virtual Q&A session Oct. 12 with Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.

Scott Siebenaler, a real estate broker from Thomas|Riddle Group in central Ohio, gave attendees a taste of what CNY can expect. Intel announced in January 2022 that it will build a $20 billion semiconductor plant in Licking County, Ohio. Hodgkins said Ohio is about “nine months ahead of us in this process.”

After Intel’s announcement, Siebenaler said, the price per acre for commercial land more than doubled, going from an average of $62,000 to $135,000. The housing market has seen a 12% increase — nothing out of the ordinary, Siebenaler said.

Hodgkins and Siebenaler explained that properties within 1 to 2 miles of Intel’s project saw their value shoot up. Properties 5 to 10 miles out saw a slight increase. Beyond that, values were not significantly affected.

Siebenaler projected that the population of the Licking County area will start to increase in 2024 but not really pick up until mid-2025 or 2026. He expected the number of jobs — and home values — to peak in 2025.

“For every Intel job, that creates an ancillary 13 jobs,” Siebenaler.

In CNY, Micron projects 9,000 direct jobs and 40,000 jobs in related industries. If the area follows Intel’s trend in Ohio, CNY could see about 130,000 new jobs. That is difficult to fathom for many Central New Yorkers, McMahon said.

“The numbers get silly and it gets very hard for people to grasp them,” McMahon said.

McMahon said CNY schools might not see significant impact for five to 10 years, but he predicted that with a more robust tax base, school and municipal property taxes will go down.

Before Micron’s shovels hit the ground, Onondaga County will spend 2023 completing an environmental review and clearing the site. Construction is expected to begin in 2024, generating 5,000 construction jobs.

With the looming demand for more housing — both single-family homes and apartment complexes — towns may have to loosen density restrictions for developers.

“That’s not sprawl, that’s economic growth,” he said. “Some of these communities may need to tweak their rules on density.”

McMahon said he is willing to help developers negotiate with towns. He said welcoming Micron to CNY will have to be a regional effort, like the pandemic response.

The county and New York State also will have to make sure the area’s infrastructure can support additional residents and traffic before Micron can set down stakes. The county’s wastewater system can serve up to 750,000 residents; currently, 477,000 people live in Onondaga County. NYS might have to add an exit off Interstates 81/481 to accommodate traffic in the northern suburbs. The region also needs bus rapid transit, which McMahon said would be a twofold effort: one system serving the urban core of Syracuse for business commuting and entertainment hotspots, and another to employers in the suburbs such as Amazon and Micron.

“You’ll continue to see expansion at the airport,” McMahon added.

The demand for direct flights to the West Coast and Boise, Idaho, will increase because of Micron’s presence in Boise and Silicon Valley.

McMahon reminded skeptical Central New Yorkers about the qualities that attracted Micron to the area: natural resources, higher education and cultural amenities.

“The greatest company in memory technology made their biggest investment in all of you,” he said.

“Because we were able to get to most (but not all) of the questions, if you have one that was not answered, we will pass [it] on to Ryan or Chip and get the response back to you as quickly as possible,” read a Hodgkins Homes statement released after the webinar.

Submit your questions about Micron’s impact on real estate development to [email protected]

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