NYS DOT Sub-Residency Facility Construction Update, 3/2020

23 03 2020

The NYS DOT county facility plans are moving forward. The state bought its 15 acres from Tompkins County for $840,000 according to a deed filed on April 2019, and on its second try, the state secured a competitive bid from Streeter Associates of Elmira. The building is classified as a sub-residency facility, a step below a primary regional facility (the main office for Region 3 is in Syracuse).

The project has been in the works in some form since at least the mid 2000s. The existing waterfront property built in 1958 is cramped, local traffic impinges on operations, and it poses environmental risks (the salt barn is too close to the inlet). The joint planning efforts between the NYSDOT and Tompkins County identified a 10.8-acre site in the Village of Dryden, at the intersection of Ellis Drive and Enterprise Drive, for a new maintenance facility. That property was acquired by NYSDOT in 2006, but it was never built out because internal analyses raised concerns about how quickly trucks would be able to get to state-maintained highways on the west side of Cayuga Lake. DOT still owns that property.

With the waterfront study completed by Fisher Associates in 2015, it became clear that an ideal location would be closer to Ithaca. By the fall of 2016, it became clear that the site near the airport suggested in the previous study, was the location that the county and the state wanted to go with. The county has seen the DOT site as a major component of a proposed airport business park, but lack of demand as noted in the 2016 Camoin Associates study put the kibosh on that plan, and so the NYS DOT will be there by itself for at least the next few years.

To review, the plans consist of the 30,000 square-foot sub-residency maintenance building, a 5,000 square-foot Cold Storage unit, an 8,200 square-foot salt barn, and a 2,500 square-foot hopper building (covered lean-to). The proposed maintenance building will have vehicle storage for 10 trucks, a loader and tow plow, with one additional double depth mechanical bay and single depth, drive-thru truck washing bay. It also includes an office area (three rooms), lunch/break room (30 people), toilet/shower/locker rooms, storage rooms and mechanical/electrical rooms. The site will also contain stockpile areas for pipe, stone and millings, and ancillary site features include parking for 40 vehicles, and stormwater management facilities. A new access drive will be constructed from Warren Road (more specifically, the address will be 960 Warren Road).

The town has been less than pleased with the project, which is not bound to zoning code because it’s a public resource facility owned and operated by a government entity. Rather than voice approval, the planning board voted to acknowledge that they simply had no authority to control the project (in fact, the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] was the lead agency for environmental review, since the site is in the flight path of the airport’s runway). Some modifications were made to the plans at the town’s request, such as the fueling station being moved onto airport property across Warren Road, but neighbors are still unhappy that snowplows and heavy-duty maintenance vehicles are about to be their next-door neighbors.

The facility is expected to be open by the end of the year. Once all staff and equipment have been moved in, the county may pursue a request for proposals/requests for expression of interest for the current DOT property on the shores of the inlet near the Farmer’s Market. A 2015 feasibility analysis found that the site could conceivably host a $40+ million mixed-use project, and the site has become more amenable towards redevelopment with the enhanced density and use provisions made to the city’s waterfront zoning in 2017.

Presently, the site is being cleared, graded and underground utility connections are being laid. It would appear this will be likely be a “T-shaped” slab foundation – excavate the perimeter for the footers, build forms for the footers and foundation walls, lay down gravel and rebar grids for the slab, pour the concrete for the footers, let cure, pour for the foundation walls and let cure, and then after they’re checked for any flaws after curing, the slab can be poured. The earthwork has been subcontracted out to Binghamton’s Gorick Construction, who also did the demolition and foundation work for Library Place in the city of Ithaca.

Image from the Lansing Star.





Village Solars Construction Update, 3/2020

22 03 2020

This mostly reuses the Voice gallery writeup, but it’s a chance to publish all the unused photos as well.

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At the Village Solars site off of Warren Road in Lansing, phase five of apartment construction is underway. 24-unit 36 Village Circle North (3 three-bedrooms, 6 two-bedrooms, 3 one-bedrooms and 12 studios), which replaces an older 12,000 square-foot 10-unit structure, is fully framed, sheathed with ZIP Panels, shingled and fitted with doors and windows. The installation of exterior fiber cement trim boards has yet to happen, perhaps because the Lucente family’s in-house construction team was waiting for warmer weather.

