Governor Cuomo Announces Grand Opening of $20 Million Mixed-Use Development In Ithaca

210 Hancock Street Provides a Total of 59 Units, Including Affordable and Low-Income Households

Early Head Start Program & Free Science Workshop Find New Homes at 210 Hancock Street

Investment Complements “Southern Tier Soaring” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of 210 Hancock Street, the $20 million mixed-use development in Ithaca. 210 Hancock Street comprises a four-story building and five townhomes with a total of 59 rental units, 80 percent of which are affordable to low-income families. The project also includes commercial space, which is providing space for an Early Head Start program, as well as the Free Science Workshop, a nonprofit organization that provides hands-on Science Technology Engineering and Math programming for local youth.

“This expansive development will improve the quality of life for residents in Ithaca for years to come,” Governor Cuomo said. “Combining neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, and early childhood education is a great achievement and a win for the Southern Tier.”

Previously home to a vacant grocery store and small office building, the site has been transformed into new housing and commercial opportunities in the heart of Ithaca. The project will act as a community anchor and help to attract public and private investment to the surrounding area. The entire project consists of a four-story residential building with 54 mixed-income rental apartments, and five townhome units; four of which are two-story structures and one that is a handicapped accessible one-story townhome.

Common amenities at the new housing development include laundry facilities on each floor, and a 720 square-foot community room located on the first floor. The townhomes have washer and dryer hook-ups, but tenants also have access to the common laundry facilities. A total of 57 parking spaces are provided, 20 of which are reserved for residential tenants. Covered bike storage is also located within this reserved parking area.

On the ground floor of the multi-family building is space for the Early Head Start program and the Free Science Workshop, included within 6,400 square-feet of commercial space available. Early Head Start is operated by Tompkins Community Action, a not-profit community development organization, and will provide early education to low-income children up to three years old. The program will also provide nutrition, wellness and parenting classes to low-income families. The Free Science Workshop is a non-profit providing afterschool support to youth interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

The site also includes the reconstruction of two city streets to eliminate traffic and create a playground and pedestrian/bicycle path connecting the site to a larger path network for walking, running and biking, which will link the neighborhood to the 6-mile Cayuga Waterfront Trail.

Funding for 210 Hancock Street included $1,034,000 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits from New York State Homes and Community Renewal that will generate $10,391,700 in equity, and $500,000 in New York State Low Income Housing Credits that will generate $2,900,000 in equity. HCR also provided $1,500,000 million from the Middle Income Housing Program and 1,007,453 from the Community Investment Fund.

Additionally, Community Preservation Corporation provided a $7.8 million construction loan, and $2.5 million permanent loan through their funding agreement with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The City of Ithaca and Tompkins County contributed $457,000 and $300,000 respectively, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided a grant of $516,000.

“This is a truly collaborative effort that will provide homes for those who otherwise might struggle to afford one,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Governor Cuomo has shown time and again his commitment to making affordable housing a reality for those in need. This new mixed-use development in Ithaca will not only provide quality homes, but it will also benefit the community as a whole by providing early childhood learning for local youth.”

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Instead of vacant and abandoned lots, 210 Hancock Street provides an attractive and rejuvenated neighborhood with affordable homes for 59 families and increased access to education and green space. Governor Cuomo continues to make investments that create high-quality housing and at the same time add to the vibrancy of neighborhoods. This innovative development complements other state investments in Ithaca and will keep the Southern Tier Soaring.”

Joseph Bowes, Director of Real Estate Development at Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, said, “210 Hancock would not have been possible without support from our state and local partners.  We want to thank staff at the City of Ithaca and Homes and Community Renewal for all of their support throughout the development process.”

Miriam Zinter, Mortgage Officer at CPC, said, “We are proud to invest in projects like 210 Hancock that transform vacant sites into a resource that provides good affordable housing and other services like Early Head Start and the Free Science Workshop that help enrich the community. My thanks to Governor Cuomo, Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, Comptroller DiNapoli and the state’s Common Retirement Fund, and all of our partners for their commitment to this important project.”

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “The transformation of 210 Hancock demonstrates how the state is helping communities thrive by take previously unused building space and turning it into a valuable property that offers much-needed affordable housing and space for educational programs.  Governor Cuomo has continuously underscored the importance of revitalizing our neighborhoods to not only enhance the quality of life for residents but also support the state’s efforts to build cleaner communities and fight climate change.”

Senator Tom O’Mara said, “We’re grateful that state investment in the development of 210 Hancock Street will enhance the availability of safe, affordable housing for families and residents in Ithaca.  We’re hopeful that this mixed-use development will make a difference in many lives, and help foster and strengthen overall community and neighborhood development in the city.”

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton said, “The 210 Hancock Street project has strengthened the neighborhood by converting a vacant one-story structure and a large surface parking lot into a mixed-use residential housing project that is located close to downtown Ithaca and city parks. Moreover, it fulfills a dire need in our community – providing quality affordable housing. I’ve long fought for funding for affordable housing in the state budget, and I’m so pleased to see this wonderful project come to fruition. Thank you to Governor Cuomo, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, the City of Ithaca, Tompkins County, and everyone else who came together to make this project a reality.”

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick said, “Investments such as 210 Hancock Street help build on our efforts to continue the revitalization of Ithaca, especially our aging residential neighborhoods. We are dedicated to securing and strengthening our community and making it a better place to live. Thanks to Governor Cuomo for his commitment to invest in the Southern Tier and keep Ithaca and the entire region soaring. It is rare to find a project that can address so many of the critical needs in our community. 210 Hancock is truly an example of good urban planning and transformative public/private partnerships.

Michael Lane, Chair of Tompkins County Legislature, said, “Tompkins County is excited about the opening of this remarkable project. We congratulate Ithaca Neighborhood Housing for conceiving and seeing through to completion such an innovative concept. It is mixed-use and multimodal. It benefits both potential tenants and potential purchasers by providing modern living at an affordable cost. It has been made available to county residents who have previously been shut out of our local housing market because of accelerating costs. Without the help of New York State, which contributed funding through a variety of programs, and especially the significant tax credit help made available through its Homes and Community Renewal agency, this project would only be a great idea waiting to happen. We look forward to the possibility of more such partnerships in the future that will continue to improve the lives of the residents of our beautiful county.”

Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services also developed seven newly constructed townhomes which are currently for sale at 202 Hancock Street. Funding for 202 Hancock included $280,000 from the Affordable Home Ownership Development Program, administered by HCR’s Affordable Housing Corporation, and $314,125 through the NY State HOME program. INHS will target eligible homebuyers whose incomes are at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, adjusted for family size, for Tompkins County.

The two-story stick built units contain two three-bedroom units and five two-bedroom units. The homebuyer will purchase a unit and not the land.  The land is owned by INHS and leased as a complete parcel to each buyer for $600 per year.

Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring

Today’s announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.