Ithaca Gun replacement gets big reveal

first_img Tagged: city of ithaca, falls park apartments, frost travis, gun hill, O’Brien and Gere, senior housing, travis hyde properties, twmla, wdg architecture Also on the project team are local landscaping firm Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architecture, and the building architects, newcomers WDG Architecture of Washington D.C. WDG is an international-known firm whose staff are also designing the Olympic Village for the 2020 Tokyo summer games. Brian Crandall “I did see an opportunity in the market just in response to Dewitt House, we still believe that is an untapped market, the senior market. It’s a great location, the building will be beautiful, a lot of nice amenities, it’ll meet what the market is asking for. Seniors are the fastest growing population cohort in Tompkins County the last I looked,” Travis said. Travis acknowledges that, given the construction and remediation costs, the project, which consists of one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, will likely be geared towards the higher end of the senior rental market. With the recent adoption of the 20% affordable housing requirement for projects receiving tax abatements, he says he is uncertain if his company will pursue tax abatements for the project. “We are eligible for a tax abatement, but with the new layering on of 20% affordable housing, in order to make the deal work, we’ll have to charge higher rents in the rest of the units.” The site, 121-125 Lake Street, has been vacant since the Ithaca Gun factory was torn down in 2009, over twenty years after the longtime gunmaker departed for Cayuga County. That facility closed in the 2000s, and the intellectual rights and trademarks have since been sold and resold among Ohio-based manufacturing firms. The property would be split into two components – the north/west side of the land, contiguous with the factory site but actually a flag-shaped lot, would host a public walkway leading to a pedestrian bridge over the former factory raceway to an island overlook and park above the gorge. This parcel, just under an acre in size, would be donated to the city as part of the four-way agreement to accepting brownfield redevelopment funds from New York State. The south/east parcel would host the new apartment building and parking. Travis Hyde would build the walkway up to the bridge, and redevelopment of the bridge and overlook would be the city’s responsibility. “I believe the demand is there, I hope it is, but as any development goes, you’re making a bet on the future,” said Travis. For Travis Hyde Properties, it would be the second senior living project they’ll be pursuing, with work on the old county library site at 310-314 North Cayuga Street, the 67-unit DeWitt House development, set to begin shortly. Company president Frost Travis says the process of creating DeWitt House helped inform the Falls Park proposal. Environmental remediation and site cleanup will be carried out as part of the site’s preparation for redevelopment, under a plan drafted by Syracuse engineering and construction firm O’Brien and Gere. Remediation is expected to take place during the mid and late fall, and last about eight weeks once the equipment is on site and the removal of contaminated soil commences. The plan is to submit the project for formal site plan review next month, and go through the application process through the fall, including a trip to the Board of Zoning Appeals for backyard and side yard variances. Construction would take 14 to 16 months once remediation is complete, with the goal of a first quarter or second quarter 2020 opening for occupancy, about the same time frame as the DeWitt House project. Local developer Travis Hyde Properties presented plans for the redevelopment of the property at the City of Ithaca Planning Board meeting last week. The latest proposal, called the “Falls Park Apartments,” would create a 74-unit apartment building for seniors, with four floors of housing built atop a covered ground-level garage, as well as public amenities. ITHACA, N.Y. — It’s been over 30 years since the Ithaca Gun site was an active part of the city’s fabric. The former industrial site may now finally be turning the corner. Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at [email protected] More by Brian Crandalllast_img

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