210 Hancock Construction Update, 9/2016

6 10 2016

I try not to sit on these for too long, but it’s been a busy week with the Voice.

The main apartment building is in the process of having its foundation walls dug, formed and poured. The forms are put in place to hold the concrete as it is poured and cured, and then the construction team (led by Lecesse Construction) moves on to the next section. The rebar grid sticking out of the concrete gives it additional strength and rigidity. The steel piles are being inserted with the hydraulic hammer, which should be wrapping up any day now if it hasn’t already. The four-story apartment building is divided into four sections – the two with concrete pours underway, the southern two, will host TCAction’s daycare and non-profit office space. The northern two will host indoor ground-level parking.

The soil in Northside is not so great, much of it lies in the 100 or 500-year flood zone and is too unstable for less expensive slab/shallow foundations like what they use in many of the projects on the hills. For a large project like this, the safe, albeit more expensive and intrusive approach is to do a deep foundation. However, the wood-frame townhouses are small enough and light enough such that a shallow foundation can be used – you can see foundation work for the five rental townhouses in the last two photos. The seven for-sale townhouses will follow a little later this November, the original plan was to have them open in June 2017, but they have been pushed back to late fall 2017 as a result of the contractor switch.

It looks like, however, they have added the interest form for buying a townhouse to their website here. Under the working name “202 Hancock”, this $2.36 million project will have five two bedroom units (1,147 SF) to be sold for about $114,000, and two three-bedroom units (1,364 SF) for $136,000. They will be available to those making 60-80% of local AMI, or $37,000-$49,000/year. The townhouses would be a part of the Community Housing Trust (CHT), keeping them affordable even as they are sold to others in later years. More info on those units here. For those qualified and preferring to rent an apartment or townhouse, the form is here.

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6 10 2016
drill deep

This is job site with a lot of local contractors and looks like a nice addition to the City. I think so anyway. Thanks for the update BC.

A bit of technical regarding one way to build on soft Ithaca soil. The piles are driven to a depth that is competent. At the top of the pile a concrete pile cap is placed. This is a sort of pedestal. Between each pile cap a concrete beam is fabricated. The beam is reinforced and works in the same way as a floor joist. The beams are tied into each cap. The slab is placed over the beams and the building can be built. All of the weight is distributed to the piles and then transferred to the weight bearing soil strata. Expensive and not overly technical but a good way to overcome the soft soils. The surface soils do not have to carry the load and can be worked around.

This kind of thing is rarely noticed by the typical citizen but is responsible for a considerable increase in construction costs. There are lots of reasons why Ithaca’s housing is expensive and this is one that doesn’t get too much attention.

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