News Tidbits 2/14: Zoning Out

14 02 2015

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1. Leading off for the week, here’s an interesting piece of news: the city is set to repeal the Collegetown Parking Overlay Zone (CPOZ). The CPOZ was enacted in 2000 as a way to control the parking needs of Collegetown – essentially, it mandated more parking spaces per unit than was standard for a parcel’s zoning. For example, an apartment building of 6 occupants, zoned R-3a, would require 2 off-street parking spaces in Fall Creek, one for every three residents. But on East Hill, that same building would require 3 parking spaces, since the CPOZ mandates 1 off-street space for every 2 residents.

At the time, it made sense; East Hill tends to have more students, who bring their cars to school. But in the past 15 years, the proportion of students bringing cars has declined substantially – a study by Randall/West indicated that in 2000, 49% of Cornell students owned a car; by 2012, it was 27%, a change attributed to the rise of alternative transportation (car share, Cornell-subsidized bus passes), economic and cultural changes. At this point, there’s more parking than there is necessary.

It may seem at first glance that the CPOZ was eliminated with the Collegetown Form Zoning enacted last year, but the two maps don’t match up completely- there are 145 properties that weren’t affected by the new form zoning, but are still covered by the CPOZ parking requirement (see map above). Nearly all of these parcels are a part of the East Hill Historic District (the rest being Collegetown Terrace). A few recent cases, one with Collegetown Terrace and a couple of smaller projects, have highlighted the point that parking requirements have become excessive.

A change to the parking requirements could have a couple of desirable effects – one, less parking would be more historically accurate, and helps to preserve green space in the neighborhood. Two, it opens the idea of replacing a couple of the current parking lots with new housing, which would be designed to fit in closely with the current building stock since the properties are located in the East Hill Historic District (I know, landlords will never give up the money from renting spaces, but perhaps a new small apartment house might be more lucrative than a parking lot; looking at the tax maps, there are a few possible sites, including subdivisions). One mixed effect would be that it’s easier to convert a current single-family lot to student rentals, but the rental would now be less visually intrusive with fewer parking spaces. It’ll be interesting to see what comes forth as a result of this zoning repeal.

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2. Among other zoning changes being considered is a change to industrial zones (the city has just a few). Commercial buildings can be built in industrial zones, but the city wants to raise the minimum number of floors for new commercial buildings in these zones to increase from 1 to 2 floors, a nod to the paucity of undeveloped land in the city (and perhaps the painful attraction of suburban big box stores). There are five sites on the map above, but it might as well be three – Emerson (lower right) is becoming a planned development zone, and the Ithaca Gun site (upper right) is expected to be rezoned from industrial to medium-density residential, in preparation for an apartment project still in the works.

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3. What is up with the proposed hotels constantly delaying their schedules? First the Marriott pushed back its opening from Spring 2016 to Q3 (July-September) 2016. Now the Canopy Hilton is pushing their schedule back, from a construction start this Spring to an autumn start, which makes it difficult if not impossible to realize the cost savings from reusing the crane for the Carey Building. The tax abatements aren’t going to take that long to obtain, maybe another month or two before the county takes its vote.

Presumably, the project would open in autumn 2016 if the construction schedule is similar. But I feel like these delays send a message of incompetence, and that’s the last thing a project needs.

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4. Maybe the article I wrote about the new INHS project will have run in the Voice by the time this auto-publishes. But here’s a render that I decided to leave out of the final article to minimize space. The city uploaded the initial application Friday morning (sketch plan will be presented this month), and I’ll write a follow-up article, based on the application paperwork (so it will be different from the Voice article), and post it here on Ithacating in the next few days.

