email: info@lutherforest.org

History of the Luther Forest

The Luther Forest has a long history of blending nature, innovation and technology. Originally a pine forest plantation, the Luther Forest later became home to energy and technology companies, like the Hermes Project Rocket Test site (circa 1945) and the Wright-Malta Corporation. In order to meet the needs of 21st century technology leaders, the Luther Forest has again been re-developed for its current use as the premier location for semiconductor, nanotechnology and emerging technology companies. With its re-design and newly constructed infrastructure, the Luther Forest Technology Campus is carrying on the Luther Forest’s proud tradition of blending technology and innovation in an unmatched natural setting.


Tech Valley Solidifies Its Position as a Global Nanotech Hub 
As the construction of GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ Fab 8, Mod 1 nears completion, economic development initiatives continue throughout Saratoga County and the Capital Region. These initiatives are solidifying Tech Valley’s position as a global nanotech hub and continue to attract new companies, research initiatives and investments to the region. Global leaders that established or expanded their presence in Tech Valley during 2011 include IBM, Intel, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Tokyo Electron, Samsung, International SEMATECH, Applied Materials, and KLA-TenCor.
  GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces New Administrative Building at Fab 8.
In February 2011, GLOBALFOUNDRIES announced plans to build a new 221,000 sf administrative building at Fab 8. The building, which was designed to hold more than a 1,000 employees, will initially be home to 450 workers who will provide support for Fab 8. Work on the admin building, which represents an additional investment of $20 million at the tech park, will be complete in August 2012.
  Construction of the Malta Community Fields Begins.
In the summer of 2011, construction of an 18-acre community sports complex is underway at the Luther Forest Technology Campus. The sports complex will include 4 softball fields, 3 soccer fields, and trails connecting the fields to the 100-Acre Wood walking trails. The fields will be opened for community use in Spring 2012.
  Campus Main Access Construction Underway.
The 5.5-miles of campus roads were opened to the public in June 2011. Road work continued throughout 2011 as the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) installed two new roundabouts at the Stonebreak Road and Route 67 entrances to the campus. These roundabouts are designed to smooth the flow of traffic into and out of the campus, while also easing the traffic impacts on surrounding residential neighborhoods.  


Infrastructure Work Continues at the Campus.
The infrastructure work at the Luther Forest Technology Campus continued throughout 2009 and 2010. These infrastructure systems, which were designed to meet the strict siting needs of the semiconductor industry, will serve both GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 8 and other tenants that locate at the campus. The infrastructures projects completed during this period include:

  • 115 kV electric transmission system (a 115 kV switch yard and 9-miles of high-voltage transmission lines) that connects the campus to the two regional utilities.
  • 8” natural gas line to meet the gas load requirements for campus tenants.
  • 3.5 miles of sewer mains to connect the campus to the Saratoga County Sewer District #1.
  • 27-mile water line that brings water from the upper Hudson River to the campus and a 5-million gallon water tank that serves as a backup water supply.
5.5 miles of new campus roadways and site driveways; 7 miles of existing roads were rebuilt and paved; and the Round Lake Bypass, a 1.6-mile, two lane roadway that directly connects the campus to I-87, was completed.
  GLOBALFOUNDRIES Broke Ground on Fab 8, Mod 1.
In June 2009, GLOBALFOUNDRIES broke ground on its 1.9 million sf semiconductor fab at the Luther Forest Technology Campus. Fab 8 is a state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing facility that will provide 300 mm manufacturing capabilities to customers around the world. Fab 8, Module 1 consists of four major buildings including the wafer fabrication building (the ‘Fab’), the Central Utility Building (CUB), and the Fab technical support building. GLOBALFOUNDRIES is anticipating achieving LEED Gold Certification for the Fab. Mod 1 is scheduled to begin production in 2012 and will create more than 1,465 jobs in Saratoga County.


Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement Submitted.
The Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) was submitted to and accepted by the Towns of Malta and Stillwater. A second SDEIS was required in order to amend the original PDD to meet the unique construction requirements of AMD.

AMD Submits its Proposed PDD Amendments.
AMD formally approached the Towns of Malta and Stillwater and submitted its PDD amendments. The amended PDD was approved in March 2008.

  Infrastructure Work Begins at Luther Forest Technology Campus.
Infrastructure work began at the Campus in 2008. Key infrastructure development projects include the construction of water, sewer, and natural gas lines; site driveways; electrical transmission lines and electrical substation; new telecommunications infrastructure; and trails throughout the Campus. A new Round Lake Bypass road and several roundabouts are being constructed off campus to accommodate the increased flow of traffic to the Campus while minimizing the impact on surrounding communities.
  AMD Formally Commits to Build at the Luther Forest Technology Campus.
In August 2008, AMD Chairman Hector Ruiz visited the Campus for the first time. In October 2008, AMD formally committed to build its new facility at the Luther Forest Technology Campus. The manufacturing facility will be operated by GLOBALFOUNDRIES, a new company created by a joint venture between AMD and the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi. The new plant will be a $4.6 billion facility and will employ 1,465 people during Phase 1 of development.


Army Corps of Engineers Permit Issued.
The Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit in December 2007 allowing LFTCEDC to develop the basic infrastructure at the Luther Forest Technology Campus (site driveways, sewer lines, water lines and electrical transmission lines). This infrastructure was essential before AMD and other manufacturing facilities could be built. This permit was a critical component of the effort to begin development of the Luther Forest Technology Campus.


