By Jeffery Smith jsmith@the-leader.com

CORNING - The remaining portion of the century-old former Corning Hospital smokestack was razed early Thursday morning.

“Well I think it’s another milestone,” said Steve Dennis, city director of planning and economic development. “It just continues to move the project forward.”

City Manager Mark Ryckman agreed.

“This signified great progress in that we’re nearing the stage of actual construction at the site,” Ryckman said. “I’m guessing it will start in the spring of 2018.”

The next phase will be the construction of a large 41,860-square-foot, three- and four-story residential building that will house 90 apartments, according to Riedman Companies. A 1,500-square-foot bank is also expected to be built in the second phase.

The first phase of the development of the site was the recently completed construction of a 21,000 square-foot Corning Community College Health and Education Center.

Riedman officials have said the construction of the residential building is expected to take 9 to 12 months to complete.

Officials said as people are moving into the completed residential apartment space, work on a 20,250-square-foot, three-story apartment building facing East First Street will be underway. The three-story apartment space will house 38 apartments.

City officials expect the construction of the large 41,860-square-foot residential building to be in front of the City Planning Commission by the end of the year and construction to begin in the spring.

Jerold D. Watkins, senior real estate manager at Rochester-based Riedman Companies, could not be reached Thursday for comment.