2023 40th Edition: March 27th - March 31st

Focus on Community Engagement

Economic development is an inherently collaborative process. Due to the increasing scale and volume of projects in Orange County, community engagement and strategic public relations are a critical component to the overall success of our Attraction and Expansion efforts. 


The very nature of the business brings opposition from residents to critical politicians who don’t fully understand the value of construction jobs, full-time jobs, capital investment and the competitive nature of the business. Advancing sites and projects through the entitlement process is risky and riddled with uncertainty. One way to mitigate risk is to work with the economic development community on navigating the process through education, building trust, proactively addressing public concerns, and understanding the community. We cannot allow the media to unfairly influence public opinion.  


Following our last Alliance for Balanced Growth (ABG) meeting, with a focus on community engagement amidst opposition, we’ve developed a "best practice" guide for navigating project opposition. This guide is useful for both local officials and developers and showcases the ABG’s new direction – turning local planning and development issues into actionable public policy initiatives, aimed at enhancing the quality of economic development in Orange County. Our guide can be found here.


Our long-term goals at the Partnership are clear – continue to lead the effort to attract high-end sectors, such as Life Sciences and Advanced Manufacturing. As Economic Developers, we must commit to creating a more predictable environment for investment. We see community engagement as a vehicle to address concerns regarding development before they come up to ensure that the local community has ownership over their economic development success. If you’re a developer, consultant, engineer, or anyone planning on undertaking a project in Orange County – it’s critical that you use the expertise of the Orange County Partnership to mitigate risk in the development process. 

My very best,

Maureen Halahan

President & CEO

Orange County Partnership Vice President of Business Attraction, Conor Eckert discussing current Attraction & Expansion projects in the pipeline.

Thank you to Crown Castle for sponsoring our Winter Quarterly Project Meeting.

Pictured Above: Grant Preston, Commercial Account Executive for Crown Castle

Orange County Partnership Briefs Investors on 2023 Project Pipeline

The Orange County Partnership recently briefed county and municipal officials and investors on the ‘robust” pipeline of development, business attraction and retention projects in the first quarter of 2023.


The Winter Quarterly Project Meeting held at City Winery on March 9th in Montgomery featured a detailed report by the Partnership staff on a significant pipeline of projects that are advancing, despite the economic headwinds.


“We have a robust pipeline of both expansion and attraction projects seeking sites in Orange County. Developer activity remains strong as tenant demand increases,” said Orange County Partnership President and Chief Executive Officer Maureen Halahan.

The Orange County Partnership reported that it is working on 38 possible attraction leads. A total of 18 projects involve manufacturing companies, another eight are engaged in distribution, five are tourism-related and four are hospitality proposals. The total potential new jobs connected with the pending attraction leads total more than 3,750 positions.

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Film Sector Has Become a ‘Whale’ of an Industry for Orange County

Earlier this month, Orange County received some national notoriety when a motion picture filmed at a major film and production sound stage here won several Academy Awards, including “Best Actor.”


Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and Director of Tourism and Film Amanda Dana congratulated veteran actor Brendan Fraser for winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the film “The Whale.”


Much of the $3-million motion picture was filmed at Umbra Stages in Newburgh, making it one of several current and upcoming movies and TV series being produced in Orange County. Fraser earned the Oscar for his portrayal of a Charlie, a reclusive English teacher who suffers from severe obesity, who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter. “The Whale” production used Umbra’s stage 4, an 18,000-square-foot drive-on sound stage. The movie also won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

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Brendan Fraser at the Academy Awards

Orange County Partnership Gears Up to Attract Semiconductor Businesses

RECENT PRESS - The Epoch Times:

The nonprofit that has driven Orange County’s high-value business growth for decades now sets its eyes on the burgeoning semiconductor industry.

Orange County Partnership President Maureen Halahan and Vice President of Business Attraction Conor Eckert have been meeting with key industry players lately, seeking to bring home a share of the growing semiconductor supply chain.

