By Matt Youngfrau
ROCK HILL August 22, 2003 Six and a half years ago, Sullivan County Planning and Community Development Chair Alan Sorensen had a dream for an industrial park to draw corporate businesses to the county. Thus, the Emerald Corporate Center (ECC) was born.
On Tuesday, the first official business in the park broke ground Crystal Run Healthcare on its planned 81,000-square-foot, three-story medical facility in Rock Hill. The building is a $3.8 million project that will create 300 new jobs. The facility, which will be opened in summer 2004, will be state-of-the-art and feature many medical services including cardiology, geriatrics, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and general surgery.
More than 400 people came out for the groundbreaking.
This is part of a new and vibrant Sullivan County, Sorensen stated. The legislature had the will and the foresight to do this. Many people worked countless hours on this. I am very grateful that [Crystal Run Managing Partner] Dr. Hal Teitelbaum chose Sullivan County.
The rest of the state should take a leaf from Sullivan County, remarked United States Congressman Maurice Hinchey. This county is forward-looking. You have a deep sense of pride. I feel that same pride. This will be the first of many corporate headquarters. This has taken several years, and the progress is remarkable. I thank all of you that made this possible.
Ben and Jerrys may not like Sullivan County, but the rest of the world loves Sullivan County, New York State Senator John Bonacic commented. This started as a dream. The County Legislature had a vision. Just like Field of Dreams, if you build it, they will come. The governor and the late Assemblyman Jake Gunther believed in the future and the people of Sullivan County.
This is a tremendous healthcare opportunity, Bonacic continued. We have seen it done in Orange County. There will be good-paying jobs. This is just the beginning.
Teitelbaum has deep roots in Sullivan County. His family used to own the Bagel Bakery in Monticello, and he spent many summers here in his youth. To him, it felt like a homecoming.
I have always wanted to return to Sullivan County. It was my dream, he remarked. This is a great new chapter for us. We wanted to create proactive healthcare. This will be one-stop shopping. We are off to a great start. Sullivan County, I have returned, and I wont let you down.
Some years ago, a new fledgling legislature, with a new county manager and a bright and innovative planning director, decided to embark upon this endeavor a shovel-ready corporate park, commented Sullivan County Legislature Chair Leni Binder. Some changes are progressive. But some feared, like a Michael Jackson facelift, we could end up much worse than we started. I am proud to stand here and welcome Crystal Run to its new home.
Six and a half years ago, I got a call to meet with then-County Manager Jonathan Drapkin and then-County Chair Rusty Pomeroy, remarked Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini. They told me about the Emerald Corporate Park, and I said, Go for it. I did not think this would break ground before the first casino. However, this is better. I hope this will continue to grow.
Crystal Run is just the first business in the Emerald Corporate Center. Other businesses are negotiating to build at the ECC. However, Tuesday was all about Crystal Run.
This was done through a lot of hard work and effort, stated County Manager and ECC Board Chair Dan Briggs. This marks the realization of the future of Sullivan County. This was smart economic growth. Crystal Run is evidence of that. Actions speak louder than words. Vision can come true.
I can see the support for this project, Sullivan County District 9 Legislator Jim Carnell Jr. said. (Crystal Run is in Carnells district.) Alan had the foresight. I am glad to see the shovels in the ground. This is the start of the future of the Emerald Corporate Center, Crystal Run, and economic development.
Today is a celebration, remarked Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development President Michael Sullivan. This is a part of the effort to diversify our economy. We in Sullivan County work together better than in any other area. We are not dependent on any single industry. We should all be justly proud.
Dr. Michelle Koury, on behalf of the Crystal Run Partners, presented Teitelbaum with a statue. Flowers were also presented to Teitelbaums family. Afterwards, the officials and the doctors ceremoniously broke ground.
The construction is expected to be completed within a year.