210 Hancock Project Financed

Housing Development in Ithaca’s Northside Neighborhood Awarded Financing by New York State

Ithaca, NY – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal have announced that Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services’ 210 Hancock Street redevelopment project is one of three projects that has been awarded the financing it needs to start construction. “We could not be happier that the State found this project worthy of funding in its highly competitive early round,” said Paul Mazzarella, INHS’s Executive Director. “210 Hancock Street will be a transformative project in the Northside Neighborhood. It will replace two vacant buildings and over an acre of asphalt parking with attractive mixed-income/mixed-use development – revitalizing a property that sits as a gateway between two vibrant urban neighborhoods.”    

INHS purchased the former Neighborhood Pride site in August 2014 and began a process of community engagement to design a project that would address several critical needs in the community. Joseph Bowes, Senior Real Estate Developer for INHS, explains this process as “a series of four open meetings designed to engage the public in the planning of the project. Over 250 people attended these meetings and discussed everything from building design to questions about density, greenspace, and parking. Both the City of Ithaca and the State of New York advised us that this process was viewed as a model for community engagement.” 

The 210 Hancock project is a redevelopment of an entire city block in the Ithaca’s Northside neighborhood. The project includes the demolition of two buildings and new construction of almost 63,000 square feet of housing and 6,000 square feet of commercial space.  Included in the residential space are 54 mixed-income rental apartments in a four story building and 12 townhomes bordering Cascadilla Creek and Conley Park.  The commercial space is designed for two office suites including an Early Head Start facility serving children and their families.  The site also includes the reconstruction of two city streets to eliminate automobile traffic and create a playground and pedestrian/bicycle path connecting the site to a larger pedestrian/bicycle network that will link the neighborhood to the Cayuga Waterfront Trail.  All of the construction will be built to green standards including a photovoltaic system providing solar electric power to the project.

The funding announced includes $1,034,000 in federal low income housing tax credits and $500,000 in state low income housing tax credits. These tax credits are made available annually to equity investors over a ten-year period. Combined these two sources will generate $13 million dollars for construction. In addition to tax credit equity the project has secured an additional $3.5 million in low interest loan financing through the New York State’s Community Investment Fund and Middle Income Housing programs. 

“I am extremely excited to see this project move forward,” Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick stated “The City of Ithaca, through the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency, agreed to loan the project $476,000 in HOME and CDBG Funds and made this project our top priority this year. Tompkins County gave additional support for the project with the Tompkins County Affordable Housing Fund providing $300,000 in support and the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency providing a 30 year PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Tax) agreement. 

INHS plans to start construction in early 2016 with a summer 2017 grand opening.