ITHACA, N.Y. –A large mixed-market housing plan has been unveiled for a vacant property in the village of Trumansburg. The Voice typically avoids superlatives, but it wouldn’t be incorrect to say this is one of the largest projects ever proposed for the 1,800-person village.

The project, dubbed “Hamilton Square”, would be located on 19 acres at 46 South Street on the south side of the village. The property is currently vacant, and was used for farming by the Schaefer family since the 1940s. Over time, small portions were subdivided and used for the development of single-family homes that now surround the bigger parcel. The property was put up for sale a couple of years ago, and sold to longtime local architect Claudia Brenner in March 2016. The property is presently owned by “Sundial Property Management LLC”, which from county records appears to be the limited-liability company formed by Brenner.

Early concept designs were revealed at a community open house last week (additional coverage from the open house will be forthcoming), with the public invited to comment on what they liked and did not like about each of the three layouts. Given that it’s a a large project, and affordable housing tends to inspire passionate debate, the goal is to obtain community input early and often so that the final draft is something the Trumansburg community is comfortable with.

All plans consist of a mix of affordable rental housing (47-51 units), affordable for-sale housing (15-17 units), and market-rate for-sale housing (24 units). The total number of new apartments and homeowners comes out to about 90, living in a mix of detached houses and townhouses.

As affordable housing financing is a bit of a complex process, the property would be built out in partnership with affordable housing developer Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services (INHS). Brenner has previously worked as an architect on INHS housing plans, such as the Holly Creek townhouses on South Hill, and the never-built Greenways project in East Ithaca. Other members of the project team include HOLT Architects, Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects, and engineering firm T. G. Miller P.C.

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The plan is allowed by Trumansburg zoning. Projects of more than 10 units in Trumansburg have a mandatory affordable housing component where 20% of the units must be designated affordable housing, which this project will exceed. In exchange for the mandatory affordable housing, developers get a density bonus using a rather complicated formula whose impact depends on the property in question.

Trumansburg has been unable to add multi-family housing for almost a decade due to municipal wastewater treatment being at maximum capacity; the water treatment plant had to be expanded and rebuilt before the county-imposed moratorium could be lifted. The new water treatment facility will be completed this summer.

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at