OSWEGO, NY – Port City native Joseph Pilotta says he has a plan to move Oswego out of its economic doldrums.
Bedsides his desire to create a 150,000 square foot multi-use facility in the Oswego Harbor, he said he’d like to bring an international investors’ summit to his home town later this fall or in the spring of 2015.
Read about In-Nova here: http://oswegocountytoday.com/oswego-native-continues-push-for-in-nova-project/
Pilotta, president and CEO of In-Nova.1 Group of Columbus, Ohio, was in Oswego last month to update city officials on his plans.
“One of the things I had indicated that In-Nova.1 would do on a yearly basis would be develop a global investors’ summit to basically promote in-nova as well as promote the city of Oswego,” he told Oswego County Today recently.
While In-Nova hasn’t reached physical presence as yet, there is no reason why it can’t exist virtually, he pointed out.
“Now, how do we address the virtual side of In-Nova? We’re going to help commercialize technology that I found to be, and others found to be, ready for the market place but can’t find a market. There are going to be very few companies necessarily interested in re-locating that already employ hundreds of jobs. In reality, re-location doesn’t always create that many jobs any way,” he said. “Smaller companies have been proven to actually create 95 percent of the new jobs in the United States. That is a fact. What we have done virtually right now is marketing (a company) in China and now have an investor extremely keen for their products in the China market.”
They are also in the process of creating a funding package for the company to address increased manufacturing potential. They’d do the same thing in Oswego with In-Nova, he added.
“We can virtualize a total investors’ summit by bringing people here to Oswego, as well as bring them virtually here through Skype or teleconferencing,” he explained. “The people we bring in will be both representing investors or institutional investors who are interested in what Oswego has to offer. For instance, we’ll bring in people from the tourism industry who may be interested in what types of passenger ship could be brought in to take advantage of the Great Lakes and historic aspect of Oswego.”
Pilotta said he has already talked to companies who are from the United Arab Emirates, the Baltics, from Austria and from China who are willing to come to an investors’ summit not only to listen but to see what the opportunities are here in the state of New York, in Oswego.
“This (summit) is the first time anything like this has happened in Oswego. Nobody has ever done it. There are a few companies who’d like to come in earlier than the summit,” he said. “One is a pre-fabricated and design housing company out of Austria.”
The theme of the summit will be not only green, but to bring in people and investors connected to 3-D and 4-D manufacturing; “the hottest stocks on the market right now are 3-D manufacturing,” he said.
“So, I see going green and 3-D, 4-D technology is the positioning of Oswego. That also facilitates tourism, by the way. The notion of going green as a city also really hits a niche market of people who actually will look up cities that have a green bent and they will pay 25 percent more than other people just because they are a green city, or going green,” Pilotta said.
“Also, we would be bringing in the kind of companies that In-Nova would also be interested in; that is the creation of new alternative technologies as well as wellness technologies. We’re going to be true to our thrust and we will also bring in some of our partners who have consented to be affiliated with In-Nova.1 in terms of their creating the physical presence of In-Nova,” he continued.
One of the companies is a large marina operation, another is a group from MIT to discuss how to create new and better management, according to Pilotta.
As for In-Nova’s physical presence, they are still waiting to overcome an obstacle – the bond anticipation note, which in principle says while they are still paying that off they (the city) cannot lease the site.
“And that’s fine, but we need to be a little farther down the road. I have to pass environmental situations and every thing before that happens,” Pilotta said, adding that he is confident that the BAN issue can be overcome. “I am only looking for an option that says if I pass every thing than I get first rights to basically make this happen. And, that’s all I’m looking for.”
“The question is whether the city can afford to lose the jobs and revenue that this can produce. It is estimated right now there will be 114 to 131 jobs created. Once the place is running it will create another 120 jobs in the community. I will not take a (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes), I will pay the taxes. After the first four years of operation in business, in year five, there will be a cumulative total of taxes paid in the amount of more than $8 million,” Pilotta said. “Right now, that is 20 percent of the current (city) budget. It actually would have paid for the shortfall that we just encountered twice over.”
If people figure that they can afford to lose the possibility of that revenue, that possibility of jobs, then In-Nova.1 will not become a physical presence, he said.
“People need to come forward if they want this to happen, start saying something. If city officials only hear from those against it, that’s the way it will be. How about let them hear from those who are for it. Jobs and tax revenue are important. If anybody wanted a revenue plan, this is a revenue plan,” he said.
Once he has the option, then his investors can come forward, “because there’s something to invest in, you can’t invest in air,” he explained.
Some people have said they want the money put in escrow so they know it’s there, according to Pilotta.
“Well, nobody in my investors is going to put $2 million up front and have it sit there while everybody’s getting their act together. In fact, it should be quite the other way around. The city should be looking to see how we can exploit the value of the marina and I would be willing to pay for on a yearly basis a marina group to manage both the marina and Wright’s Landing and make it a real, real great place for boating and water sports. That would be a contribution greater than just give me two million bucks,” he said.
Pilotta said he isn’t interested in what the vested interests have to say.
“I’m just saying let’s look at the facts and the bottom line. Your bottom line is do you want the jobs, do you want the tax revenue? If you do, then it’s worth giving it a shot. If you’re against it that’s fine. But if you’re against it, please come up with a plan that’s better. If you can’t come up with a plan that’s better, then you should probably like step back,” he said. “My thoughts are In-Nova.1 is not merely a building; it is an economic development strategy for Oswego.”