Eastman Business Park, the renamed Kodak campus along West Ridge Road in Rochester, is now home to an additional 100 companies and 5,500 workers.
Dolores Kruchten, Eastman Business Park’s President, said her vision for the park is that of an innovation hub, that can attract new, diverse businesses using the amenities the 2,200 acre-site has to offer.
Currently, Kodak occupies about 10 million square feet of the buildings in the park, while an additional 5 million square feet are either leased out or working to be filled. LiDestri, a food production company, owns about 1 million square feet of space within the park.
“It’s really exciting to see how we can take what was built for, you know, a technology that is really reaching onto life, to one that’s going to be really relevant long term,” said Kruchten.
The park’s waste treatment center, utilities, and power plant (which will no longer use coal come December), are examples of infrastructure businesses can capitalize on, said Kruchten.
Some companies like LiDestri, are renovated entire buildings that once housed Kodak employees and manufacturing plants. Others are jumping right in, using what equipment and buildings already made available by the park.
Much of what’s being done to help revitalize the park is assisted by investments through New York State, which has pumped $150 million into the park since 2011, according to Empire State Development’s Finger Lakes Regional Director, Vinnie Esposito, who called the park’s success a priority.
“Our main focus, while we want Kodak to succeed and stop losing jobs and to turn it around and be successful, and be a successful owner of Eastman Business Park, is to ensure that that asset is there and predictable and reliable for companies that are there and we want to bring there.”
Esposito said it’s a possibility the jobs inside the park not affiliated with Kodak will double in the next five years due to these continued investments.
While many are viewing the site as a piece of Rochester’s past, Kruchten and Esposito see it as a major component of the city’s future.