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5. Staying on the topic of affordable housing, these agenda notes from IURA Neighborhood Investment Committee reminded me of another affordable housing project that totally slipped off the radar- Cayuga Meadows, a 62-unit apartment building for seniors that was approved by the town of Ithaca for a site near Overlook at West Hill in late 2012. On page 52, it’s noted that the project is supposed to open in November 2015. That would imply that it should be starting construction soon if site prep hasn’t started already (I haven’t visited the site in over a year, so I have no clue). The pipeline document is dated from February 2014, so I have no idea if that’s still accurate. I emailed its developer, Conifer LLC, to see if the project was active, but received no response. Still, it’s something to keep an eye on.





Village Solars Apartments Construction Update, 2/2015

11 02 2015

The first three apartment buildings of the Village Solars apartment project in Lansing are fully framed, sheathed (I’m assuming the red panels are sheathing material), roofed, and windows and doors have been installed in most locations. The light-colored material might be a breathable wrap for weather/moisture resistance. It will be a little while before exterior finishes are applied and balconies are installed. When I visited last Saturday, the site was buzzing with the sounds of construction workers busy with tasks inside (probably rough-ins for things like plumbing and electrical), and ’80s hair metal streaming from a radio somewhere from within. Nothing like installing pipes while rocking out to Twisted Sister.

The Village Solars get their name from what the craigslist sales pitch calls “their passive solar design and energy saving features”. As far as I’m aware, they won’t have solar panels. According to Thomas Bobnick, the rental agent for the apartments, the first phase shown here will consist of 36 units (the final buildout will be close to 300 units). The design of the complex calls for at least eight, maybe ten buildings to surround a new pond that will be dug out of the undeveloped middle of the property – the advertisements call it “waterfront”, which it is, technically.

From the craigslist advertisements, one-bedroom units will rent for $1050-$1145 and be ready for occupancy by June 1st, two-bedroom units will rent for $1235-$1369 and be ready for tenants on May 1st, and three-bedroom units will rent for $1565-$1600 and be available on June 1st. These dates are pushed back a little from initial plans, which called for March and April occupancy; no doubt the severe winter has complicated the schedule. Looking at the photos, the two buildings under construction on the west and east ends look to be one style (balconies in the middle), while the center building is a different layout and design (end balconies). The price range for the two bedrooms is a little above the average two-bedroom unit in Ithaca ($1,165), but after accounting for the premium on new construction, the developer seems to be pricing for the middle tier of the market.

The Village Solars are being developed by local company Lifestyle Properties. Lifestyle is run by Steve Lucente of the Lucente family, who have been major builder/developers in Ithaca since the 1950s. No one word on the architect. Upstate Contractors of Syracuse appears to be handling the construction work.

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Boiceville Cottages Update, 2/2015

8 02 2015

It’s been about 2.5 months since my last trip through the Boiceville Cottages, but given that it’s winter (and a particularly cold and severe winter since the jet stream reconfigured in January), there has only been slow if steady progress with its 75-unit expansion. Since December, the timber homes with purple trim have been completed, four houses that were undergoing exterior build-out have now progressed to exterior detailing and interior finishing (the ones with green timber trim), and windows are being fitted into three homes that have sprouted from their slab foundations since the previous visit.

One of the things that stood out on this visit was that it’s now possible to walk all the way through the new phase thanks to the construction. Looking around at the snow on the ground, edges of the blue waterproof covering (which might be the covering of cement board being used to protect the slab insulation) could be seen poking out among the drifts. Using the (gas utility?) loops coming out from the foundations as a guide, there are perhaps a dozen poured concrete foundations, ready for construction as time and weather provide. There were approximately 25 units that were built in 2014, and with probably 10 complete by the end of March, 2015 looks to be on the same construction pace, maybe even greater. It might even be possible that the expansion will be completed this year. Inquiring minds would like to know if Bruno Schickel has any other expansions or colorful villages planned.

