During its October 20th regular board meeting, the Auburn Industrial Development Authority (AIDA) unanimously approved a letter of intent from Renaissance Solutions, Inc., dba Terrapin Care Station (Terrapin), to purchase a lot in the Auburn Technology Park. This approval marks the beginning of discussions with Terrapin for a formal purchase option agreement for the lot.
Terrapin plans to build a marijuana cultivation and production facility on Lot #2 of the technology park. In a recent press release from the company, “Terrapin will make a multi-million dollar investment in the Auburn community, bringing as many as 100 jobs to the region.” In response to questions at the October 20 AIDA board meeting, Nico Pento, VP of External Affairs explained that marijuana will not be sold at the facility. Auburn’s site would be an indoor cultivation and production facility that grows plants and makes products from the harvested crop.
The company’s director of communications Peter Marcus, an Ithaca College graduate, was interviewed by The Citizen and shared that Terrapin began looking for a location in New York State soon after the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation in March. Marcus also disclosed his love for the Finger Lakes Region and its resources for development including clean water and its long-standing, thriving agricultural industry. Regarding the City of Auburn, Marcus was quoted:
“’When we looked into it, we found a welcoming community that was accommodating, had property that fit our needs and shared our values as a company…. We looked at a handful of other cities, we considered Rochester and Syracuse, but we drove into Auburn, had our meetings and walked away saying this was the city for us.’”
Marcus hopes the company will begin production in two years. Construction of the facility and the state’s finalization of rules and regulations around licensing marijuana production facilities will be their primary obstacles. The company is committed to and has a history of corporate social responsibility with active engagement in the communities in which it operates. Terrapin has made partnerships with Auburn nonprofits Nick’s Ride for Friends, the Equal Rights Heritage Center, the Auburn Beautification Commission, and are looking into other options with more local organizations. The company encourages open communication with the community and offers a contact form on their website to answer questions.