ITHACA, N.Y. –– Efforts to move the Carpenter Park project forward in Ithaca’s Northside neighborhood received a major boost today with the state’s announcement of a $3,313,645 grant award.

The money, split into $913,645 of low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) and $2.4 million from the state’s Housing Trust Fund (HTF), will be used to support the development of the affordable housing apartment building planned as part of phase one of the $89.4 million mixed-use project.

According to previously submitted documents, the affordable housing will be included in a $10.1 million, 4-story, 42 unit apartment building. 32 of the units (26 one-bedroom and 6 two-bedroom apartments) would be set aside for those making 50 percent AMI or less, which is about $30,000/year or less for a single person, or $34,250/year for a two-person household. The other ten apartments (8 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom units) would be priced slightly higher, for those making 60 percent area median income. The building would be built to LEED Certification standards and designed to comply with the city’s incoming Green Building Policy.

Officially renamed “Cayuga Park”, the first phase of the 8.9-acre mixed-use development also includes a new $32.2 million, 5-story 64,000 square-foot building to be occupied by Cayuga Medical Center (CMC). Both it and the affordable housing will be ready for occupancy by spring 2023, alongside a newly reconfigured Ithaca Community Gardens (ICG). The project is expected to create at least 67 new jobs, mostly with CMC’s expanded operations.

Legal stipulations with the city of Ithaca stated that the affordable housing had to be funded and ready to begin construction in order for the medical office building with a clinic to proceed. Both projects are also contingent on finalized legal agreements between the developer and the ICG. Both the developer and the gardens have said that the agreements are making good progress and are expected to be finalized in the near future. A new curb-cut into Route 13 is also being in the final stages of negotiation with the New York State Department of Transportation.

The second phase of Cayuga Park consists of two mixed-use buildings with approximately 166 market-rate units, 23,000 square feet of commercial space, and 187 internal parking spaces. A specific construction timeline for these buildings is not yet available but is expected to be closely timed with the first phase.

The project is a joint development by non-profit CMC and Park Grove Realty of Rochester. Ithaca’s HOLT Architects and Pennsylvania-based Barton Partners are the project architects, with engineering work by Passero Associates. Whitham Planning and Design is providing landscape design work, and shepherded the project through the Planned Unit Development zoning and planning board review processes.

Brian Crandall

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