The Boiceville Cottages, built and managed by the Schickel family, are rather unusual as apartment complexes go. For one thing, there are the bright paint jobs, a sort of hallmark of the cottage units since the first set of 24 houses was built in 1996/97. The bright paint and the ornate woodwork have led to a nickname, “The Storybook Cottages“, which holds some weight, according to an article in Life in the Finger Lakes:

“Schickel said he was inspired to build his colorful cottages by a children’s book he read to his daughters almost 20 years ago. The book, Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney, tells of a girl who, at her grandfather’s urging, travels to faraway lands seeking adventure. Later she moves to a cottage by the sea and works to make the world more beautiful by spreading seeds of blue and purple lupine. An illustration by the author shows the Lupine Lady’s house on a hill overlooking the sea. The small cottage is replete with finial and gingerbread. Seeing that illustration was the eureka! moment, Schickel recalled. “I said, ‘I’ve got to design something like this!’”

Since the initial 24 units were built, a further phase of 36 units was undertaken pre-recession, and in the past couple of years the town of Caroline signed off on the next phase, a group of 75 that would more than double the size of the complex. The cottages have been built out at a steady pace, and at completion of this current phase, 135 units will be present on the Boiceville property. Most of the units are 1 and 2-bedroom cottages, built in clusters of three, although a few “gatehouse” rowhouses offer studios and 3-bedroom units. The Boiceville complex may be the largest population center in the 3,300 person town.

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Tompkins County’s Comprehensive Plan

3 02 2015

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In keeping with the recent talk of Comprehensive Plans, Tompkins County has just released their new plan, their first since 2004. That might not seem like a big deal, but in that time period, the county has probably added 4,500 residents and a couple thousand housing units, so it’s more important than it might seem at first glance (for the sake of comparison, every county community except Ithaca city has made a plan since 2000; the city’s dates from 1971). Currently, the plan is in review and up for adoption by the County Legislature at their meeting on the 17th. The 109-page document has been in the works since the fall of 2013.

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Generally, the county doesn’t play a big role in what does and doesn’t get built in its constituent villages and towns. Building projects are required to get county input, but the county isn’t about to stop anything, nor does it have much authority to (unless you’re applying for tax breaks, like Jason Fane’s 130 E. Clinton project). Perhaps the largest point of contention at the moment is the intermunicipal NYSEG natural gas pipeline, which Lansing wants and needs to sustain its growth, but the county has issues with, saying it could upset their green energy goals. On the opposite end of the scale was the Cayuga Ridge project for the Biggs parcel, which the county planned to sell to an affordable housing developer, but received significant blowback from the West Hill community. Cayuga Ridge was later cancelled when a site check by the developer revealed more wetlands than previously thought.

Anyway, back to the plan. It’s available in small chunks on this page, or for those whose internet connection can handle all 109 pages at once, here it is.

The general theme here from a housing standpoint is to fill in the spaces within the city, villages and hamlets. There’s a strong push on the county level to keep farmland from being scooped up for new development – a major threat, considering some of the cheapest land to develop in the county happens to be far-flung agricultural properties, where a relative lack of neighbors and shoestring small town planning boards can make for a quick and easy process. The logic is, if development takes place in communities that are already settled and already have employers and amenities, it limits the need for getting into a car for every trip, and makes for a more “sustainable” environment and stronger communities. Urban/infill development also makes for a lower tax burden per new unit added – there’s no need to pave new roads or extend utility lines.

The county is also becoming a bigger proponent of mixed-use development – apartment buildings with retail on the first floor, projects that have space for both homes and offices, and so forth. The logic is the same as before – if it’s convenient, people are more likely to walk, and patronize their own community. Trends in smaller households leads to the county’s suggestion of smaller housing units, as well as more senior housing for the greying population that chooses to “age in place”.

This all sounds great on paper, but there are many issues in practice. Anti-development sentiment, the ideal candidates for development aren’t for sale, outdated municipal zoning and so forth.

