After a few stops and starts and a change to the gameplan, a new housing development is officially in the works for Corning.
Riedman Companies is moving forward with Northside Place, 24 single-family rental homes on the site of the former Northside Blodgett school, after the Steuben County IDA signed off on financial incentives for the project at its June meeting.
Northside Place has been in various stages of development since 2019, when Riedman planned to construct and sell single-family homes priced at over $300,000. A model home was built at 137 Cayuta St., but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced Riedman to rethink the project as the cost of construction materials skyrocketed.
From condo sales to rentals
Riedman shifted from a build-and-sell model to a build-and-rent approach. The company already owns and operates over 3,500 market-rate apartments across the Southern Tier, Western New York and northwest Pennsylvania. A recent market study found single-family rentals are more in demand in the Corning market than the condominium project initially proposed for the site.
“It’s also helpful because we just completed 176 Denison (in Corning), which has gone very well from an occupancy standpoint,” said owner David Riedman. “We understand the type of people that are moving in there. That’s giving us some insight into who the renter is, where they’re coming from and even an ability to do some internal market research.”
Construction of Northside Place will begin in September on Princeton Avenue. The first home will open to tenants in April. The build is expected to take 18 months, wrapping up in early 2024.
Previous delays created some level of consternation among Corning residents and city officials, who questioned whether the project would ever become reality.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” City Councilman Mark ReSue, who represents the neighborhood, told The Leader in April.
Financial incentives for Northside Place owners
The IDA approved sales tax exemptions up to $280,000 and a mortgage tax exemption of $87,000 for the project, which marks a $9.2 million investment by Riedman. The IDA also granted a 20-year PILOT agreement that includes savings of over $2.5 million. The undeveloped lots currently generate around $31,000 in annual tax revenue. According to the IDA’s PILOT assessment, new tax revenue is estimated at around $164,000 with each new home assessed at $145,600.
“(The PILOT) helps us keep the rents at a level that we’re confident in being able to fill these homes when they’re complete,” said Riedman.
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The model home is not included in the PILOT but will also be made available for rent, bringing the total to 25. A leasing program will likely open in January.
“If we could find new people to hire, the first problem we have is housing,” said Christine Sharkey of Corning Enterprises, who sits on the IDA board. “This is just a great alternative.
“It’s going to help folks get out of bigger houses and into smaller rental houses if they don’t want to make the apartment leap yet. This creates a nice circle of support.”
Riedman Companies will manage the property and provide services like repairs, mowing and snowplowing. The company previously opened Academy Place at the former Corning Free Academy building, along with luxury apartments at 176 Denison in Corning. It also has locations in Painted Post, Hornell and Elmira.