ITHACA, N.Y.—Visum Development was given just over $2 million in tax breaks by the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Aug. 9 for its affordable housing project called the Stately Apartments.
The abatements will save an estimated 6.8% of the total project costs, over the course of 30 years, according to an IDA staff review.
The 57-unit apartment building is planned for 510 W. State Street. Construction is scheduled to begin in October.
The ground floor of the building will feature a commercial space of 1373 square feet , according to Visum’s tax abatement application.. All units in the building will be set aside for households earning 30-60% of area median income or, for example, a household of one that earns $22,300 to $44,580 according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Visum has partnered with the affordable housing developer Arbor Housing and Development of Corning to build the apartments.
Deborah Dawson, Tompkins County legislator and sitting board member at the IDA, said in an interview that while she wishes the county could see more of these types of developments, she recognizes “developers are developers,” and they want to make money.
“There’s not necessarily a whole lot of money to be made out of affordable and workforce housing, and especially not out of supportive housing,” Dawson said “But this project seems to combine all of those very much needed elements.”
The non-profit organization Catholic Charities of Tompkins and Tioga Counties is working with Visum to provide supportive services for 20 of the building’s housing units, according to Visum’s application to the TICDA.
Of those 20 supportive units, 15 are planned to be set aside for individuals of which will be set aside for homeless individuals with histories of substance use disorders, and 5 units will be dedicated to housing those who are homeless and survivors of domestic violence.
Dawson said she appreciated that Visum, which has seen market-rate housing projects receive tax breaks, has “come forward with, what looks to me, to be a way to pay the community back.”
IDA staff estimate that even with the tax abatement, the Stately Apartments will bring in over $1.3 million in additional tax revenue drawn from the property over a 30 year period. Those funds will be divided between the city of Ithaca, Tompkins County, and the Ithaca City School District.
Correction (08/24/2023): This article originally stated that the building Franco’s Pizza is in, located at 508 W. State St., will be demolished to make room for The Stately Apartments.