Economically, the county plans on sustaining its biggest contributors, education and healthcare, while making an effort to diversify with incentives towards manufacturing, high-tech/tech startups, food processing, agriculture and tourism. Specifically, they’re hoping to leverage the Cornell tech scene into permanent jobs and new economic development, which has met with some success, though nothing on the scale of, say, Silicon Valley or the Research Triangle. The high taxes, isolated location and lack of access to capital are major hurdles in an area that has plenty of brain power to tap into. The county is hoping to alleviate some of the burden by utilizing the state’s STARTUP NY program, and supporting resources like the new Rev business incubator in downtown Ithaca.

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The county only seems to be expecting 3,000-6,000 new jobs in the next ten years – a number that seems a little conservative, if recent growth is any indicator. The county (aka the Ithaca metro, following the Federal BLS) has added 8,400 jobs since December 2004 (63,700 jobs in December 2004 to 72,100 in December 2014).

On an individual scale, the county is seeking to expand broadband internet infrastructure and maintain the airport, which has seen a sharp decrease in travelers over the past year, putting its long-term feasibility at risk. There will also be continued funding towards planning studies (a study examining the NYS DOT relocation from the waterfront is the latest example), tourism advertising and tax abatements when appropriate.

Finally, the county expounds the affordable housing issue, noting that 38% of renters and owners are above the “affordable” threshold, there are over 15,000 in-commuters, and very low vacancy rates creates a disincentive for slumlords to fix up their overpriced properties, which in turn makes communities less energy-efficient. Unfortunately, the county doesn’t offer many solutions. They note an affordable housing fund paid into by itself, the colleges and the city of Ithaca, put the partnership is set to expire this year, and the future is uncertain. The other is “increasing community support for the construction of more housing units”, which is much easier said than done.

There also sections on encouraging mass transit and alternative (non-car) commuting, natural resource preservation and wetland management, but those are too close to my day job for me to want to write about. But in sum, the theme is infill development in the hamlets and established areas, make the area more eco-friendly, preserving farms and green space, trying to expand affordable housing options and continue growing the economy. All of which are great goals, but given that these interests can conflict with each other, there will likely be many debates over the next several years.

 





News Tidbits 1/31/2015: History Comes Alive

31 01 2015

With no new projects before the city planning board, and the town cof Ithaca ancelling its planning meetings twice in a row (something that happens only once every couple years), the end of January is shaping up to be a slow period. But that’s not to say there’s no news at all.

1. From the twitter account of local firm Jason K. Demarest Architecture:

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No details in the tweet, but I’m getting the impression that the Shen family, who own the Simeon’s building, hired Demarest as the architect for the reconstruction. If that’s the case ( it seems likely, given that the firm handled the expansion of Simeon’s resutaruant in 2009), and this is a preliminary design, then I can only express the greatest of joys that the south facade will be sympathetically rebuilt to its former charm and glory. Fingers crossed.

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2. Sticking with the history theme, the city ILPC (Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Council) is considering another historic district, a seven-building district in central Ithaca being called the “Titus-Wood Historic District“. I can think of two reasons for this plan:

I. A historically notable carriage house at the back of 310 W. State Street has been threatened with demolition, much to the dismay of local preservationists. If designated, demolition becomes much more difficult (an “economic hardship” clause has to be invoked and approved by the council).

II. The West State corridor is a target for development under the new Ithaca Comprehensive Plan, which could potentially put the other buildings at risk in the long term.

There’s been no major opposition to the proposal so far, so this is probably good for approval at their next meeting.

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3. Also in the same ILPC meeting, a single-family home at 421 N. Albany Street is being considered for historic designation. The house was home to a precursor of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity who have sought to purchase the property and restore it as a historic fraternal landmark. The African-American fraternity (the first fraternity of its kind) is also raising money to build a monument at 411 East State Street (shown above, zoning appeal application from last summer here). The 411 East State site is owned by Travis Hyde Properties, and the national fraternity appears to have negotiated use of that part of the property for its monument.

