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210 Hancock Street ribbon

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday the grand opening of 210 Hancock Street, the $20 million mixed-use development in Ithaca. 210 Hancock Street comprises a four-story building and five townhomes with a total of 59 rental units, 80 percent of which are affordable to low-income families. The project also includes commercial space, which is providing space for an Early Head Start program, as well as the Free Science Workshop, a nonprofit organization that provides hands-on Science Technology Engineering and Math programming for local youth.

"This expansive development will improve the quality of life for residents in Ithaca for years to come," Governor Cuomo said. "Combining neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, and early childhood education is a great achievement and a win for the Southern Tier."

Previously home to a vacant grocery store and small office building, the site has been transformed into new housing and commercial opportunities in the heart of Ithaca. The project will act as a community anchor and help to attract public and private investment to the surrounding area. The entire project consists of a four-story residential building with 54 mixed-income rental apartments, and five townhome units; four of which are two-story structures and one that is a handicapped accessible one-story townhome.

Common amenities at the new housing development include laundry facilities on each floor, and a 720 square-foot community room located on the first floor. The townhomes have washer and dryer hook-ups, but tenants also have access to the common laundry facilities. A total of 57 parking spaces are provided, 20 of which are reserved for residential tenants. Covered bike storage is also located within this reserved parking area.

"Investments such as 210 Hancock Street help build on our efforts to continue the revitalization of Ithaca, especially our aging residential neighborhoods," said Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick. "We are dedicated to securing and strengthening our community and making it a better place to live. Thanks to Governor Cuomo for his commitment to invest in the Southern Tier and keep Ithaca and the entire region soaring. It is rare to find a project that can address so many of the critical needs in our community. 210 Hancock is truly an example of good urban planning and transformative public/private partnerships."

On the ground floor of the multi-family building is space for the Early Head Start program and the Free Science Workshop, included within 6,400 square-feet of commercial space available. Early Head Start is operated by Tompkins Community Action, a not-profit community development organization, and will provide early education to low-income children up to three years old. The program will also provide nutrition, wellness and parenting classes to low-income families. The Free Science Workshop is a non-profit providing afterschool support to youth interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

The site also includes the reconstruction of two city streets to eliminate traffic and create a playground and pedestrian/bicycle path connecting the site to a larger path network for walking, running and biking, which will link the neighborhood to the 6-mile Cayuga Waterfront Trail.

Funding for 210 Hancock Street included $1,034,000 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits from New York State Homes and Community Renewal that will generate $10,391,700 in equity, and $500,000 in New York State Low Income Housing Credits that will generate $2,900,000 in equity. HCR also provided $1,500,000 million from the Middle Income Housing Program and 1,007,453 from the Community Investment Fund.

Additionally, Community Preservation Corporation provided a $7.8 million construction loan, and $2.5 million permanent loan through their funding agreement with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The City of Ithaca and Tompkins County contributed $457,000 and $300,000 respectively, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided a grant of $516,000.

210 Hancock Street

"Tompkins County is excited about the opening of this remarkable project," said Tompkins County Legislature Chair Michael Lane. "We congratulate Ithaca Neighborhood Housing for conceiving and seeing through to completion such an innovative concept. It is mixed-use and multimodal. It benefits both potential tenants and potential purchasers by providing modern living at an affordable cost. It has been made available to county residents who have previously been shut out of our local housing market because of accelerating costs. Without the help of New York State, which contributed funding through a variety of programs, and especially the significant tax credit help made available through its Homes and Community Renewal agency, this project would only be a great idea waiting to happen. We look forward to the possibility of more such partnerships in the future that will continue to improve the lives of the residents of our beautiful county."

Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services also developed seven newly constructed townhomes which are currently for sale at 202 Hancock Street. Funding for 202 Hancock included $280,000 from the Affordable Home Ownership Development Program, administered by HCR's Affordable Housing Corporation, and $314,125 through the NY State HOME program. INHS will target eligible homebuyers whose incomes are at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, adjusted for family size, for Tompkins County.

The two-story stick built units contain two three-bedroom units and five two-bedroom units. The homebuyer will purchase a unit and not the land. The land is owned by INHS and leased as a complete parcel to each buyer for $600 per year.

Wednesday's announcement complements 'Southern Tier Soaring', the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan - attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs.

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