210 Hancock Construction Update, 2/2017

20 02 2017

Normally construction sites get updates every two months. But at the INHS Hancock project site, things are getting really interesting in a short time.

First, the main apartment building. In just the past month, section “A”, the southernmost wing, has been wrapped in Blueskin, roofed, and the windows have been fitted. Answering a question from a few months back, it looks like the Blueskin’s purpose is to be the water/vapor membrane under the brick. The section of “A” under the weatherproof plastic tenting is being bricked – a few loose bricks can be seen in the last photos through holes in the plastic. Not only do the workers appreciate some protection from the elements, brickwork requires temperatures to be kept above freezing so that the water in the mortar doesn’t freeze out, so not only is there plastic wrap, Lecesse has also deployed portable heaters. Section “B” will follow with the Blueskin sheathing, roofing and window-fitting, and then “C” and “D”, which host the indoor garage (hence the CMUs) and are still being framed out.

The five rental townhouses have a typical wood-frame build-out – first comes wood framing and roofing, then tar papered and shingling, housewrapping and window fitting. Interestingly, the seven for-sale townhouses (collectively referred to as “202 Hancock”) are using Huber ZIP sheathing panels, which the rentals did not. The Hancock street trio of homes have been framed but not roofed, while the Lake Avenue quartet are still being framed out, awaiting the rest of their roof trusses. The insides of the for-sale homes are still just bare stud walls at this point, while the rentals are probably far enough along that most utility rough ins have been completed, and sheetrock is being hung in the units. All in all, Lecesse Construction and their subcontractors have been moving at a very good clip over the past month or so.

A construction loan filing on January 23rd states Tompkins Trust lent INHS $1,581,796 to finance the 202 Hancock units. The total cost (hard and soft) of the seven for-sale units is estimated at $2.36 million. The five two bedroom units (1,147 SF) will be sold for about $114,000, and two three-bedroom units (1,364 SF) for $136,000, to qualified applicants making 60-80% of local AMI, or $37,000-$49,000/year.

For the sake of comparison, the apartment building and for-sale units are partially financed with a $7,790,511 loan from a Citibank fund – through an LLC, Citibank bought the low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) awarded to the project by New York State. The apartment building’s total cost comes to $13.8 million, with the rest financed through INHS’s money, federal tax credits, housing grants and a low-interest loan from the state’s housing division (NYSHCR).

Renters or homeowners interested in obtaining a unit can fill out an inquiry form here. The rentals will be ready for occupancy by August 1st, 2017, and the for-sale units are looking at a November 2017 completion.

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The Cherry Artspace Construction Update, 1/2017

20 01 2017

The Cherry Artspace was saved for last because originally, these photos were going to be used in an Ithaca Voice article. But, with the State Theatre piece running this week, it didn’t seem like a good idea to run two pieces about performing arts spaces in a short span, so the Cherry Arts will be profiled in a piece next month. That would make these photos too old by then, so here they are.

The Styrofoam block “floaters” are mostly in place and a steel rebar mesh has been laid on top in anticipation of pouring the concrete slab – the mesh will provide increased strength to the concrete as it cures. Water, sewer and utility hookups are piped beneath and up through the foundation. Looking at the sawhorses, it looks like McPherson of Ithaca is the general contractor. The 1,900 SF building should be ready for its first performances sometime this Spring.

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Upson Hall Construction Update, 1/2017

18 01 2017

It’s become a little more difficult to shoot photos from certain angles, now that one of the previously-open sidewalks has been closed off. But, it’s not a surprise, they’ve been working on Upson’s new face. The exterior stud framing has been underway on the lowest floors of the west face. Sheathing is being attached, and the rough openings indicate future windows. The lowest floors of the east side, a little further along, have already been coated in turquoise waterproofing material, and are being fitted with windows. On the upper floors, there’s been considerable progress with the terra-cotta and the aluminum surrounds. It doesn’t look like there’s been much progress with attaching new mineral wool and clips, the current work is either finishing up what was well-underway (the upper floors), or getting started with the new exterior (the lower floors), not a whole lot of work going for the in-between stages at the moment.

Inside, you can see the new interior framing being built inside the fully-gutted and renovated interior. According to Cornell’s last update in December, interior demolitions are complete, mechanical rough-ins are ongoing in the basement, and electrical and plumbing are underway on the first and second floors.

Like Gannett, The Pike Company is the general contractor in charge. LTL Architects and Perkins+Will are in charge of design.

