Shrinking Kodak takes on new role: startup landlord

Road signs mark a corner inside the expansive Eastman Business Park campus in Rochester, N.Y. Kodak considered selling its 1,250-acre business park to a smaller company after emerging from bankruptcy, but has instead been courting new businesses to the site, with the promise of access to plentiful utilities, infrastructure and Kodak’s specialty technical and industrial capabilities.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Kodak had buildings and infrastructure to rival a small city on its mega campus when film faded from in-demand to dinosaur with the rise of digital photography.

The company considered selling off the 2-square-mile Kodak Park after emerging from bankruptcy a smaller company with a new focus on imaging. Instead, it has become landlord to 58 diverse companies — and counting — that have been courted with the promise of plentiful utilities, a railroad and unique access to Kodak’s specialty technical and industrial capabilities.

About 6,000 people now work there, roughly 1,200 of them Kodak employees.

New York state has so far committed $100 million. About half of that funds an environmental trust and the rest has been in incentives for tenant businesses crucial to keeping the site active.