CORNING - The proposed $21 million reuse of the St. Vincent de Paul campus, off Dodge Avenue, is currently on hold due to street parking issues and a lack of community awareness.
Betsey Hale, president of Three Rivers Development Corp., said Providence Housing, who along with Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, released the Art Space plan in mid-June decided to delay the project.
“The time will help the developer, Providence Housing, kind of go back to the drawing board,” said Hale, who feels a project at the site will likely be delayed until 2019 or 2020. “It also gives the city time to address the zoning issues.”
The block of the church campus must be changed from residential transition district to planned neighborhood business for the project to move forward.
Providence Housing, Cornerstone Group, Three Rivers Development Corp, the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes will work together to attempt to find the best way to plan the campus.
“There has been several concerns from the neighborhood,” said City Manager Mark Ryckman. “I think it’s a good idea to make sure that the use is appropriate for the neighborhood.”
“It gives Providence Housing and the Cornerstone Group time to have more community engagement to make the project what the community needs,” Hales said. “So I think that’s good.”
Hale said the initial meetings on the proposed Art Space were great and helped underly challenges facing the plan like the street parking concerns and the lack of neighborhood awareness.
“I think it was smart to let the church go through its process of closing down and and officially moving,” Hale said. “Our priority right now as a community is the old hospital site redevelopment. I know city officials and the Corning planning Commission are working very closely with the developer to make sure whatever happens along Denison Parkway is good and fitting to the area.”
Under the original plan St. Vincent’s Church would have beeen purposed for some type of commercial space or multi-use space, officials said. The nearby school site would have been expanded to north and house eight efficiency, four one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, artist preference.
The rectory and convent buildings were to be razed and a two-story building at the corner of Griffith Street and Dodge Avenue were to be erected, officials said. The two-story building was to include a gallery art space to display artwork and 16-one bedroom apartments.
Officials said across the street from the school site, currently a parking lot off Ellicott Street, a 22-apartment senior apartment was to be built.
The zoning change is needed at the current church campus site. The construction of a senior apartment site is allowed under the current zoning.