Building M is a new build on previously vacant land. It is an 18-unit building with 12 studios and 6 two-bedroom units. It too is now fully framed, sheathed, and roofed. The sets of wires dangling from below the eaves are utility lines for the air-source electric heat pumps, as construction continues they’ll be bundled together and boxed up into the exterior siding (the heat pumps themselves will be boxed in with a decorative screen in a bump-out). The 50 year-old blue apartment building in the photos below will be torn down later this spring to make way for a larger apartment building.

As previously reported in late February, Rocco Lucente Jr. gave the following timeline for buildout: “We are on time, on budget, the project is going very well. We should have our current two (#36 & #119) completed by June and July. The next two (community center and #117) will come the next summer, and the final two (#2 & 22) will be the summer after that! So by Summer 2022 the current project will be completed.”





3105 North Triphammer Construction Update, 3/2020

22 03 2020

This mostly reuses the Voice gallery writeup, but it’s a chance to publish all the unused photos as well.

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S.E.E. Associates/Andy Sciarabba’s new 9,600 square-foot office building at 3095 North Triphammer Road is coming along. The cast stone veneer has been attached, the doors and windows have been fitted, and interior steel stud walls are being built for its tenants (units can be merged if desired). At last check just after the holidays, Sciarabba passed along a note to give an update on the business end.

“We have signed one office tenant already, 1300 square feet and have a verbal commitment from another tenant, primary and acute care physician. We can accommodate up to seven tenants and we are using air source (electric) heat pumps. The shell should be ready for tenant fit up in January with the first occupancy about March. Our goal is to bring services to this part of Lansing which currently do not exist.”

The $500,000 project is expected to be completed by next summer. Local architect George Breuhaus is the creator of the design.

Additional project info can be found here.





Ithaca Tompkins International Airport Construction Update, 12/2019

29 12 2019

With the new Customs and Border Patrol station opening this spring, the airport will be able to receive charter flights from Canada, so that makes it an “international” airport. The other news outlets popped in for opening day, and these photos are from a couple of days before, which gives an idea of the mad dash construction crews were doing to have everything ready in time. Give a hand to Streeter Associates and their subcontractors for getting the job done.

The $34.8 million expansion and modernization includes a larger terminal, six new passenger gates and three new boarding bridges (for a total of four), upgraded dining, seating and amenity spaces, tech improvements, a solar canopy system in the parking lot, and a 5,000 square-foot customs facility outside the main terminal. The expansion creates about sixteen new permanent jobs and is expected to provide a boost in tourism and general business revenue. When your community is “centrally isolated” from the main highways, it helps to have a top-notch airport.

The sources of funding for the $34.8 million project include $14.2 million in state funding, $10 million in federal funding and $10.6 million from Tompkins County. The total is well above the $24.7 million initially estimated, so the additional costs are being covered by the feds and as the Ithaca Times reports, a small fee on all tickets through the airport.





3105 North Triphammer Construction Update, 12/2019

28 12 2019

S.E.E. Associates/Andy Sciarabba’s new office building at 3095 North Triphammer Road was approve for construction last spring and started construction this past fall. What’s there right now is the basic frame of the building, a fairly utilitarian clear span one-story wood-framed design with a large gable roof atop an insulated concrete slab. A projection of the front eave will give space for porch columns and smaller gables advertising five of the seven tenant spaces being built in the 9,600 square-foot building, and the exterior will be finished out in vinyl siding and cast stone veneer. Also included are landscaping improvements, stormwater facilities and parking for 48 vehicles. Alternative/renewable energy sources, likely air-source electric heat pumps, are being explored for the project.

The commercial spaces are intended for either office or commercial retail tenants. The $500,000 project is expected to be completed by next spring. Per an email from Sciarabba that came in after the Voice article:

“We have signed 1 (unnamed) office tenant already, 1300 sf and have a verbal commitment from another tenant, a primary and acute care physician. We can accommodate up to 7 tenants and we are using air source heat pumps. The shell should be ready for tenant fit up in January with first occupancy about March. Our goal is to bring services to this part of Lansing which currently do not exist. We are very flexible as to tenant sf size since the bldg is clear span.”