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Cornell Veterinary School Expansion Construction Update, 1/2017

17 01 2017

Starting to see more progress on the structural frame of the $74.1 million Vet School additions. The reinforced concrete frame of the new library and administrative offices now extends all the way back to the rest of the Vet School complex; the new section is draped over with plastic sheets. Also, as the new wing gets fleshed out, the rough openings of the windows are taking shape. It doesn’t look like there’s been too much exterior progress on the new atrium.

According to the project webpage (last updated two weeks ago), interior framing (metal stud walls probably) is underway, rough-ins are underway, and the new cafeteria is under construction. Welliver will have the new atrium and lecture hall fully closed up by the end of January. Most of the Vet Research Tower work has been completed, but new office layouts are still in the works for the sixth and seventh floors, and that work won’t get underway until this Spring.

The new $7 million ($4.9 million hard cost) Community Practice Service Building is out for bid, with a march demo planned for the Poultry Virus Building currently on site, and a March 2018 opening, about seven months after the bulk of the new Vet School structures. It is a wood-frame 12,000 SF building designed by HOLT Architects, and I still have yet to find an image of the design.

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Gannett Health Center Construction Update, 1/2017

15 01 2017

Okay, for as much as I miss the old banded concrete and glass, the large window panes, clear glazing and thin aluminum frames designed by Ithaca’s Chiang O’Brien Architects do have a certain modern chic going. However, this armchair critic still has yet to decide if he likes the offset between the outer and interior frames of the curtain wall. The windows have made their way north along the old east wing. Peering through, you can make out some of the new metal stud walls, so utilities rough-ins for the gutted 1950s structure are underway.

The new entry canopy has yet to be built out. Pike, the contractor, could soon insert the northernmost panes where the old east wing’s interior is exposed, but the curtain wall glazing won’t be finished until the canopy has been constructed.

The new three-story 18,000 SF northeast wing, which replaces the former Ho Plaza entry, rose pretty quick – like the Breazzano Center, it’s wrapped up in plastic to limit workers’ exposure to the cold. The outside of the new wing will be faced in a couple types of limestone, with a bluestone transition panel and bluestone veneer at its base – the 1979 west wing is being updated so that the two will look similar, although the 1979 wing will retain its concrete exterior, giving the two wings some visual contrast.

According to Cornell’s revamped project website, the Gannett project is 70% complete. Whether that included the new addition that opened last year is not clear. The entire project should be finished by this fall.

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Ithaka Terraces (215-221 West Spencer Street) Construction Update, 1/2017

14 01 2017

The first building of the Ithaka Terraces, Building “A”, is fully framed and in the process of being roofed. The project uses double stud exterior walls in tandem with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs), which is thermally insulated plastic filled with concrete. The zip sheathing goes on over the surface. The purpose of the thick, more premium approach is for more efficient insulation, since the condo units are designed to be net-zero compatible (the high energy efficiency reduces the need for off-site renewable energy sources, and net-zero becomes more feasible as a result).

Further up the sloping site, smaller Building “B” has completed the ICF erection ground floor and is starting work on the upper floors. Note the reinforced concrete wall facing South Cayuga (east). That will eventually be back-filled and hidden from view. As seen in some of the early concept designs below, only the top floor of the three floors of Building “B” and “D” will have windows facing outward; the South Cayuga side of the property is where the parking lot will be laid.

The other large building in the four-building cluster, Building “C”, a mirrored floorplan of “A”, is just getting started; the site was being prepped and graded when these photos were taken last week. Building “D”, a mirrored floorplan of “B”, will start construction at a later date, as the other three get further along. In the last photo, one can see the winding temporary staircase workers use to get to the building themselves. AquaZephyr, an Ithaca firm specializing in eco-friendly construction, is the general contractor in charge of the buildout.

The 12-unit condo project will begin formal marketing later this Spring. There will be 10 two-bedroom units and 2 three-bedroom units, in the $265k-$390k range. A late 2017 opening is planned. Interested readers can submit queries here.

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602 West State Street Construction Update, 1/2017

13 01 2017

With the sidewalk along Meadow St closed off, getting up close to the Elmira Savings Bank project just became much more difficult. From the front, there hasn’t been much exterior work yet – judging from the dumpster, Edger Enterprises has been more focused on gutting the interior of the hundred year-old building. It does look like that, since November, some of the historically inaccurate blue paint has been stripped from the east facade. It doesn’t look like there’s been much progress on the new wing on the north side, the foundation looks about the same at it did two months ago. Dunno if they’ll be hitting that March 2017 completion date.

More info about the project can be found here.

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