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4. Courtesy of the Ithaca Times, we now know the renovation of the furniture store at 206 Taughannock will yield seven apartments and commercial space. The Lehigh Valley House building being renovated next door (covered by Ithaca Builds previously) will host a satellite office of the IPD on its ground floor, with six condos on the upper two floors. 206 Taughannock is being developed by Mark Zaharis, and Lehigh Valley House by Tim Ciaschi.

If Ithaca has any sort of “warehouse district” like the larger cities, Inlet Island is probably the closest comparison. Traditionally, it’s been a blend of commercial and industrial uses, and low-income families whose homes were lost to the construction of the flood control channel in the mid-to-late 1960s. In recent years, with the passage of more amenable zoning and increasing interest/rising land values in Ithaca city, the island and West End have started to receive attention from developers. In the past year, the aforementioned two projects and the 21-unit 323 Taughannock have been proposed and/or started construction, and interested parties are rumored to be waiting on the sidelines, ready to propose their own projects based on the success of these pioneers. Among those interested parties are Tom[kins County and the city of Ithaca, who are busy persuading the state to sell or move out of underused properties so that they can be made available for development.The city has had a strong interest in redeveloping the island for decades.

I think the potential is here for substantial development, and so far, the projects underway are doing well; it’s not remiss to suggest there will be more in the next couple years. But the idea of development is still controversial, with concerns of traffic and loss of local character. I have no doubt it will be a spirited debate.

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5. The charitable trust of the Al-Huda Islamic Center has officially purchased the land that will hold the Ithaca area’s first stand-along mosque. The vacant parcel at 112 Graham Road in Lansing was purchased for $64,900 on January 29th. The special permit for a religious building was approved by the village back in August of last year. The cost of construction is expected to be in the range of $600,000, which is to be raised through donations. I have no idea how close they are to their goal, but the land purchase is auspicious.





News Tidbits 1/24/15: Down On the Waterfront

24 01 2015

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1. This week, the county decided to move forward with a feasibility study for moving the NYS DOT site from its current location along the inlet to a site in Dryden. The $78,000 award (of which $56,000 is covered by a state grant) was made to Rochester-based Fisher Associates, who are leading a group that includes NYC-based HR&A Advisors, local firm Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects, and Binghamton-based BCK/IBI Group Architects. Seven companies/consortiums vied for the study.

Readers might recall an RFP was issued back in July for the feasibility of moving the NYSDOT maintenance facility, which would make available a large and desirable property that the city would like to see redeveloped. The study is due to be completed in May, and if it looks like the move is doable (i.e. the county and city can cajole the perenially-reluctant DOT), the site could be sold to the highest bidder and begin redevelopment in early 2017.

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2. In keeping with the waterfront theme, here’s a couple interesting chunks of info from the IURA Governance Meeting agenda for the 21st. In a discussion of revenue-generating opportunities,  the IURA notes redevelopment opportunities on some of its parcels – one, 324 E. State Street, is already planned out, it’s the site of the 123-room “canopy Hotel” by Hilton.  Another is 410-426 Taughannock Boulevard (red outline in the above image), which could occur in conjunction with a state-owned neighboring parcel owned at 508 Taughannock Boulevard (orange outline), a property in the process of being purchased by the city. Though 410-426 has been noted to have environmental contamination, the interest in the waterfront and Inlet Island recently (323 Taughannock, Lehigh Valley House, 206 Taughannock) leaves the door open to a developer with the means and interest. This will be a site to keep an eye on in the long-term.

Also worth a brief mention is the planned purchase of a small vacant lot at 420 N. Plain Street. The house on that site was demolished after it was sold to NYSEG in 2011. What will most likely happen is a transfer of the property to INHS for redevelopment into a 1 or 2-family home.

