LANSING, N.Y. — In documents filed with the town of Lansing this week, Cornerstone Group has expanded and fleshed out their plans for the “Lansing Commons Apartments” to be built at the Lansing Town Center site.

The first phase, planned for land already purchased by the Rochester-based developer from the town, would consist of 10 buildings and 72 rental units on 13.5 acres near the intersection of Route 34/34B, across from the town hall and baseball fields. Nine of the structures would be apartment buildings ranging from 6,600-10,200 square feet (SF), with 8 apartment units apiece. The last building would be a 3,100 SF community center. Also included are 139 parking spaces, a community garden, sidewalks, playground, and stormwater management facilities. Although not yet discussed, a turnaround road at the entrance appears to be designed for TCAT bus access. Construction would start in April 2018 if state affordable housing grants are arranged in time, and last about 18 months.

The second phase, 8.9 acres of land for which Cornerstone has purchase options on, would have 56 rental units in seven buildings, and another community center. These would be west of the first phase, or towards the top of the site plan diagram above. The second phase would not start until the first phase is completed, meaning late 2019 would be the earliest. It would also need to go before the town for review, and limits on unit density may necessitate a zoning change by the town board from Business B-1 to a Planned Development Area (PDA). Units in both phases would range from one to three bedrooms, and more specifically, 32 1-bedrooms, 24 2-bedrooms, and 16 3-bedrooms in phase one. The project cost is estimated at $20 million.

Each phase would be served by a modular, small-scale package sewer system, subject to approval by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Municipal water systems are expected to be extended into the town center site. Access roads would be built by Cornerstone to town standards, and deeded over to the town for public use after the apartments have been finished.

It’s not clear from the filings with the town what the intended income bracket of affordable housing the project will be marketed to. If similar to other Cornerstone projects and other affordable suburban complexes such as Linderman Creek and Poet’s Landing, then 60%-80% AMI, meaning about $32,000-42,000/year or less, is likely.

Quoting Passero Associates, who are shepherding the application through review on behalf of Cornerstone Group, “{t}he project conforms with the latest version of the Town’s Comprehensive plan, by proposing a denser development in the center of Town that will provide multifamily affordable housing, meeting a countywide need. The project also utilizes the Comprehensive Plan’s recommendations of preserving natural features, such as wetlands, which are being avoided on this site.”

lansing commons apts

Architectural plans drafted by SWBR Architects show three different two-story building designs (one is all 1-bedrooms, one is all 2-bedrooms, and one is all three-bedrooms), as well as a one-story community center. It is common for larger multi-family developers to reuse the same plans in different markets to minimize the cost of drawing up new designs, and because contractors and construction managers are already familiar with the design, which allows for better quality control.

A sketch plan of the project will be presented to the town planning board at their meeting on the 14th, and a public hearing is tentatively scheduled for August 28th. As affordable housing goes, State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) needs to already be underway by the town before Cornerstone can apply for any state of federal affordable housing grants to pay for the project costs.

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