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Tompkins County Biggs Property Will be Sold to NRP Group

October 1, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

The resolutions regarding the sale of the Tompkins County Biggs Property to NRP Properties, LLC have passed, so the project will go before Town of Ithaca Planning Board meetings next. The final resolution to approve the sale passed 11-4.

The project’s working titles are “Cayuga Ridge Village” and “Cayuga Village Townhomes”.

There would be a Homeowner’s Association managed by Better Housing for Tompkins County.

The units would have an option to purchase after a 15-year period due to the requirements of the tax credits that would be sold to investors in order to finance the project.

60-Unit Townhomes, one to four bedrooms; from the renderings and floor plans, they look as if they would be modular.

Total development cost: $13,500,000 +/- ($225k build-out cost per unit)

Developer: the NRP group LLC, Cleveland, Ohio

Architects: RDL Architects – Shaker Heights (Cleveland), Ohio

A gentleman from the NRP group gave a short presentation and answered questions from the legislators, as well as Ed Marx, the planning commissioner. Ed summarized the history of the project, and the results of the meetings with residents on West Hill.

The legislators spent a lot of time going over the structuring of the tax credits (the fact that the units can’t be sold until 15 years in), and how the project is ultimately financed, as well as some site plan questioning. There’s a lot that has yet to be determined at this point, and there was a considerable amount of dialogue on the future property taxes, the current assessment, the affordability criteria, and the ultimate sale pricing.

The main discussion just before the resolution passed went over the opposition points: the site placement relative to the City, traffic congestion and pursuant costs, violence since the beginning of housing expansion on West Hill, and the inequity of City taxpayers subsidizing the housing and transit implications of the Town’s development decisions.

There’s a petition from Ithaca West and a large number of individuals that have opposed the sale for the use of this project. The pages with the objection letters and a letter of support are particularly good.

Here’s the Community That Works site, setup to communicate about the project. Much of the project’s impetus comes from a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant for Climate Showcase Communities, and the program is modelled on EcoVillage-style development.


Here’s the Project Description:



Here’s a memorandum on affordable housing from Ed Marx, the Commissioner of Planning: