619 West State Street Construction Update, 1/2016

21 01 2016

Now for something that is out of the ground, though it’s a renovation rather than a new build. McPherson Builders is continuing their work on HOLT Architects‘ new headquarters at 619 West State Street. HOLT, which has been at its North Aurora Street location for 30 years, is looking to move into the renovated, net-zero energy structure this spring.

In a change-up from the norm, this post also comes with quotes. I had to chance to speak with HOLT Principal Quay Thompson and HOLT President Graham Gillespie with regards to the renovation project and the firm’s interest in the West End neighborhood. The interview was mostly for another piece about businesses growing in West End; that and the TM-PUD writeup from the last news tidbits were supposed to appear in the Voice this week, but then the Times’ Josh Brokaw ran a very similar writeup about Inlet Island as part of their feature series this week. Cue the grumpy face. Rather than look like a “me too” article, the pieces, which are finished and submitted, will now be published early next week.

One of the quotes I really liked but found hard to fit in the West End piece was Quay Thompson’s description of the work underway on 619 West State. I think it’s fair to include the full breadth of that quote here.

Q: “This new building is supposed to be a net-zero space, correct? And there’s space for other tenants?”

Quay Thompson: “We’re renovating it to be a net-zero structure, and there’s space for two additional tenants. Sustainability is a key feature, the energy we put in, we want to keep in the building.

The building envelope is critical. We’re increasing the thermal performance in the walls by adding interior insulation, we’re also redoing the roof to increase its thermal performance. These older buildings have a lot of thermal issues, even the foundation slab, it just draws heat right out, so we had to renovate the slab.

Mechanically, we’re adding photovoltaics and working with Taitem [Engineering] to maximize efficiency. We did a lot of energy modeling and performance modeling to determine out energy needs. We’re looking to be truly carbon-neutral. Mostly LED lights inside, daylighting controls, even the studio frontloads are scheduled. There is some behavioral change and a learning curve involved with things like lighting timers. We’re excited about the opportunity, put our money where our mouth is.”

HOLT, through an LLC, is paying for the renovation with an $897,500 loan from Tompkins Trust Company.

From this month:

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From November 2015:

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Holiday Inn Express Construction Update, 1/2016

19 01 2016

Nothing too exciting underway yet at the Holiday Inn Express at 371 Elmira Road, but the site is being cleared and prepped for construction. The site combined two tax parcels, one of which held a 7,556 SF 1970s office building, and the other a 960 SF engine repair shop. Both have which have been demolished to make way for the new 11,769 SF, 79-room hotel. Eventually, a retaining wall will be built on the back end (east side) of the parcel, to hold back the slope soil from what will be the hotel’s parking lot. A staircase and sidewalk will connect Spencer Road to the parking lot and Elmira Road.

For those who aren’t especially big fans of chain hotels and corporate architecture, this one appears to have a relatively unique design, while following the standard materials and color scheme (called “Formula Blue“) for new Holiday Inn Expresses. Standard for the HI Express line, the hotel’s lobby will serve as a “great room”, there will be free high-speed internet, and while there will not be any full-service dining, a breakfast bar will be included.

Rudra Management and Rosewood Hotels (Jayesh Patel) of suburban Buffalo is the developer, while Silvestri Architects and Optima Design & Engineering, also of Buffalo, are in charge of design. The project is being financed with a $5.98 million loan from S&T Bank, a regional bank in Western Pennsylvania. The project required a little bit of time to obtain financing, having received approval in March 2014, but now receiving the construction loan until this past October. Another Rudra/Rosewood project just up the road at 339 Elmira Road was not so lucky. A Summer 2016 opening is planned.

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Collegetown Terrace Construction Update, 1/2016

17 01 2016

Being a 247-unit, 344-bed project means a lot of earth has to be moved before anything starts to rise from the ground. As a result, the project is undergoing the necessary if not exactly glamorous step of excavation for Building 7. All three phases combines have an estimated construction cost in the range of $70 million. The impression I’m getting from here is that when the time comes, foundation forming and pouring will begin from the west side and slowly make its way east, and so the west side of the curvaceous apartment building will be further along the east side at a given time during construction (similar to how it played out with Buildings 5 and 6 during the previous phase). Local development company Novarr-Mackesey plans to have the apartment building ready for tenants by August 2017.

