ITHACA, N.Y. — The final design for a multi-million dollar housing project on the Northside of Ithaca — including 54 apartments and 12 townhouses, among other amenities — was presented to community members on Monday night.
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The final design for the project — which has at times been contentious because of its size and location among single-family households — was put in front of at least 30 community members for a Q&A.
During the session, developers from The Hayner Hoyt Corporation took questions about road closures, construction length, noise and affordability of the units.
Here are 4 takeaways from the final design presented:
1) What exactly is in the final design?
The final design calls for a four story building with an Early Head Start facility and commercial suite on the first floor, along with 54 apartments for rent — 42 one-bedrooms and 12 two-bedrooms.
Across from the building, seven townhouses will be for sale. Five other three-bedroom townhouses will be for rent.
The project also includes a public pathway and public playground that will be about 1,000 square-feet.
Developers said the project will likely be completed in about a year. Ideally, units will begin to be pre-leased in January 2017 with all housing occupied by the end of the year.
2) How affordable is the housing?
Scott Reynolds, director of real estate development, said about 80 percent of the housing is reserved for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, commonly called Section 8.
The cost of the units is detailed in the provided image below:
Reynolds said the housing is designed using green energy projects in an effort to keep the units affordable.
During the Q&A session, Phoebe Brown, with Northside United, applauded developers, the city, and active community member for ensuring the project remained affordable and was open to public input.
She said that while more multi-room units would be preferable to accommodate families, the project as a whole is a notable effort to ensure affordable housing is in the city.
“I’m seeing people like me moving to Newfield or Enfield because they can’t afford to live here,” she said.
3) How will neighboring homes cope with noise, construction?
A major concern for those living in homes by the construction site is how much noise and inconvenience they’ll be subjected to during the construction.
Reynolds said that in addition to scheduled construction times on-site, The Hayner Hoyt Corporation is responsible for general site maintenance.
“We’re not talking about jet engine kind of noise,” he said about the construction, but driving posts 60 to 80 feet into the ground will be noisy.
Even on that front, though, he said the company has taken measures to accommodate nearby residents.
For instance, during pile installation, the company will be using vibrating installation as opposed to driving poles into the ground.
What’s the difference between the two methods?
Reynolds said driving poles into the ground, in layman’s terms, means hammering posts into the ground. The vibrating method means posts are eased into the ground in pieces, using vibrations.
Due to particularly soft soil in the area, Reynolds said all structures within 100-feet of the edge of the construction area are eligible for free evaluations before and after construction to ensure no damage is done to them.
Vibrations are not expected to be felt more than 20-feet away from where posts are being inserted into the ground, and seismometers will be used to monitor vibration activity.
Road closures will be around the perimeter of the site throughout construction.
4) What’s the schedule for the construction?
Asbestos removal has already begun in the current building at 210 Hancock Street and roads surrounding the construction area are scheduled to be closed as soon as this week.
The former grocery store is set to be demolished some time at the end of February or beginning of March and pile installations will take about a month, ending in mid-May.
Developers said they’re committed to using local labor for the project and will host a job fair in March before major construction begins.
All construction is expected to be completed by May 2017.
Reynolds said that like constructions projects, delays could happen because of weather or other circumstances, but the project is slated to be complete by May 2017.
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