ITHACA, N.Y. — The geese may be heading south, but today, we’re going to take a gander north to see what’s being built on the fringes of the Ithaca bubble.

Here are three major projects happening in Ithaca’s North Suburbs:

The Village Solars

Given the size of this project, it’s kinda surprising how quietly it goes under the radar. It’s one of the reasons why many developers are drawn to land on the suburban edges – fewer people means fewer complaints at planning board meetings. Lifestyle Properties (the Lucente family) is busy adding the latest pair of buildings to their growing apartment complex on the 1000 Block of Warren Road in Lansing. The latest two buildings, “I” and “J”, will add 36 apartments to their portfolio, and comprise phase III of the projects. phase I’s 36 units opened in 2015, and phase II’s 43 units opened earlier this year. When built out, they will have built at least 176 new apartments (they have reconfigured a couple of units by splitting them, so the total could end up slightly higher).

Building “I” is the one further along, framed and fitted with windows, but some of the roof trusses are still exposed. The walls have been sheathed and earth-tone fiber cement siding has starting installation on the ground floor. Utilities rough-ins are likely underway inside. Building “J” (same floor plan) is just starting to rise from its concrete slab foundation, with framing and plywood sheathing of the first floor just getting started. We’re probably looking at a mid-spring 2017 opening for “I”, and a late spring or early summer opening for “J”.

St. Catherine of Siena Parish Center

O come, all ye faithful. St. Catherine of Siena Church in Northeast Ithaca has made a lot of progress with their new 8.878 SF parish center, located right next to the church, and a little south of the existing 1960s parish center, which will come down once the new building is complete. Like the Village Solars, the building is fully framed out, but here they’ve sprayed a dark blue water-resistant barrier, which we often see with buildings that use stone veneer like this one will. A photo on the parish’s facebook page shows exposed metal stud walls in the interior, and it looks like the sprinkler pipes are in. It looks like gypsum board is going on over the water barrier, and then the stone veneer is attached. The white boards are GlasRoc fiberglass mats layered with gypsum, no need to spray and fire rated. They’ll be covered with lightweight metal panels at a later date.

Poet’s Landing Phase II

In Dryden village, Conifer is looking to add a few more affordable apartments to the county’s stock. The future site of Poet’s Landing Phase II, across the street from Dryden High School and just west of phase I, is being cleared and graded. The plan calls for 48 rental apartments to those with modest incomes, which by the AMI guidelines, means households making $27,000-$42,000/year, depending on the unit and number of household members. The apartments will be built in six buildings along “Whitman Lane”, which might be funny to the English majors since Walt Whitman wasn’t a fan of John Dryden. A $7.7 million loan from Citibank was filed with the county last week, and will go a long way towards covering the costs of the $10.8 million project.

The new buildings will look similar to phase I, with eight units per structure. If buildout goes smoothly, they should be ready for occupancy by late summer or early fall 2017.

Brian Crandall

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