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From December 2015:

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1325 Taughannock Boulevard Construction Update, 1/2016

16 01 2016

Quick progress report on the multimillion-dollar lakeside manse going up at 1325 Taughannock Boulevard in the town of Ulysses. Since November, most of the roof has been shingled or finished with metal panels, and the newly-completed hand-laid stone chimney looks nice. The Green Guard Raindrop 3D housewrap is still showing in most places, but you can see wood siding on the side of the garage in the first shot, and what looks like wood shingles on the second-floor bump-out in the second photo. From the rendering shown at the project site and from Farmington-based New Energy Works’ website, it looks like many of their design use a combination of shingles and lap siding, which gives some visual interest to go along with the warm look of fresh wood. The housewrap has been furred out to prevent dampness and to attach the wood siding.

The construction loan paperwork says this project will be finished no later than the end of May, but it will likely be a little sooner than that. As I finishing up taking photos, a gentleman in a Honda pulled over to drop off some paperwork (before I asked if he was the future homeowner, I felt my face burning because I was worried it might be the owner asking who the heck was taking photos of his house), and he thought it was due to be finished by the start of May.

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Boiceville Cottages Construction Update, 1/2016

15 01 2016

Just a pass through Caroline to check on the latest progress at the Boiceville Cottages. At present, it looks like about six new houses have been framed out – the three furthest along (red-orange trim) are receiving their exterior stucco coats, while the three less further along (cobalt blue trim) look rather like shiny ornaments thanks to the aluminum facer on the Rmax Thermasheath polyiso insulation (previously some red-faced Atlas polyiso was used). Rigid thermal foam plastic insulation board is lightweight, easy to cut, provides decent fire and moisture protection and provides a very high degree of insulation from the elements, greatly limiting the transfer of heat outward. As compared to traditional plywood sheathing however, it’s not as strong, and because the water control is on the outside with the foam sheathing, there are limitations or extra steps that need to be taken before applying many exterior facade materials like wood or fiber cement.

The roof foam boards are covered in Feltex synthetic roof underlayment before the shingles are attached. Compared to traditional asphalt-saturated felt, the synthetic material offers greater moisture resistance, and they’re light-weight and high-strength. However, wicking, where water can be drawn up the roof and promote leaks, can be a big issue with synthetic roof underlayment, so it has to be installed correctly and carefully.

Another set of homes is still at the concrete slab and sill plate stage, but it looks like some wood stud walls will be going up shortly. Schickel Construction is aiming to have all 17 of the new units complete by the end of the summer.
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Gannett Health Center Construction Update, 1/2016

14 01 2016

Maybe it’s just the grey January skies, but the multi-colored glazing on the outside of the new Gannett Health Center is more subtle than the renders would suggest. Work is continuing on Phase I of the $55 million project, which is planning to open this summer. Once it does, Gannett’s services will shift over into the new structure, so that phase II, renovations to the original 1956 building and the 1979 addition can take place. The building project is expected to wrap up in August 2017, and a phase III focusing on the Ho Plaza entrance and landscaping will be underway from June to October of 2017, after which the project will finally be completed. The project will increase Gannett’s size from 35,000 SF to 96,000 SF.

Most of the windows have been installed, although some yellow DensGlass gypsum sheathing and metal exterior wall studs can still be seen from many angles. According to the Site Plan Review docs, the curtain wall “suggests an abstracted quilt pattern” meant to conjure up images of care-giving and recovery. Other exterior cladding materials, including a native bluestone veneer and limestone panels, have yet to be installed.

Organizations working on the design include local architecture firm Chiang | O’Brien Architects, TG Miller P.C.Engineers and Surveyors, and Ryan Briggs Structural Engineers. The Pike Company is serving as the general contractor.
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Cornell Veterinary School Expansion Construction Update, 1/2016

12 01 2016

Over at the Vet School, it looks like the expansion project is now at surface level. With the foundation completed, the only direction for the project to go is up, which the Manitowoc Potain self-erecting crane should help with. Phase I interior renovations should be completed by this time, and the Phase II new construction will be moving ahead to a June 2017 completion. Like Klarman Hall, Welliver is the general contractor of this $74.1 million construction project.

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