ITHACA, N.Y. — There’s not a whole lot left to say from a construction standpoint for the Belle Sherman Cottages project, located off of the 800 block of Mitchell Street. The townhouses are essentially complete, all that’s left is some landscaping and interior finishing-out.

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The Simplex modular pieces for the second set of five townhouses arrived on-site in mid-August, two for each townhouse unit. The pieces are then leveled and fitted together with steel plates, and then customized interior work begins for things like fixtures and flooring. On the outside, the foundation is backfilled, siding is attached, decks are built if the buyer chose to have one, and the landscaping is planted. The straw helps to keep the grass seed warm and moist so it can germinate, and it reduces the chance that wind will blow it away.

Here are some photos of the project:

One difference from the computer rendering is that the render has all five townhouses at the same elevation. However, they’re actually staggered slightly, with the elevation dropping a few inches per unit as one moves from east to west. The same staggering effect was used on the first set of townhouses as well, with each unit dropping a few inches in elevation from north to south.

So, from start to finish, this was about…3.5 years? That’s not counting Lot 9, which doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon. Most of the new home construction was concentrated in just the past year and half – sales were slow at first, but they took off in early 2014.

The Belle Sherman Cottages project was developed by Agora Development of Skaneateles, and built by Carina Construction of Ithaca. Overall site design was penned by Ithaca-based STREAM Collaborative. The Simplex units were sourced from the company’s facility in Scranton, PA. A video of the construction process can be found on Carina’s Youtube account here.

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Brian Crandall

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