The public investment in luring Stream Global Services to Watertown has proven to be a successful taxpayer-funded effort to support job creation.
Stream opened its call center in the former F.W. Woolworth department store in downtown Watertown 10 years ago with nearly $14 million in government incentives to renovate the building into a call center employing hundreds of people. It was an investment in a high-technology business that has meant employment for hundreds of residents and contributed to the revitalization of the city center.
Now, it is looking at a $4.2 million upgrade of the Arsenal Street building with assistance through the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, the Development Authority of the North Country, the Watertown Local Development Corp. and the Empire State Development Corp. to accommodate a new customer.
The company plans to put in $1.2 million. The expansion could result in 300 new employees being added to the 700 people who work there now.
The project will include new equipment, employee-related facilities and reconfiguration of work space occupied by Stream but not the separately-owned ground floor, which unfortunately has fallen into a state of disrepair.
The public-private partnership has paid off and earned the additional investment to sustain Streams growth and another 300 jobs.
Now, if only the owner of the ground floor would invest in the future of the building.