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3. The first run of the December job numbers are out, and Ithaca is sitting pretty. When compared to December 2013, the Ithaca metro added 1,200 jobs, an increase of 1.7%. For the month, Ithaca’s growth in New York State was surpassed only by New York City’s 2.3%. For the whole year of 2014, preliminary figures suggest that Ithaca’s 1.8% job growth was the fourth-greatest of the 14 state metros, following NYC’s 2.7%, Kingston’s 2.2% and Albany-Schenectady-Troy’s 2.1%. Kingston is an even smaller job market than Ithaca, Albany is nearly 6x larger (and is growing thanks in large part to its tech boom), and NYC is NYC, dominating the state with nearly 100,000 more jobs year-over-year, thus solidifying control over the state, northeast, USA and perhaps in their minds, world and universe.

The federal BLS website has yet to be updated as of today, so I can’t give the breakdowns on what market sectors gained jobs.

On the one hand, the numbers are auspicious, the region is growing economically. On the other hand, when the entire county adds a couple hundred housing units per year, this is exacerbating the housing problem. At a glance, I’d suggest there are more commuters from the surrounding counties than there were in December 2013.

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4. I stumbled upon these a couple of weeks ago, but they keep slipping off the radar. The above images are samples of the work being done by local architecural firm STREAM Collaborative for the proposed 130-unit development off of Troy Road in the town of Ithaca. The project consists of apartments, townhouses and single-family homes targeted towards the “middle-income demographic”, according to the architect’s website. I don’t know how relevant these drawing are the current design (the site plan looks current), but the images make for some nice eye candy.

I think it would be really cool if the apartment buildings rotated between the four styles in the last image – one craftsman apartment building, one stick victorian, and so on. Variety is the spice of life, the old saying goes. What say you, dear readers? Any one design more preferable than the others?

5. It is a sad day – not a single new sketch plan is schedule for next week’s Planning Board meeting. That’s the first time that’s happened in several months at least. This week’s town of Ithaca Planning Board meeting was cancelled, and the town of Lansing is only reviewing 7 lots of a new lakeside housing development (Novalane). It has all the makings of a dull week ahead. A shame too, given that a developer usually has to have several meetings with the Planning Board, it would make sense to propose something now if they wanted to get started during the warmer months of 2015.

But not all is doldrums and scanning news feeds. From an IURA meeting, the Dept. of Planning, Zoning, Building and Economic Development released its annual report. There were a couple projects I was not aware of, that have yet to go under review but are nevertheless out there for analysis, and one of those will be shared here on Tuesday.

A few brief notes:

*The city noted that TJ Maxx is moving into the city, so I’m making an educated guess that the Lansing location will be shutting down once the new space next to Hobby Lobby is ready.

* The Ithaca Gun apartment proposal, while not under any formal review at the moment, is described as having 50 units.

*The department still considered 130 E. Clinton an active project – although it is approved, don’t expect much.





News Tidbits 1/17/15: Capturing “The Essence of Local Surroundings”

17 01 2015

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1. Token PSA: The third meeting for INHS’s Hancock Street/Neighborhood Pride redevelopment is next Wednesday, the 21st, 4:40-7:30. Attendees are not required to be there for the entire time. The goal of meeting three is to discuss design concepts for the proposed buildings that comprise the two remaining/competing site plans. I look forward to writing a follow-up after the meeting.

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2. Finally, some drawings for the 102-unit Cayuga Farms townhouse project in Lansing, courtesy of the Lansing Star. They look like stereotypical “McMansions” that happen to have shared walls, and the rental price for the 2 and 3-bedroom units has the mansion part covered – $1800-$2200/month. If you use the 30% rule of affordable housing, that means the a household in the cheapest unit is expected to pull in $72,000/year. To quote the project engineer, Timothy Buhl:

“The idea is to capture the transient market of people coming from urban areas to work at the colleges,” Buhl said.  “They would ultimately buy a house, but don’t know where to locate.  We’re looking for young, two-worker families.  It’s an in-between type of rental of higher-end people that we’re looking for.”

