Ithaca Builds

Mapping, photos and information for Ithaca construction and development projects

Beckenridge Place Updated Photos

December 11, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

The roof fascia has mostly made its way around, and there’s some new material covering-over the steel framing section on the roof; it may be screening for mechanical equipment, possibly makeup air units. There have been bricks removed on either side of each window header along the Seneca Street side, but I’m not sure why. The render (below) shows the architectural shades about 2/3rd of the way up, but perhaps they’ll be installed at the top of each window.




Breckenridge Place Paving, Landscaping, Windows & Pillars

November 12, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

INHS’s Breckenridge Place site has new paving, striping, landscaping, pillars at the entry, and the windows for the central popped-out bay along Seneca Street are going in. The two locust trees between Breckenridge and the property next door have been removed, giving a better view of the eastern facade. The 50 new units are still slated to open-up for early 2014.





Breckenridge Place New Curbs & Updated Photos

October 3, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

New granite curbs were installed at Breckenridge, and the street-side has been re-filled with rock and asphalt. Besides that, the window frames missing glass panels have been covered with plywood to keep out the drafts, and the glass pop-out on the south is covered with wrap. The start of metal roof fascia can be seen along the north side of the roof line, which will wrap all the way around the roof, and cover over the EPDM (roof membrane).



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:


Breckenridge Place Updated Photos

September 19, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

I don’t see much change on the building from the outside, so I imagine the interior is seeing most of the action this past week, however, the curbing and a few feet of road asphalt on both the Cayuga Street and Seneca Street sides has been demolished and dug-out, probably in preparation for the new sidewalks, curbs, storm drains, and landscaping.


Making Room Exhibit: Museum of the City of New York

September 13, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Swung down to the Making Room Exhibit in NYC this week and wanted to share some photos from this project put on by the Citizens Housing Planning Council. The Making Room initiative works on:

“cutting-edge housing and demographic research, new design proposals, and pragmatic policy recommendations that would expand housing options in New York City to meet the needs of our diverse and growing population.

The Making Room initiative is specifically focused on three new housing types for the New York City marketplace:

1. Small, efficient studios designed for single person households;

2. Legal shared housing options for unrelated adults;

3. Accessory units to make a single family home more flexible for extended families or additional renters.”

Many of the zoning and building codes in NYC and across the US were written under the premise that housing rules could enforce a lifestyle of traditional households and “the ideal American family.” Over time, it’s led to the development of a housing stock that leaves out a large portion of the population that would prefer to live in units or developments that have been made illegal. The mismatch of supply and demand primarily hurts housing consumers.

The plan has been to identify these specific issues, inform, and analyze what policies should change in order to allow for the development of a better housing stock.

By far, the most interesting thing in the exhibit is the micro-unit (it’s 325 square feet, but you’d be amazed by how big it actually feels, due to the clever design, and space-saving built-ins- here’s a link to better images of the unit). Parts of the showcase included information on other projects that are being planned or have been built all over the world. All in all, it was very interesting.

Ithaca-based Taitem Engineering is working on LEED, Commissioning and more in collaboration with nArchitects, the adAPT NYC Design Winners for the My Micro NY project [thanks Jan!].



Breckenridge Place Windows Filling In

September 6, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

More window frames have been put in place, and glass inserts installed. The work on the interior must be humming along to get this project complete by early 2014 for 50 units of mixed-income housing coming online. Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services has posted an informational brochure on their site for rental information.


Breckenridge Place, More Windows

August 23, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Breckenridge’s windows are coming along, not much else to notice on the exterior, as I imagine now the interior has become the main focus in order to be ready for early 2014 leases. I think the Fall 2013 finish has been ruled-out.


Breckenridge Place Done with Bricks

August 16, 2013 // by Jason Henderson


Brick facade is complete and more windows have been installed. From here on out the exterior changes will feature the remaining windows, window shades, the steel-framed glass sections on the overhang stack on the Seneca Street side, a finished roof (I think the green roof as an overhang on the ground floor has been axed in the final design), and a large sign at the Seneca-side entryway.

Breckenridge Place Photo & Landscape Update

August 8, 2013 // by Jason Henderson



These photos were taken in the past week; there’s been further progress on the facade and window installations, and I’ve seen drywall pallets being hoisted onto each floor, so the interior work must be coming along.



Here’s the landscaping plan. Ingress/egress will be underneath and through the building on the West Seneca Street side, and includes 12 parking spaces. The plan was done by Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects, and includes ample new plantings like grasses, shrubs and trees, as well as the inclusion of the existing trees currently on the site.