By Jeffery Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
CORNING - Construction of a three-story $12.5 million affordable housing complex on the city’s Northside is on schedule and officials recently applied for state funds to “gut-rehab” many of the existing buildings.
Jeffrey Eaton, president and Chief Executive Officer at Arbor Housing, said Phase II of the project, which will include 82 apartments, is expected to begin in the fall of 2017. The project is expected to take about 12 months to complete.
“We submitted an application to the state Homes and Community Renewal for Phase II in the first week of December,” Eaton said. “We hope to receive the Phase II funding in May or June and start work late next fall.”
Arbor initially planned to use many of the current buildings that would be “gut-rehabbed,” then planned to tear down the sites and build several townhouses, and recently changed back to the initial plan of gut and rehab.
“Initially we said let’s rehab them, then we said let’s demo them and construct new buildings,” Eaton said. “Because of the appraisal and the HCR funds we were not able to do reconstruction.”
Eaton said Arbor Housing hired Holt Construction, of Ithaca, to design the gut rehab buildings.
“They’ve actually done all of the design work,” Eaton said. “The renderings look nice. When you look at them they won’t look anything like they do right now.”
Eaton said construction of Phase I, the $12.5 million affordable housing complex, is expected to be completed late next summer.
“We are hoping to be able to move people in around July or August,” Eaton said.
Arbor Housing, and another developer, NRP Group, are partnering to build the three-story building that will feature 48 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartment units, 22 of the units will be designated for people in need of supportive housing services.
"I think this is a great project that will have a positive impact on the community," said Mayor Rich Negri.
The apartments will be available to eligible low-income individuals and families, and individuals with serious and persistent mental illness who require supportive services, but would benefit from living independently in an integrated environment.
Arbor officials said support program offices will be co-located on site to foster improved health outcomes in place of repeated costly hospitalizations for high-need Medicaid clients.
City Manager Mark Ryckman said it’s good to see progress being made at the Lamphear Court site.
“This will be a significant investment for the Northside which will provide long-term benefits to the neighborhood,” Ryckman said.
Eaton believes the neighborhood at Lamphear Court will be a safer place to live under Arbor's management, which purchased the 10-acre lot built in 1950s in late 2013.
The neighborhood has long been the site of regular police responses. Those incidents, according to city police records, include everything from minor disturbance reports, thefts and domestic disputes to a stabbing and a meth lab.