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Distribution Centers are Game Changers for Local Economy

Orange County, due to its strategic location, has become a haven for distribution center development. Critics of these projects have argued that these large projects offer little benefit to the local community in terms of jobs, taxes and investment. A recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce study found those arguments have no basis in truth.


Curtis Dubay, Chief Economist with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, reported earlier this month that a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce report showed that communities experience significant economic benefits from attracting a new distribution center to their area. Benefits for a municipality from approving a new distribution center include “new jobs, increased incomes and substantial gains in local tax revenue, which can help to better fund government services, like schools, roads, and public safety, in those communities.”

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The Amazon facility to be built in Slate Hill will total 925,000 square feet. SOURCE: NAI Platform, Scannell Properties

SOURCE: US Chamber of Commerce

SOURCE: US Chamber of Commerce

Royal Wine/Kedem is constructing a 627,000 SF manufacturing and distribution facility of kosher wine and juices with a tasting-room on site in Goshen, New York.

Food and Beverage Sector’s Growth Tied to New Technology, Sustainability, Workplace Quality of Life

A recent report by CRB Group, a full-service facility design, engineering, construction and consulting firm for biotech, pharma, food and beverage, and science and technology, found six emerging trends in the food and beverage sector to watch out for in 2023.


Among the trends that impact the real estate development sector nationwide and locally in Orange County are innovative processes product and packaging and their impacts on production; increasing food manufacturing automation; sustainability; rising cost pressures due to supply chain challenges and evolving workplace quality of life to attract and retain workers.

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Despite Developer Uncertainty, National Industrial Pipeline Remains Full

In a recently released report, brokerage firm Colliers reported that fundamentals continued to improve for the U.S. industrial market in the fourth quarter of 2022. The report, authored by Amanda Ortiz, Director, National Industrial Research for Colliers and Stephanie Rodriguez, National Director, Industrial Services, U.S. for Colliers, noted, “While many developers are approaching the new year with ‘pencils down’ due to economic uncertainty and underwriting difficulties, the development pipeline remains incredibly full and quarterly new supply achieved a new record during the quarter.”

Colliers reported that overall next absorption totaled 124.5 million square feet in the fourth quarter, a new record, as demand for industrial space continued to remain healthy. New industrial supply rose 25.9% year-over-year and the vacancy rate at year’s end dropped 21 basis points from the same time in 2021 to 3.7%.

Overall construction at the end of the fourth quarter was 647.3 million square feet, down slightly from the 654.0 million square feet posted at the end of the third quarter of last year. It should be noted that at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, there was 499.3 million square feet under construction, according to Colliers’ data.

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Source: Colliers

Matrix Logistics Center under construction in the Town of Newburgh, New York.

Source: Colliers

It's Not About Challenges...It's About Solutions.

Business Retention & Expansion Program

Did you know the Orange County Partnership offers a FREE program to all industrial and commercial businesses in Orange County?

We as Economic Developers, work to retain and grow existing local companies and assist these businesses with operational needs.

Do you have retention issues? Are you interested in expanding your company? We can help!

Contact our BR&E Team today! Call 845.294.2323 or email Maureen Halahan: [email protected] or Conor Eckert: [email protected].

FAST NY Shovel Ready Program

Under the Program, ESD provides grants for pre-development activities and infrastructure investments to develop sites that will attract many eligible industries —including, but need not be limited to, high-tech manufacturing, clean-tech renewable energy, life sciences, agribusiness, optics, transportation equipment, materials processing, industrial machinery manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing. These sites can also be used for interstate distribution and logistics. However, ESD may give priority to semiconductor manufacturing projects and related industry and supply chain projects. The Program further provides ESD the ability to award a “FAST NY Shovel-Ready Certification,” for sites that meet high standards of shovel readiness, to support and enhance their marketing efforts to attract many more industries. 

Reach out to the OCP if you have a site that could be eligible – we can discuss eligibility, strategy, and approach toward securing funding. We can validate the site and assist with the application process. Contact our President & CEO, Maureen Halahan or our Vice President of Business Attraction, Conor Eckert for more information: 845.294.2323.



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