Maplewood Redevelopment Construction Update, 10/2017

17 10 2017

For project background and planning, click here.

For a site plan breakdown, click here.

For a construction timeline, click here.

Looking at the photos closely, there are some differences between what was shown in renders, and what’s being built. “Nt”, the corner building, has different window patterns and sizes, different dormers, and a steeper roof pitch than shown any of the renders. Taking a guess, the project team is value engineering on the fly, going with quicker or easier design options to save on costs and stay closer to the tight timeline. As long as the habitable square footage and distribution of units/bedrooms in unchanged, this is allowed, for both projects that require an EIS, and smaller ones that fall under the usual SEQR negative declaration. It is rather odd to have such a steep roof pitch on “Nt” if there’s no habitable space in the attic, because that’s not really a time saver or money saver compared to the lower roof pitch, and no windows means no legal bedrooms.

The neighboring strings on Mitchell were also modified, though at a glance at “Ot”, it only appears to be the dormers, which were combined and made flush with the exterior wall. There’s a pretty strong likelihood that Pt and It-2, which are still being framed, will show similar modifications.

The modern string that has been framed, fitted and wrapped, “Kt-2”, appears to have the same shape and features as advertised. The modern units are cheaper to build per unit, so they would have been less likely to undergo additional value engineering.

Apartment Buildings “B” and “C” are being framed, with “C” up to its top floor, and “B” still working on the first floor. There are no obvious changes to the design of Building “C” when compared to renders.

Most subterranean utilities have been laid at either end of the site, and several foundations have been completed. Excavation and utilities installation are ongoing closer to Maplewood’s center. With all the disturbed soil piled around, it’s hard to tell just how many structures have commenced with excavation and foundation work, but an offhand estimate for the number of foundations underway or complete is at least one dozen. Some wooden forms for concrete pours of later townhouse strings can be seen around the property, as is steel rebar for strengthening the concrete, and the large cement mixers towards the northern end of the site. CMU stairwells have been or are being built for the northern trio of multi-family apartment buildings, “D”, “E”, and “F”. Note the construction staging basically has the ends of the site being built first, with work moving steadily inward through the fall and winter. The first units will be finishing up around the time the last ones start construction.

 

 


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4 responses

17 10 2017
CornellPhD

I’m glad about the steep roof pitches; I think they look better. Pity they couldn’t have squeezed some extra livable space in there, though; there has to be a grad student or two who would take a little loft space up there for reduced rent.

The rapidity with which this project is shooting up is also a testament to how quickly Ithaca could build out dense, pedestrian-orieted neighborhoods away from downtown and once a planning process is through. I wish the city would consider incentivizing more of them (e.g. effectively extensions of the city grid/built up area rather than self-contained clusters) given the difficulties of infill downtown and the sprawling character greenfield development tends to take.

20 10 2017
B. C.

I would like the steep roof pitches if they had something to break up their mass. The original design has windows centered between the gables, these have none. I hope they employ some creative use of exterior materials.

The rapidity of this project is a testament to a very large developer with DIY zoning and very clear ideas from their client. Here’s to hoping East Hill Village is more of the same. I check in on every month or two, and have heard nothing.

18 10 2017
CS PhD

I find it telling that the “modern” buildings are the ones that don’t need any additional value engineering because they’re cheap enough already. “Modern” is just shorthand for “cheap, ugly boxes.”

On a different note, any idea when they’ll start renting these to grad students? For current students who want to move next year, now is the time to start looking for an apartment, so I hope they make them available soon. I would have seriously considered living there if it wasn’t for the fact that they won’t open until August and my current lease ends in June.

20 10 2017
B. C.

Good question. I have seen nothing posted yet. Best bet would be to contact campus housing for guidance: housing@cornell.edu

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