ITHACA, N.Y. — The largest apartment project under construction in Tompkins County is starting its second phase.

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Local developer Lifestyle Properties just received a $6,000,000 construction loan from Tompkins Trust Bank to develop Phase II of the Village Solars apartment complex off of Warren Road in the town of Lansing, on Village Circle north of the airport.

Phase II calls for 42 units in 3 buildings (buildings “D”, “E” and “G/H” in the site plan above), with unit sizes ranging from 1 to 3 bedrooms. Documents filed with the county indicate the hard deadline for completion is August 2017, but in a phone call developer Rocco Lucente said a delivery date of Spring 2016 is planned. Work on phase IIA, a 10-unit building with a “community center”, will begin after Phase II opens.

The first three buildings in the Village Solars complex, buildings “A”, “B” and “C” with 36 units in total, were completed this summer at a cost of $4.7 million, according to loan documents on file with the county. Rents posted on Craigslist have one-bedroom units listed for $1050-$1145, two-bedroom units for $1235-$1369, and three-bedroom apartments rent for $1565-$1650. Prices vary a little depending on what floor the unit is on – the higher up a unit is, the more it costs.

According to Lifestyle Properties’ Rocco Lucente, “[t]he new units should be in the same price range. We don’t have exact prices, but what we’re renting at right now is a pretty good estimate.”

“Rentals have been pretty good, we’ve been happy with the project,” said Lucente. “We’re looking forward to the next phase. People like the passive solar features, [the units] are well-lit, and the radiant floor heating was a big selling point.”

The town of Lansing has issued approval for 174 apartment units, but plans are place to build as many as 312 apartments on both the Village Circle property, and on adjacent land to the west on Village Place. If fully built out, the project would result in several hundred more residents in the Lansing area, not including construction underway on high-end homes in the Woodland Park and Whispering Pines housing subdivisions (which combined will add another 100 or so units).

The Village Solars project is the largest residential project currently underway in Tompkins County. John Novarr’s Collegetown Terrace has a third phase planned and approved for 178 apartments, but construction has yet to start.

Lifestyle Properties is run by Steve Lucente of the Lucente family, who have been major builder/developers in Ithaca since the 1950s. Local architect Lawrence Fabboroni is in charge of the design. Actual Contractors LLC, another company operated by the Lucentes, will be the general contractor.

No tax breaks or tax break applications are planned.

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Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.