In other words, “affordability” is not a word you’ll see in this conversation. The Cayuga Farms project was initially proposed several years ago as 144 townhouse condos (I miscounted and said 138 at the time), but the market for suburban high-end townhouse condos is pretty limited – there is Ivar Jonson’s Heights of Lansing which since 2006 has sold ~17 of the 70+ proposed townhouse units, and Woodland Park, which in three years has built ~6 of 48 planned. The market is virtually non-existent, hence rentals.

On the town’s website, there’s all sorts of other data uploaded: trail recommendations, on-site sewage system details, traffic generation estimates, erosion and sediment control plans, environmental review forms and so forth. Cayuga Farms is multi-phased, with 3-4 phases from 2015-2021; phase 1 will have 44 units. Since Lansing is at capacity on its natural gas pipeline, residents will be using propane appliances until the new natural gas pipeline from NYSEG is routed in. This project already gets dinged in my book for having 354 parking spaces when zoning requires only 153 (1.5 spaces per unit). Every unit gets 3.5 parking spaces. That seems like overkill. Anyway, the planning board reviewed the SEQR on the 12th, which is a big step towards approval of the townhouse development. My gut feeling is, while there’s no doubt Ithaca needs housing in most market segments, a high-end rental unit where you have to drive to everywhere bundles just about every criticism about local development into one convenient package.

Let’s be honest, I’m generally pro-development. But I do have a short list of projects I don’t support. This is one of them. With the sprawl, gobs of parking, and mediocre design, I question its value to the Lansing community.

 

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3. The Lofts @ Six Mile Creek project has posted preliminary unit sizes and floor plans on their facebook page. The “Studio +” and “1 Bed +” indicate bonus rooms inside the unit (suitable for another bedroom, home office, etc.). No word on rents just yet, but being new and downtown, expect an upmarket price for the 45 apartments due to enter the market late this spring. Their webpage notes they’ll be accepting reservations sometime prior to that.

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4. I think we’re up to version 7 now, but the differences in the proposed “canopy Hotel” are now so subtle that you’d have to be looking hard to spot the changes. The entrance facade is virtually the same, but the mechanical penthouse has been updated to better blend in the rest of the structure, and a couple of stylized wall inserts have been planted into the northwest wall to give the 7-story, 123-room hotel a little visual interest. More renders here, a geotechnical report here, a new cover letter here, and traffic study materials here and here. Thank goodness a lot of this work has gone paperless.

According to the documents, the new “canopy Hotel” brand by Hilton

“…is marketed towards the millennial generation (those born between 1980 and the mid-2000s), however, is relevant for the older generation of hotel guests. Each canopy Hotel is designed to incorporate the essence of its local surroundings and neighborhood feel; such as offering a local welcome gift and evening tastings of local food, beers, wines, and spirits to providing local fitness and recreation options in terms of jogging and bicycle routes (bicycles will be available for rent).”
Yes, ‘canopy’ is meant to be lower-case and ‘Hotel’ is capitalized. I’m sure the brand creators thought that was hip and edgy. Yet another reason why I would never be a good marketer. The 74,500 sq ft hotel includes a small restaurant space of 2,000 sq ft on the first floor, as well as standard hotel amenities like a small meeting room and a gym. The $19 million project hopes to start construction this spring.
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5. Looking ahead, here’s what the city Planning and Development Board seeks to do at its meeting later this month. For the canopy Hotel mentioned above, declaration of environmental significance and possible preliminary approval. INHS’s 402 S. Cayuga Street townhomes and the 6-unit 707 E. Seneca apartment project will be up for environmental review and recommendation to the zoning board for variances. The Planning Board will also declare itself lead agency for reviewing Cornell’s Upson Hall renovations, the 3 duplexes at 804 E. State Street (112 Blair). Board members will also consider approving a telecommuncations (cellphone) tower on top of a gas station at 214 N. Meadow Street, and weigh in on parking-related variances for 128 West Falls Street and 108-110 Eddy Street. It’s an interesting mix this month.







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