AMD Evaluates Luther Forest Technology Campus.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), the world’s second largest semiconductor manufacturer, began to evaluate the Luther Forest Technology Campus along with other global sites including sites in New York and Dresden, Germany. 
  AMD Commits to Build at the Luther Forest Technology Campus.
On June 23, 2006, AMD announced plans to build its new $3.2 billion chip plant at the Luther Forest Technology Campus. This multi-billion dollar deal would locate the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world at the Campus. This deal would be the largest private sector industrial investment in New York State history.


Luther Forest Technology Campus is Expanded to Current Size.
After the purchase of the 164 acres Wright-Malta Facility, LFTCEDC purchased the adjacent 1,186 acres of greenfield property from the Luther Forest Corporation, bringing the size of the new Luther Forest Technology Campus to its current 1,414 acres.


Planned Development District Approved.
The Towns of Malta and Stillwater each approved the proposed PDD application (on May 18, 2004, and June 14, 2004, respectively), paving the way for SEDC to aggressively pursue a semiconductor manufacturer. The new PDD included 1,414 acres in the Towns of Malta and Stillwater (approximately 1,099 acres in Malta and 315 acres in Stillwater).
  Luther Forest Technology Campus is Formed.
[IN 2004, SEDC formed the Luther Forest Technology Campus Economic Development Corporation (LFTCEDC), a not-for-profit organization incorporated solely for the purpose of developing the Campus.] Once the PDD was approved, LFTCEDC completed the purchase of the Wright-Malta Facility (164 acres) in Malta, NY. These 164 acres would become the first piece of what is now known as the Luther Forest Technology Campus. 


Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement Submitted.
A Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS), a requirement for New York’s SEQRA permit, was submitted to the Towns of Malta and Stillwater in January 2003. The DGEIS allowed the Towns to evaluate the potential long-term impacts of developing the Luther Forest Technology Campus and identified mitigation steps to minimize the impact on the community.
  Public Hearings Held to Allow for Community Input.
The DGEIS was released to the public for community review and input. Several public hearings were held in both towns to provide the public time and opportunity to review and comment on the project. The public was generally supportive of the plan to develop a nanotechnology park in Malta/Stillwater and the public’s concerns (traffic, environment, etc.) were addressed in the subsequent FGEIS.
  Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement Submitted.
A Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (FGEIS) was submitted to the Towns of Malta and Stillwater in October 2003. The FGEIS incorporated the comments of the community and updated the mitigation actions to accommodate community concerns. The FGEIS was accepted and approved by the Towns of Malta and Stillwater in October 2003.


Saratoga County Joins the Chip Fab Race.
Initially, New York’s leaders hoped to lure a chip fab to the Rensselaer Technology Park in North Greenbush. But in 1999, the North Greenbush community rejected plans to allow a fab to be built there. After this time, the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) stepped up and began the process to pre-permit and develop a Saratoga County parcel for chip fab manufacturing
  Wright-Malta Facility and Adjacent Land Chosen for Future Site of Nanotechnology Park.
Several Saratoga properties were evaluated as potential sites for a nanotechnology park, yet few offered the characteristics needed (developable acres, access to transportation, infrastructure). Two adjacent properties in Malta and Stillwater not only met all general site selection criteria, but offered the unique characteristic of having minimal bedrock vibrations. These properties were selected as the most viable for a nanotechnology park and SEDC purchased options to buy.
  Engineering and Site Development Work Begins.
Site engineering and pre-development work commenced in preparation of submitting a PDD application to the Towns of Malta and Stillwater to request a change in zoning. This pre-development work included archeological surveys, conceptual plans, vibration testing, etc.
  Planned Development District Applications Submitted to Malta and Stillwater.
Local zoning laws did not allow for the construction of a semiconductor manufacturing facility. In order to proceed with the development of a chip fab in Malta and Stillwater, local legislation was needed to amend existing zoning laws. SEDC filed a Planned Development District (PDD) application with the Towns of Malta and Stillwater on June 3, 2002. This new legislation would be essential in the process to build a semiconductor manufacturing facility in Saratoga County.
  The Luther Forest Technology Campus is Introduced to the World.
A regional economic development team began actively marketing the Luther Forest Technology Campus to the global semiconductor industry. The statewide development team included Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, Center for Economic Growth (CEG), New York State Senate, Niagara Mohawk, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and the Towns of Malta and Stillwater.


New York Initiates Chip Fab ’98 Program.
To give New York an edge in the race to attract computer chip fab manufacturers, state leaders implemented an initiative to pre-permit chip manufacturing plants. This program, known as Chip Fab ’98, was designed to put New York in a stronger position in the global competition for semiconductor plants. This effort later was expanded with the Build Now NY and SEMI NY programs, two economic development programs designed to help New York communities develop sites that were ‘shovel ready’ for semiconductor


New York Denied by Samsung.
The Empire State Development Corporation, Center for Economic Growth, Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, and Niagara Mohawk (now National Grid) jointly responded to a Request for Information seeking to locate a Samsung DRAM chip plant in the United States. New York was eliminated from the competition for the Samsung plant, but feedback from Samsung convinced regional economic development leaders that New York could be a real contender in the global competition to secure a chip fab facility.


History of the Luther Forest.
The Luther Forest is a living testimony to Thomas C. Luther (Tommy C.), who was born in nearby Ballston Spa, New York. Tommy C. created the Luther Forest in 1898 as a managed forestry program. This forest, which originally included 110 acres in eastern Malta, NY, grew over time to include 7,000 acres. As founder and developer of the Luther Forest, Tommy C. created one of the largest pine forest plantations in the northeastern US. More than 110 years later, the Luther Forest is still one of the most natural, picturesque and historic sections of the Town of Malta. Throughout its history, the Luther Forest has balanced nature and technology. For many years, the Luther Forest was home to energy and technology companies, including the Hermes Project Rocket Test site (circa 1945) and the Wright-Malta Corporation.