Local architect George Breuhaus is the creator of the design, and Lansing construction firm D Squared (Doug Dake and Doug Boles), who just wrapped up the construction of the Boathouse Landing project, are in charge of the buildout.

 





Village Solars Construction Update, 12/2019

22 12 2019

Over at the Village Solars site off of Warren Road in Lansing, phase five of apartment construction is underway. 24-unit 36 Village Circle North (3 three-bedrooms, 6 two-bedrooms, 3 one-bedrooms and 12 studios), which replaces an older 12,000 SF 10-unit structure, is fully framed, sheathed with ZIP Panels, shingled and fitted with doors and windows. The installation of exterior fiber cement trim boards is just getting underway. The sets of wires dangling from below the eaves are utility lines for the air-source electric heat pumps, as construction continues they’ll be bundled together and boxed up into the exterior siding (the heat pumps themselves will be boxed in with a decorative screen in a bump-out).

Building M is a new build on previously vacant land. It is an 18-unit building with 12 studios and 6 two-bedroom units. It is undergoing framing now and has yet to top out with roof trusses. If I had to take a guess, I’d say 36 Village Circle North will be ready by the end of April, and Building M will be ready by the end of July.

So, avoiding the political question of whether the town supervisor should have voted on approving the PDA amendment on the community center because that’s not this blog’s wheelhouse, it was granted, but the outcome for the community center is still murky. As previously discussed back in September, it could either be built at its original location in its original ground-floor community/commercial with 20 one-bedrooms above, or with a different design in a location further east, more central to the property next door for sale by Rocco Lucente Sr.’s estate.

A few weeks ago, an ad showed up on commercial real estate website Loopnet advertising Lucente Sr.’s holdings, listing the property for $10 million. For that price one gets 96.44 acres and 42 existing units in four buildings, as well as plenty of development potential. Now, my gut is that the negotiations between Steve Lucente and his father’s estate were either not going well or had fallen through completely, but no one in the family is talking, so it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not that big merger of the two sites will happen. If it doesn’t, Steve Lucente will start work on the originally-planned community center building next year, as the modified Planned Development Area states.

I did not realize TCAT Bus Route 37 now passes through here (it appears to have started to make stops here earlier this year) but it makes sense given the population growth. At the start of the decade there were about 56 bedrooms here and about 30 on the elder Lucente’s property next door. When the latest building open next year, it will be 420 or so bedrooms on this site and 54 next door (the elder Lucente built a final 12-unit building with two-bedroom units in 2011-12). When all approved construction is complete in about 2022 (the three remaining rebuilds and the community center mixed-use), that will be up to 507 bedrooms in 333 units, not considering future growth on the property next door. It’s not quite the scale of Cornell’s dorm projects or Collegetown Terrace, but it’s probably the next largest single development site after those, it’s just no one notices because it’s rather out of the way and the build-out has been modest but steady.

According to a county deed filing just after this post went up, Northwest Bank, a regional bank mainly operating in Western Pennsylvania, is lending $4,935,000 for the construction of the two buildings.





Milton Meadows Construction Update, 12/2019

19 12 2019

Not completely done, but substantially complete enough that this will be the last visit. Only landscaping, paving, and exterior and interior finish work (trim pieces, carpeting) Three of the nine eight-unit apartment buildings have been opened for occupancy. The others will open over the next month or so. The units are by and large spoken for already, having been awarded through a housing lottery to screened but otherwise randomly selected income-qualified tenants (making 50-80% area median income).

This $17.3 million, 72-unit project is wrapping up, and with the confusion over Tiny Timbers it may be the only residential component of the Lansing Town Center for some time yet. A further 56 units may be built as a “Phase II” 2-3 years from now when the sewer is in. There will be at least one commercial neighbor moving in next year – the Salt Point Brewing Company has started site prep for their new 4,000 SF restaurant and tap room next door.

Project background and history can be found here. SWBR Architects of Rochester is the architect. Cornerstone Development Group is the developer, and the Taylor the Builders of Rochester served as the general contractor. Passero Associates served as project engineer.

The history and details of the project can be found here.